Janeway launches podcast to communicate software release updates.

Posted by Posted by Katherine Parker-Hay and Andy Byers on 26 March 2024

The team are excited to announce our new podcast, The Engineering Deck: A Podcast for the Janeway User Community. In each episode, host Dr Katherine Parker-Hay, who works on user experience, will chat with our lead software engineers about the most significant updates to the Janeway codebase. We want the podcast to be a digestible and engaging way to stay up-to-date, and it will allow us to reflect on the impact that our work can have on the users for whom we are building our tech.  

There can be a culture of mystique around coding (it even seems to have its own secret language, with phrases like “t-shirt sizes” to measure workload and “sprints” to measure time) which, (though often adorable!) can exacerbate uncertainty around timeframes and make expectations hard to manage. We want to communicate across this tech and non-tech barrier, and hope that the podcast will make what we’ve been working on more transparent; perhaps it will even create a little sense of occasion, tracking how the platform is incrementally developing and improving.  

Each episode is scheduled in tandem with a new software release, and listeners will hear a run-through of the recent changes to the code, directly from the people who have been tampering with it! Episode 1 covers Janeway 1.5.1 and our Director of Publishing Technology Andy Byers gives an overview of the release before he and senior developer Mauro Sanchez pick their favourite new features and explore why they matter. The pair then look forward, to what’s coming up on the Janeway roadmap.   

The Janeway culture has always been a bit of an unashamed nerd-fest, and we know how to laugh even as we get serious about our mission. When thinking about what makes the Janeway culture distinctive, a quote from anarcho-feminist icon Emma Goldman springs to mind: ‘if I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution’. Janeway has its origins in the experimentation and trust made possible when friends work closely together, and that spirit continues to define the project. However, as we grow and take on more clients across the world, we know that we can’t take that intimacy for granted. Even as our work by necessity becomes more structured, we want to find ways not to forget that we are humans, designing tech for other humans.   

Therefore, each episode will also take you ‘below deck’, to shine a light on what’s been going on in the engine room of Janeway and within our team of human beings. In Episode 0, by way of introduction we hear from our founders about how a speculative weekend of coding in 2017 bought the platform into being. In other episodes you’ll hear why the releases have Star Trek references in their names, our team’s commitments to and plans for accessibility, and from some of our key collaborators who we will welcome as guests.  

Episodes will be hosted on Podbean which means they will be searchable via Spotify and Apple Podcasts (so, if you so wish, you can listen while doing your ironing or unloading the dishwasher). If you are a regular Janeway user, consider adding it to your ‘favourites’ so that you don’t miss the new episodes which also serve as a reminder of our software releases -- we will also provide a link in our Janeway release emails.  

We hope it makes for enjoyable listening. And know that the intro-music is composed by our founder and very own polymath Professor Martin Paul Eve! We hope it gets you bopping and gyrating in your (home) offices.