I listen to a lot of podcasts. Any time I can find to listen to them I do – when I’m cooking, eating, washing up, walking to work, brushing my teeth, going shopping, running …
It’s not always easy to find the best podcasts, so I thought it would be helpful to list them here, along with a quick description, and some selected episodes where appropriate.
This list is in rough order of preference. I’m not saying the ones at the top are objectively better; just that I enjoy them more.
One of my favourite podcasts. Coté and Charles Lowell just chatting, usually about software, but whatever else they fancy as well. Always funny, often enlightening.
- #142: The Barbed Wire on the Nuts
- #166: Happy birthday Nick Morgan! – my girlfriend emailed Coté and asked them to wish me happy birthday, so they recorded an episode!
Merlin Mann (of 43 folders and Inbox Zero) and Dan Benjamin (of the Ruby world) chatting about creating, productivity, Buddhism and life. Hilarious and amazing.
- #8: Little Velvet Hands
- #10: At Last the ‘Inspiration’ Show
- #12: Chewie’s Medal is Not Canonical
- #20: Muscle of Failure
An excellent podcast, unlike any other I listen to. Every episode follows a theme, with storytelling interviews around that theme, backed by good music. Can’t get enough of it.
- 1.0.5: Homerun
- 1.0.6: Abstraction – this one’s a real gem, discussing just how many layers of abstraction you need to know about. Very relevant to my post on magic.
- 1.0.7: Audacity
- 1.1.2: Drive
This is a fairly new Ruby discussion podcast. It features all your favourite celebrity Ruby developers, like James Edward Gray II, Aaron Patterson, Peter Cooper, Avdi Grimm, Gregory Brown and more. It’s fascinating to hear these at-the-top-of-their-game developers talking about why they do things in a certain way. Each episode is a discussion around a specific topic.
- Databases, SQL, & NoSQL
- Conferences and User Groups
- Debugging in Ruby – apparently even top Ruby developers debug using
puts. That’s good to know :)
- What Makes Beautiful Code
“The Podcast for Professional Software Developers”. An excellent, quite formal podcast about software engineering topics. It has a bit of a Java, patterns and model-driven architecture bias, but it’s second-to-none in terms of serious software engineering/development content. Most of the interviewers/editors are German, so it’s got a much more ‘European’ view on things (you may not think there’s any difference, but I think there is).
- #140: Newspeak and Pluggable Types with Gilad Bracha
- #141: Second Life and Mono with Jim Purbrick
- #148: Software Archaeology with Dave Thomas
- #150: Software Craftsmanship with Bob Martin
- #154: Ola Bini on Ioke
- #158: Rich Hickey on Clojure
- #167: The History of JUnit and the Future of Testing with Kent Beck – it was nice to hear on this episode that even Kent Beck doesn’t test drive when he’s doing highly exploratory work.
This is usually interviews with Prag Prog authors, so can often come across a bit like a sales pitch, but occasionally there’s a real gem.
- #21: Keir Thomas on Ubuntu Kung Fu
- #32: Robert Martin interview – that’s Uncle Bob to you.
- #36: Ward Cunningham Interview
- JS Type Inference and Static Analysis
- The Harmony Of My Dreams
- Closure Versus Prototypal Pattern Deathmatch
Fairly informal chats mostly about game development/general creative coding, with the odd interview thrown in.
- #1: Web games, HTML5 and Jangaroo
- #5: Game Design and Conference Etiquette with Ryan Henson Creighton
- #7: openFrameworks and Open Source with Pete Hellicar and Joel Gethin Lewis
- #8: Rome, Chrome and Angry Birds
I try to listen to every IT Conversations podcast, but there are a lot of them. It’s always interesting stuff, and it covers a wide range of topics in the tech world, from programming to biotech to robotics, etc. IT Conversations is actually a collection of other podcasts and conference recordings.
- Where 2.0 Conference: Michael Arrington and Tim O’Reilly – Location and Points of Control
- Web 2.0 Conference: Robin Li – Chinese Web Search Entrepreneurship – from the founder of Baidu.
- Technometria: Pete Kruckenberg – Apache/Perl vs. node.js
- Tech Nation: Mark Stevenson – What’s Next?
Coté from Drunk and Retired, with his industry analyst hat on, interviewing programming people.
- #14: Code Reviewing and Tooling the RIA world with Chris Gross
- #15: What’s in your stack with Serge Knystautas, PrestoSports
- #16: Applets to Ajax to Apps, with Stu Stern of Gorilla Logic
- #17: Search as middle-ware at att.com, with Shantanu Deo
Three UK-based web developers talking about web development issues. It’s called ExplicitWeb because it has an Explicit rating on iTunes – be warned.
- #1.2: HTML5 Special – An introduction to HTML 5 and how to start using it; HTML5 Canvas – the future of graphics on the internet; HTML5 vs Flash – Fight!
- #1.6: Future of Web Design, Psycho-babble for the Soul, and Arduino – Future of Web Design: A review; Psycho-babble for the soul: understanding the service provider – client relationship; Arduino: Making the Web Physical
- #2.1: Staying ahead of the game
- #2.2: Chris Spooner, Jack Osborne, and Gavin Strange
A podcast about web development from Michael Kimsal. Partly an interview show with various web developers, partly Michael just talking about stuff.
- #81: indieconf, client-side image resizing, moral dilemmas
- #84: Travis Swicegood – the author of Pragmatic Version Control Using Git.
Informal, Java-heavy discussion about software development. Don’t let the Java put you off though – I’ve never written a line of Java, but I still find it interesting.
- #32: Benefit of Dynamic Typing, PS3 Jailbreak, Verizon iPhone
- #33: Java is a Dead End from Stockholm’s Jfokus Conference
- #34: Interview with DuckDuckGo’s Gabriel Weinberg
- #36: Software Engineer vs Gardener and are .NET programmers really Inferior?
Dan Benjamin interviewing various trendy tech people.
- #17: Alex Payne – leaving Twitter to start BankSimple.
- #26: MC Frontalot
- #42: Anders Hejdenberg – doing what you love.
- #43: Mike Monteiro
- #44: Jesse Jacobs – a brilliant story about leaving the SF tech scene to start a fine tea lounge.
- #50: Ze Frank
- #54: Ethan Marcotte
“Open Source moves fast. Keep up.” New and cool stuff in open source.
The Guardian’s tech podcast, presented by Aleks Krotoski. A wide-ranging look at the tech industry.
There’s a lot here, but I can just about keep up. I never listen to podcasts when I’m not doing something else, so I don’t see it as a waste of time. In fact, I almost see it as a waste of time when I’m doing something mindless (like washing up, running etc.) and I’m not listening to podcasts. Maybe that’s a bit obsessive, but I think it’s a great way of learning masses of new stuff for free. Anyway, I hope you find something interesting in here. Enjoy!