This Old App

43 EpisodesProduced by CTO ThinkWebsite

A podcast about learning, coding, smashing stuff together, breaking things apart, startups, failing, winning, and any other buzzwords we can think of.

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Developers, Ageing, Naps, and What Are We Talking About, Again?

August 13th, 2019


Don and Randy discuss the changes that ageing has on their development skills and focus, how to combat it (or adapt to it), and stay somewhat off the …

Breaking down bootcamps

July 30th, 2019


Randy reacts to a Tweetstorm about Lambda School using his former experiences as a bootcamp teacher to add some perspective

Using Cypress for Integration Testing

June 25th, 2019


Randy and Megan recently worked on a Single Page App and Megan learned how to use Cypress for integration/acceptance testing. Don and Randy discuss …

Microsoft Bounces Back: Monopolies, Ballmer Years, and Open Source

June 11th, 2019


Don and Randy discuss the "New Microsoft" and how a change in leadership has led to a completely different experience with one of the largest …

Trying to find a product-market fit

May 28th, 2019


Don and Randy discuss the latest installment of the Chasms app saga. Don heads out to Denver for a sales conference loaded with potential customers of the Chasms text-to-chat system, but finds no takers. Further …

Testing with Node and JavaScript (Finally!)

May 14th, 2019


After years of testing with Ruby on Rails and rspec, Randy never had quite the flow with testing on the JavaScript and Node side of things... until now. We discuss the value of testing with Node, Express, and in the …

Managed Hosting Rocks! WPEngine, Pantheon, and Heroku

April 30th, 2019


Randy is working with a client that uses Pantheon for Drupal hosting and he loves the tools. After spending a good decade using cPanel on cheap …

Typescript Pain. Is there any Gain?

April 16th, 2019


Randy is diving back into the Chasms backend using Firebase Functions, which is written (by him) in Typescript. We discuss the ins and outs as to why Typescript was chosen, some pain points that cropped up along the …

Document Datastores and Many-to-Many Relationships

April 2nd, 2019


While continuing work on the Chasms app, Randy asks Don for his two cents on an approach to solving a document datastore (firestore) schema involving …

Building an App (and Learning) with Vue.js

March 19th, 2019


Randy has started working on the Chasms project again, and after the previous episode with David Rogers, he chose to use (and learn) Vue.js to get it started. Don and Randy discuss the various libraries being used to …

Just Doing It Yourself Because of Liam Neeson

March 5th, 2019


As a continuation to a previous episode, Don discusses why he's going to roll up his sleeves and handle a data-gathering project himself. He attempts …

Products are Fun, Promotion is Not, and Preventing Perfectionism

January 22nd, 2019


We begin talking about the career aspirations of sports officiants (tennis gigs) and upcoming technology projects Don wants to tackle, but it slowly …

Discussing Firebase Authentication

January 8th, 2019


Randy has a possible conference presentation coming up in the next few weeks, so he gets Don to listen to the outline and poke some holes in the …

Viability of a Watch App Concept

December 11th, 2018


Don has an idea for a building a watch app to service American football referees and discusses with Randy whether the concept is viable for a build. …

Is React the Popular Kid in School?

November 13th, 2018


During Randy's interviewing stint, he spoke to a good number of firms that had needs for different stacks, but one particular framework stood out: …

Chipping Away at Project Blockers

October 30th, 2018


Don continues to work on his Azure-backed PDF processing application and describes his process to fix a number of blockers. After making progress, Randy asks him about widget pipeline options, like IFTTT and Zapier, and …

Debugging Azure with Ego Driven Development

October 16th, 2018


In another effort to prevent Don and Randy from working on the same stack, Don wanders off into Microsoft land to build a web app on Azure, and promptly runs into trouble. Through a little troubleshooting, they figure …

Thinking About Smart Homes

October 9th, 2018


After a two-week break, we return to discuss how Randy's buying a house and is thinking about all the new tech and gadgets he can add to it. We discuss home automation, the unnecessary features added to some appliances, …

To Test or Not to Test?

September 18th, 2018


Topics Covered

  • Test Driven Development

  • RSpec

  • MiniTest

  • Rails Test

  • Jest

  • Mocha

  • Jasmine

  • Nightwatch

  • Cypress

  • Selenium

  • Good ol' fashioned browser refreshing

What to Use for Mobile Development?

August 28th, 2018


Progressive Web Apps PWA, iOS, Apple, Android, ReactNative, React, PhoneGap, Hybrid, JavaScript

Returning to Game Development with Renee Lahoff

July 24th, 2018

* Play Renee's game Play at
Recommended use with a personal computer, untested for …

Callbacks! and Promises! and Awaits! Oh My!

June 19th, 2018

  • JavaScript
  • Asynchronous
  • Callbacks
  • Promises
  • Async/Await
  • Typescript
  • Firebase

Relational vs Document DBs

June 12th, 2018


  • Lotus 123

  • Excel

  • Microsoft Access

  • SQL Server

  • MySQL

  • PostgreSQL

  • MongoDB

  • Firebase Real Time Database

  • Firebase Firestore

  • Amazon DynamoDB

  • Couchbase

  • PouchDB

Project Chasms - Part 3, Prototype Feedback and The Bug

June 5th, 2018


  • We talk about the success of the prototype as it is being used by a service provider

  • We talk about known costs for some of the APIs being used

  • We …

Finding Firebase

May 22nd, 2018


Project Chasms - Part 2, Debugging and Brainstorming

May 15th, 2018

  • The initial prototype is working well
  • Folks in the field are able to send SMS texts inbound to the chat channel
  • There are odd errors, timeouts, …

Project Chasms - Part 1, Getting Started

May 8th, 2018

* Build a system where multiple users can send text messages to a single, central service
* This service sends all of these texts to a chat service …

The 30-Day Deadline of Failure and Follow-Through

April 24th, 2018



  • Mark Thompson gave himself a 30 day deadline to plan, learn, and build a mobile app using a brand new technology called Flutter.

  • Mark had a …

Learning CSS Grid

April 9th, 2018

We have a guest, Megan Schemmel, discuss her new career as a developer, learning Wordpress, and taking on the new Grid functionality of CSS.

Learning JavaScript (Better)

April 8th, 2018


Don and Randy discuss the steps we've taken to better learn JavaScript, Node.js, React, and React Native. A whole lotta videos and pain.

The Intro!

April 6th, 2018

Randy and Don introduce our new, loose-form podcast, and talk about how it contrasts with our more formal, parent podcast, CTO Think. We're looking for guests! So let us know if you'd like to be on the show to talk …
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