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Podcasts I listen to

August 13th, 2011 7 comments

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.

Drunk and Retired

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.

Selected episodes

Back to Work

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.

Selected episodes

This Developer’s Life

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.

Selected episodes

Ruby Rogues

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.

Selected episodes

Software Engineering Radio

“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).

Selected episodes

The Pragmatic Podcast

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.

Selected episodes

A Minute With Brendan

Brendan Eich, JavaScript’s Daddy, talking about the present and future of JavaScript. Hear about JavaScript from the horse’s mouth.

Selected episodes

The Creative Coding Podcast

Fairly informal chats mostly about game development/general creative coding, with the odd interview thrown in.

Selected episodes

IT Conversations

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.

Selected episodes

Make All

Coté from Drunk and Retired, with his industry analyst hat on, interviewing programming people.

Selected episodes

ExplicitWeb

Three UK-based web developers talking about web development issues. It’s called ExplicitWeb because it has an Explicit rating on iTunes – be warned.

Selected episodes

The JavaScript Show

Jason Seifer and Peter Cooper with a slightly irreverent round-up of JavaScript news.

The Ruby Show

The Ruby equivalent of The JavaScript show.

Web Dev Radio

A podcast about web development from Michael Kimsal. Partly an interview show with various web developers, partly Michael just talking about stuff.

Selected episodes

The Basement Coders

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.

Selected episodes

The Pipeline

Dan Benjamin interviewing various trendy tech people.

Selected episodes

The Changelog

“Open Source moves fast. Keep up.” New and cool stuff in open source.

Tech Weekly

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!

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