The PushPull: Making the Web in Portland, Oregon
By Kristin Valentine & Joel Barker
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Making the web takes pride, humility, and skills. Front end developer Kristin Valentine and content expert Joel Barker gather experts in the variety of fields that touch our work making digital experiences. Recorded live with everyone in the same room, conversations are off the cuff and lively.
||ExplicitEpisode 38: Private Passion Projects||Bonnie Hoffmann, a graphic designer by trade, joins us for a discussion about passion projects, what makes them work, and what makes them slow to a halt. Personal projects often have a way of never being completed and can often induce guilt at their unf||11/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 37: Jobs in Tech - What are you dreaming about?||--||10/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitReboot. Now, with Feeling.||Its a new world, and we are changed. Kristin and Joel face up to the fact that being good professionals requires being good healthy people. Maybe we have a lot to learn about that.||8/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 35: User Testing. "Users are Weird"||Matthew Oliphant graces us with his presence in this episode of the Push Pull Podcast. Currently the Director of User Experience at Vadio, Matthew lets us know what we are slowly driving people insane with micro-aggressions in our software. We discuss u||3/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 34: Social Media for Business||Katie Del Angel (@katiedel) schools us in how to create a strategy around which channels might be best for your company and how to talk to your customers. She also tells us how NOT to use social media, aka "social shoehorning". Joel quantifies the cost||7/7/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 33: Future-proofing Your CMS||In this episode, Kristin goes on a tear about just how tricky it can be to determine what goes into the CMS (Content Management System) and what doesn't.||5/30/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 32 - Accessibility||We talk web accessibility with Eliza Greenwood, a digital marketer and co-organizer of Portland's #A11y group. We talk about what accessibility means--who it impacts and why it's important.||4/28/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 31: Designing on a Dime||For this episode, we talk about design and budgets with Josh Riggs, designer at Think Shout. Think Shout focuses on non-profit clients. Josh talks about what designers should do to keep their projects within budget. What design deliverables are necessar||3/8/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 30: Project Manager - Scourge or Angel||For our first episode of 2015, Christopher Knaus from XPLANE schools us in project management. What makes a great PM, how to work with multiple PMs, and how does one get that magic PM sauce?||1/6/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 29: Building a Website for Your Small Business||We discuss first steps for solo-preneurs and start ups to put together their first website. Is it worth it to make a site yourself? What's the tipping point to hiring someone? Moving beyond the tech, we walk through writing an example site brief to help||12/23/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 28: Devs Talk Shop||Chris and Caitlin Antes are visiting Portland from Pullman, Washington, and we nerd out about development. Chris is a developer for Washington State University, and he actually has a degree in computer science. We talk about technical interviews and how||12/9/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 27: Teaching Writing in a Digital World||We are joined by Mike Russell this week, where we discuss his recent experience teaching writing to a group of marketers.||11/12/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 26: Geek Mental Health Week||This week we join other blogs, podcasts and events for Geek Mental Help Week. We talk about the particular factors that effect any geek's mental health, and how everyone needs to pay attention to their own health, both physical and mental.||10/27/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 25: Have More Dumb Ideas||--||10/10/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 24: Build Your Own Damn House||Alan and JJ Robinson are our guests on this episode, where we discuss working in house, working at agencies, and founding agencies.||10/5/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 23: Moonlighting||Hannah Barrett joins Kristin and Joel to talk about moonlighting. Hannah is a designer that, when she is done working, sometimes goes home and works more.||9/23/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 22: Amateur Hour||"Just make an iPhone video and throw together a Wordpress site."||9/10/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21: Code School, Get Off My Lawn!||We discuss how code schools work, what students get out of them, and Kristin's questions and hang ups on these schools.||8/26/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 20: What We Have Learned||We look back at our favorite moments, our beloved guests, and Kristin acknowledges "I have been in this industry a long time, I'm an expert, and I can talk about it, and that's okay!"||8/13/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 19: Branding, the Scourge of Everything||Our guest this week is brand strategist Eric Hillerns, co-director of Design Week Portland. Joel struggles with what "branding" people actually make, and what branding actually is, beyond the buzzwords. How can we steer clients to make their brand commu||7/30/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 18: Process and the Wild Client||Kristin and Joel agree that a good process -- and the right tools for that process -- make their lives easier. They don't agree on what that process should be.