This week we’re sharing the most popular episode of Go Time from last year — Go Time #196. We believe this episode was the most popular because it’s all about building actually maintainable software and what goes into that. Kris Brandow is joined by Johnny Boursiquot, Ian Lopshire, and Sam Boyer. There’s lots of hot takes, disagreements, and unpopular opinions.

This is part two of a three part mini-series led by Kris on maintenance. Make sure you check out Go Time #195 and Go Time #202 to continue the series.

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  • InfluxData – All of the open source software InfluxData creates is either MIT-licensed or Apache2-licensed. These are very permissive licenses. But why are they all for permissive licenses? Paul Dix shares his thoughts on the spirit of open source and why freedom, evolution, and impact drive them to license InfluxData’s open source software as permissively possible. Learn more at
  • Square – Develop on the platform that sellers trust. There is a massive opportunity for developers to support Square sellers by building apps for today’s business needs. Learn more at to dive into the docs, APIs, SDKs and to create your Square Developer account — tell them Changelog sent you.
  • Honeycomb – Guess less, know more. When production is running slow, it’s hard to know where problems originate: is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? With Honeycomb you get a fast, unified, and clear understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. Join the swarm and try Honeycomb free today at
  • Retool – The low-code platform for developers to build internal tools — Some of the best teams out there trust Retool…Brex, Coinbase, Plaid, Doordash, LegalGenius, Amazon, Allbirds, Peloton, and so many more – the developers at these teams trust Retool as the platform to build their internal tools. Try it free at


Show Notes:

Something missing or broken? PRs welcome!


(00:00) - Intro
(01:15) - Sponsor: InfluxData
(03:09) - Welcome to Go Time!
(05:16) - Let's talk about maintenance
(07:46) - Johnny brings the heat
(10:31) - What does 'Maintainable' mean?
(14:25) - What does 'Un-maintainable' mean?
(17:33) - Code that's untestable
(20:55) - How does code become unmaintainable?
(23:33) - Sponsor: Square
(24:49) - Performant is a made up word
(27:42) - Grafana's 'Gardening Week'
(29:34) - 1000 paper cuts
(30:14) - Is Gardening Week enough?
(33:37) - Kris compares software development to the publishing industry
(35:08) - Ian disagrees with Kris
(36:23) - Kris says maintainence shouldn't be a 'rotation'
(37:15) - But everyone should be aware and familar with the need to maintain code
(37:55) - Maintainence engineering needs to be raised to a higher level
(39:44) - Sponsor: Honeycomb
(41:05) - Sponsor: Retool
(42:14) - Maintainable code vs good code
(45:39) - The nauance of good vs maintainable
(49:51) - Scientifically good code
(55:55) - Summarizing the science of good code
(57:30) - What makes Go good for writting maintainable software?
(1:02:07) - Unpopular opinions!!
(1:11:23) - Closing out the show
(1:12:50) - Outro