Initially I started listening to podcasts to keep up with news in the software development space, but it has expanded way beyond that. Recently Zeljko has asked for podcast recommendations, so instead of shooting a private email I thought I would share the casts I listen to publicly in a post.
Note it's a long list - but I don't hesitate to skip/delete an episode based on its description or its first few minutes (caveat: some casts by their structure are less exciting in the first few minutes).
I've grouped the list, but of course there are many of them that would fit multiple categories - no taxonomy ever is perfect.
Hope you find something you'll like!
- .NET Rocks was one of the first podcasts I've listened to. As the name suggests, it's focused on the Microsoft development space, but the hosts are critical enough when needed, and many episodes are tech agnostic. Disclaimer: I'm a happy owner of a .NET Rocks mug
- The Tablet Show - the sister show to .NET Rocks, with focus on mobile and tablets. The Microsoft focus doesn't come through that heavily (though it's there)
- DevOps Cafe - there are some great interviews on here, though the format (sound quality?) took me some getting used to. It exposes me to topics I'm a total n00b about, whether its security or networking.
Hanselminutes - Scott started this with the tagline "the podcast that doesn't waste your time". The episodes are limited to around half an hour, and while the topics stay around tech, they also touch on the social/human side, such as
- Scott interviewing his wife about how it is to live with a geek
- interviews with developers from publicly underrepresented developer groups (women, world class climbers, you name it :)
Ruby Rogues - a panel discussion about things Ruby related, but many of the discussions are applicable to other programming languages, or at the very least inspire one to learn how the thing discussed works in the listener's language. Add on top of this they bring up cultural topics that should be discussed in the software development community.
- The Java Posse - it used to be a mix of panel discussion of java/scala programmers, and recordings of sessions from the yearly open spaces conferences of the same name, but lately it's just the conference stuff. So great for learning, but I miss the chat shows.
- The Ship Show - build and release engineering, devops, and everything else in between. Panel discussions, news and views, listener questions, as well as interviews. It definitely fills a niche.
- ThinkRelevance/CogniCast - anything and everything related to Clojure or Datomic, produced professionally by the company where Rich Hickey works. Sometimes it's too Clojure heavy for me (though you might find that a good thing), but it has blown my mind a few times.
- A Brief History of Mathematics - a former BBC Radio4 programme archived in podcast form. Short episodes on the various influential people in mathematics. I'm planning to re-listen to this series soon.
- More or Less - Statistical CSI :) Produced by (among others) Tim Harford, this show takes a look at public statistical claims from any aspect of life, and go after digging up sources for these claims as well as verifying them and the methodology used. Listener topic suggestions are encouraged!
- NPR Planet Money - Awesome economics podcast, with short and entertaining episodes. They have provided the best economics coverage of the EU debt crisis for laymen like me.
- Analysis - another BBC Radio 4 programme. Each episode presents one person's research and conclusion/opinion of a given topic. Expect lot of source interviews.
- Four Thought - personal speeches about personal experiences, delivered to a live audience, followed by a few questions and answers. It keeps reminding me how little I know about the world and people.
- Moral Maze - a panel hearing out witnesses on moral questions, arguing with the witnesses and with themselves, exploring different these difficult topics, which usually don't have clearcut answers. Great topics, great points, and some heated debate.
- Intelligence Squared - recording of live, superbly moderated debates, published as podcasts. The structure (uninterrupted opening statements, Q & A, uninterrupted closing statements, voting) is wonderful, and the moderator is on top of his game. The topics are timely and interesting, the debaters are amazingly authentic, and the voting results do show that people can change their minds.
- On Being with Krista Tippett - exploring open and tolerant faith. Whether by interviewing atheists, the translator of the Dalai Lama, a marine biologist, civil right movement participants, or marketing guru Seth Godin. Superb audio quality and Krista does have a voice which in itself makes it worth listening to any episode - not to mention the positive thinking that radiates from the talks.
- Thinking Allowed - short BBC Radio4 programme reporting on recent papers or books in the field of sociology on various subjects.
- The Outdoors Station - an irregular podcast. I tend to skip the product episodes, and prefer the interview ones. While irregular, the archive does hold quite a few gems - if you are into outdoor stories.
- Startups for the Rest Of Us - if you ever wanted to understand how small software business owners and marketers think, and need an occasional reminder that we as software people are there to deliver solutions, not to write software, it's a great one. On top of this, there is a bunch of practical advice if you are trying yourself out in internet marketing. And you can follow Mike and Rob as they develop their respective businesses
- techzing - while lately it has become more of a weekly recorded talk of two friends, which presents new listeners with a steep learning curve during the first few episodes, in the past they had wonderful interviews - and even now their hobbies are exciting and inspiring enough to listen to (have you ever considered coaching your children's school's math team? They actually do that).
- Career tools, Manager Tools - I would say this is mandatory listening to anyone who wants to make progress in an enterprise environment. Especially if you want to become an executive. Their advice is quite prescriptive (they are ex-military after all), but they present their reasoning in (sometimes too) much detail.
- Kalzumeus Software - the once-in-a-rare-while podcast of Patrick McKenzie (a.k.a.: patio11). There is everything from living in Japan to superb advice to furthering your career, especially if you are a freelancer. Since there aren't too many episodes, you can go back and listen to all of them!
These casts I don't regularly listen to anymore, but have them bookmarked in case I would want to dive deeper in the topics they address, for the episodes I've listened to convinced me of its quality.
- Being the Worst - for event sourcing and Domain Driven Design
- Marketing for Founders - Feels like marketing 10x-20x lectures. Not super exciting to listen to if you don't do this, but probably superb to pick up the basic ideas fast.
And the Best Podcasts Theme Music Award Goes To...
Hard to tell. Obviously, the Cognicast has the advantage that guests choose their own intro and exit music... So I have to disqualify it :) From the rest, I can narrow it down to the Ruby Rogues and The Ship Show, but not any further...