||7/15/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17: Startin' Stuff||This episode features Rick Turoczy, a staple in the Portland startup scene. We start our discussion with one of Rick's many projects, the Portland Incubator Experiment, an accelerator for start ups. We talk about who finds the most success with the prog||7/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 16: Intuition vs. Metrics||Joel and Kristin talk through their feelings about intuition versus analytics, user testing and other metrics when designing and writing. We discuss how agile methodology has changed our approach to work, both in terms of development as well as writing||6/17/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 15: SEO, The Scourge of the Web||Joel and Kristin talk SEO in this episode with Anvil Media founder Kent Lewis. We complain about how SEO ruins our lives, and Kent schools us in how SEO has changed over the years, from black hat link buying, to modern-day social sharability. We talk ab||6/3/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14: 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Thought Leader||What is a Thought Leader, why would I want to be one, and how can I do it in 10 years or less.||5/21/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 13: The 9 Crazy Content Moves you Must Try Tonight||Joel, Kristin, and special guest Isaac Szymanszyk wrestle with the definition of content marketing, and discuss how content and marketing is changing with technology.||5/13/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 12: Avoiding Burnout||How do you keep the passion in your job and avoid burn out and boredom?||4/22/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: Learning the Web||We talk tech education with programming newbie, Faye Purdum. We discuss education, how we learn, and what it all means to enter into the tech industry today.||4/8/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 10: Opinion-driven Development||We discuss with Tony Vanderzanden his big idea: development teams sharing their personal opinions at the start of a project.||4/2/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 9: The Future of the Web||Joel and Kristin discuss the Future of the Web: How long will we have jobs? How long will web "sites" exist as we know them today, and when will people just use apps for everything?||3/18/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 8: From Conferences to Content to Confessions||Kristin and Joel get back to their ranty roots, starting with Kristin's conference experiences. As the caffeine kicks in, they cover content, team roles, and delight.||3/5/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: Style Guides, or A Thousand Special Cases||For our 7th episode, we have another awesome guest--Susan Robertson, the front end developer at Editorially. We discuss front end style guides, and how they can speed up and improve the development process.||1/29/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: The 2013 Year-End Rantacular||Wherein we rant about all things internet.||12/31/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: The Continual Crisis of Content||We discuss trying to design a website with no content, and Joel struggles with the meaning of it all, particularly as it relates to offshore content shops.||12/17/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 4: Clean and Simple - Like Apple!||Clients ask for "clean and simple, you know... like Apple" all to frequently. What are they really asking for?||12/7/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 3: the Majesty of Code||Should everyone learn to code? Should all web professionals know HTML? Should Joel show us the picture of the space shuttle he made in Logo? And we have our first guest on the show - Michael Sulis.||11/21/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: The Words of the Web||Joel and Kristin discuss the words we use to describe "the Web" with lots of "air quotes".||11/3/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: When Bad is Good||Joel and Kristin introduce the show and attempt not to sound nervous while discussing the merits of bad design.||11/3/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
Excellent podcast by people working in the trenches
Podcasts about web technology may be a dime a dozen, but I think this one is different. There are no sponsors. The hosts don't engage in mindless chit chat with each other. Guests don't feel like they have some promotional agenda or are giving their polite PowerPoint presentation.
Instead, it's a refreshingly honest discussion about messy and important topics. At the end, nothing seems to be wrapped up in a nice bow. And that's fine because there are no easy answers to hard questions.
Initially, I was a little turned off by the low tech-ness of the recordings. But after listening to a few episodes, I found myself wanting to be in that room and join in the fray.
Real talk on design process and client services
The first two episodes I listened to were #26 Geek Mental Help Week, and #7 Style Guides with Susan Robertson. This was with about a 2 or 3 month span between and in the past few weeks, I've tried to catch up on the past episodes, and felt it was finally time to write a review.
I work as a web designer, and listen to a lot of different podcasts. As far as web design podcasts go, this one is unique: The setting is more intimate than most web industry shows, with the two hosts and occasional guest actually recording in the same room. The show is centered around a freewheelin' conversation around a loosely defined topic, and is unusually geographically-centric at times, with the two hosts based in Portland, Oregon.
I have listened thru the first 22 episodes and enjoyed hearing the hosts figure out their format and voice. The hosts are opinionated, without being ranty, and approach the web from two unique perspectives: Joel is a writer and Kristin is a developer.
If you're new to the show, I recommend starting with Episodes 13, 14 and 15. The hosts and their guests get refreshingly honest and engage in a few debates about content marketing and SEO as well as poking fun at the trajectory, ethics and methods of so-called thought-leadership.
Fuel For Your Inner Web Geek
I found out about this Podcast as a fellow Portlander and web industry professional. If you are in the online service industry, I highly recommend tuning in from your desk for some workday inspiration and laughs. Great insight and chat around the issues we all face when creating online products.