If you’re looking for a way to squeeze in a little more learning to your day, podcasts are the way to go. Podcasts are basically radio broadcasts that can be listened to at any time, delivered directly to you at your computer or other listening device (iPod, smartphone, etc.). People use podcasts to learn languages, get relationship advice, and yes, there are plenty of great podcasts out there for developers. In this article, we’re going to look at seven podcasts that deliver a consistently high-quality listening experience, publish on a (fairly) regular basis, and give developers something good to listen to; whether that be the latest doings in HTML5, Ultrabook™ hardware reviews, or insider chitchat.
Software Engineering Radio
Software Engineering Radio, “the podcast for professional software developers”, is meant to be a more evergreen, educational resource rather than timely newscasting. Episodes focus around interviews with noted experts in the software engineering ecosystem or focus on topics ranging from dynamic languages to .NET to cloud services. You’ll want to carve out some time in your day for this one.
Stack Overflow podcasts are published about once a month, in a roundtable talk show style that is very entertaining. They take questions from their audience every once in a while, and talk a lot about everything that is going on at Stack Overflow, an extremely popular online destination for coders.
Scott Hanselman works at Microsoft on the Web Platform team and hosts the Hanselminutes Podcast, a podcast that promises not to “waste your time”. No worries there as far as time-wasting; the topics here are absolutely fascinating, ranging from accessibility for people with special needs working in tech to learning the ins and outs of Git. You’ll want to check out his archives; these are great for not only software developers, but for anyone who wants to get a handle on what’s going on in tech.
FLOSS Weekly, part of the TWiT stable of tech podcasts, is focused squarely on Open Source and Free Software. Recent topics include looks at Haskell web frameworks, a Python networking library, and a free service for processing and distributing audio.
This Developer’s Life
This Developer’s Life focuses on coding, sure, but it looks at the bigger picture as well as it relates to developers. Topics like drama (where does drama come from? How do we react to it?), learning (“how capable are you of learning something completely new, and retaining what you already know? Scott and Rob talk to two developers this week who flex their ability to learn to both have fun and succeed at their career”), and play (“what do you do when you’re not staring at your computer screen?”). Many guests are part of the show, including senior project managers at major software companies, budding entrepreneurs, and prestigious coders who are thought leaders in the industry.
Herding Code is a weekly podcast that really dives into the meat and potatoes of coding. Lots of guests and lots of roundtable talk make for an extremely involved, entertaining podcast. Recent topics include dynamic Web development, developing for Windows*8, and .NET.
This Week On Channel 9
This Week On Channel 9 is a weekly podcast straight from Microsoft that talks about current developments that might be of interest to the coding community. They’ve been around for more than five years now, and every week’s podcast is around 20 minutes, perfect for getting your weekly dose of what’s happening in the development world. Recent topics include push notifications, emulator skin switchers, and the top programming languages.
There are many more developer-focused podcasts out there that for whatever reason have stopped broadcasting; they still offer a ton of great archived content. These include:
- The Changelog: Focused on open source
- 37signals Podcast: Variety of topics, including questions posted by readers, hiring and applying for jobs, and programming roundtable discussions
- The Pragmatic Bookshelf: Interviews with the authors of current books on programming languages and other technologies
- Deep Fried Bytes: Discussed a wide range of topics from big data to principles of good design.
- The Dev Show: Focused on the latest topics in the software development community, including specific talk about languages.
Share your favorites
Do you have a favorite podcast focused on topics relevant to software developers? Share the URL in the comments below, and tell us why we need to give it a listen.