Congratulations, Shop Talk Show

February 14, 2024

Shop Talk Show, a weekly podcast with Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert, just recently hit a big milestone. They released Show #600 at the end of January. I listened to the episode on Saturday while driving to Georgia to pick up my daughter from a friend’s house. In this episode, they pondered, with the help of some friends, “Where will the Web be 12 years from now?”

I started listening to the podcast early on. I had recorded it as a significant event in my web history timeline. I think I started with episode 1 with Jonathan Snook. I mentioned the podcast in a post, Getting Sass(y) from the end of May 2012. I guess the show’s mantra was in its earliest stages as I mentioned that Chris was saying “Just build something!”

“Just build website” mantra recorded at Front End Design Conference in 2013

I was a pretty regular listener for the first two years. But then I stopped commuting to work. And I found it a challenge to continue listening to podcasts without that commute.

I believe that I have mentioned this before but I don’t do well trying to listen to podcasts when I am sitting at my desk or just around my house. I get distracted and want to do other things. I have listened to a few while working and I find myself frustrated afterwards. I feel like I missed so much of the conversation because my attention was divided.

I had gotten into a habit of listening to podcasts on my iPod on my morning and evening commute as early as 2005 when I got my first iPod. Maybe my brain is just trained best to listen to them when I am driving.

So one of the only things I miss about commuting to work is regularly listening to the Shop Talk Show. I have continued to listen to it over the years. It is the first podcast I reach for when I take a road trip. Sometimes I will plan to listen to one while driving around town because I am very interested in the guest. There are certain returning guests that I want to hear from again.

I always enjoying returning to the podcast and hearing the familiar voices of Chris and Dave. It has been nice to have that constant in my life that I could move in and out of.

I listened to many of them while driving back and forth between Chattanooga and Nashville after my daughter started going to school there in 2018. I have also listened to episodes along the same interstate when I visited my son at Murray State. I also listened regularly a couple of years ago when I would drop off or pick up my son or daughter at musical practice about 30 minutes away.

I often will remember specific instances of shows when I am driving those routes. I thought about listening to the show after I dropped my daughter off at ballet. I used to drive the same road home on my commute in Chattanooga. I think about listening to Nicolas Steenhout talk about accessibility when I drive between the Monteagle plateau and Chattanooga on I-24. I think about Jen Simmons talking about layout when I descend from the plateau headed to Nashville.

Dave Rupert recently posted “I used to listen to your podcast.” He makes some really good points about podcasts being important at different seasons of your life and recognizing life changes like the fact that I no longer commute and have trouble finding time to listen.

Shop Talk Show has played an important role in my life. It made me feel connected to a larger community of Web practitioners. It was encouraging to hear people share how they would solve a problem and it was similar to how I do it. Or share a similar viewpoint. Or share a challenging viewpoint that made me rethink something that helped make me a better developer.

Just recently, I had listened to an episode about HTML Web components. I had been reading some articles about the subject and even wrote a post about the subject after listening to the show. I loved being able to hear Chris and Dave talk about them and explore the subject in a way that piqued my interest even more. The conversational view of talking about it engaged my mind and helped me to understand several things I had been confused about the subject before.

I have had the privilege and the pleasure of meeting both Chris and Dave in real life. I attended the first conference that Chris spoke at, the Front End Design Conference in St. Peterburg. I attended the conference because he had promoted it. I loved that conference and attended it four years before moving away from Florida. I saw Chris at the conference several times after the first meeting. I also got to hang out with him for a bit at the Converge Florida conference in 2012. We have also had conversations over email and social media through the years.

I got hang out with Dave one year at the Front End Design Conference at a social gathering at the World of Beer the night before the conference. I had a lot of fun talking shop and other things with Dave. He is very much the personable guy that comes through in the podcast.

So the personal connection has been something I have enjoyed over the years listening to both of them as they share their wisdom, opinions, and fun. It is a sound effects podcast BTW.

I beleive the episode that had the most impact upon me was episode 367 with Nicolas Steenhout and Christopher Schmitt. That episode was one of the key moments in my accessibility journey. Nicolas talked about the need for accessibility champions, not necessarily accessibility experts.

I knew I would never be an expert in this area. But I could be a champion and he encouraged me that being a champion could make a big difference. I had the privilege of sharing with him what a difference that had made in my life recently. I was glad that I was able to encourage him on a challenging day.

I just want to say congratulations, Chris and Dave. Thank you so much for all your hard work and inspiration over the past 12 years. Your podcast has been incredibly meaningful to me. I am so grateful to you for that.

Some of my favorite or memorable episodes

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