Interview on Greater than Code

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Mandy, this story is just for you. Don’t put this in the final recording.”

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with four fantastic panelists at Greater than Code with the intention of talking about techtivism—that is, what people like me (and you!) can do with our leverage, as participants in the tech industry, to create a future that we all can live in.

The series focuses on things you can initiate individually. It also focuses on specific skills and strategies you can use to become more effective at enacting your values. Why? Because that’s the part I see missing from most ethics education—they have you read a bunch of books that boil down to “What some white guy several hundred years ago thought about ethics, in the abstract”and they don’t really talk about what to do with what you think.

Anyway, anyway anyway.

I sent a rant to that effect over to Mandy Moore at the podcast Greater than Code and asked if we could talk about it on an episode. And we did!

We also talked about…uh…forensic software analysis, dealing with context loss on software teams, setting up a debugging environment, velociraptors, and the TV show at least 60% of us hate to love—LUCIFER. (I went as Mazikeen for halloween this year. Gosh, I have such a crush).

Actual footage of the direction of our discussion.

There might have also been a story or two in the original recording that I asked Mandy to leave on the cutting room floor. Don’t worry; you won’t completely miss out, because she left plenty of good stuff in here. It was a great conversation, and I hope you enjoy the listen.

Here’s the link to the podcast. I haven’t figured out how to embed it here, and Greater than Code offers you the recording on like 12 different apps anyway, all of which are probably better than sitting at your computer and playing it on my podunk WordPress blog (kidding. I love you WordPress! But you are not an audio player).

The episode outline, for your perusal, with ❤️ from GTC:

03:36 – Chelsea’s Superpower: Software Detective Work

  • Grant-funded Organizations
  • Context Loss
  • Forensic Software Analysis
  • Software (Initially) Never Works ‼️

08:27 – Coding in Investigation Mode

  • Lucifer (TV Series)
  • Setting Up a Debugging Environment (Includes a Velociraptor Example!)

15:05 – Chelsea’s Techtivism Blog Series: Engineers Considering the Actions and Impact of Their Work Systematically

20:20 – The Power of Influence (See Techtivism 2)

  • Patronage: buying from or donating to an organization
  • Patronage Advocacy: convincing others to buy from/donate to an organization
  • Talent: devoting time and energy to an organization
  • Talent Advocacy: convincing others to devote their time and energy to an organization

26:57 – Making a Connection Between Values and Your Work as an Engineer

  • Privilege
  • The Status Quo
  • Incumbency

37:08 – Individual vs Collective Action

”A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

  • Confrontation
  • Avoidance


Amy: The ways people can be both confrontational and avoidant at the same time.

Damien: How what we do impacts larger systems and how we can move entire societies.

Chelsea: The degree to which our fallibility creates the positions we get to occupy and what that means about the grace that we need to have about the fallibility of other people.

Jessica: Chelsea is awesome!

This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit

To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.Support Greater Than Code

And if you’re into this, I’ve cast a few other pods in my day:

CTO Connection, with Peter Bell (about giving and receiving feedback)

Conversations in Software Development, with Borja Sotomayor (also about feedback—a good one to listen to, I’d say, if you listened to the one with Peter Bell and want more)

Tech Jobs, Testing, and Blogging, with Fabian Temp

Leveling Up, Machine Learning, and Inclusion, on Todd Nief’s Podcast about Everything (seriously this podcast makes zero sense, but people still listen because Todd is awesome)

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