Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the Architecture Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Indianapolis .NET Developer Association (IndyNDA). Special thanks to Steve Porter, who is in charge of the group, for allowing me to speak. One of the items came up was the question (asked a couple of different ways) “how do you keep up with new technology?” I answered (in a couple of different ways) that long ago I gave up trying to keep with up all technologies; it is impossible to even keep up with Microsoft .NET technologies, let alone all Microsoft technologies or the greater technology picture.
I did mention that I listened to quite a few podcasts. Given the time I spend in the car and at the gym, it is a great was to keep your pulse on what is new and interesting. I was asked for my list of podcasts that I listen to regularly, so I thought I would list them here for you. One thing to note this is all the podcasts that I subscribe to, not just technology podcasts (I think that it is important to have a diversity of knowledge). Also I will listen to specific episodes of other podcasts, especially when people point out good episodes to me.
Baseball History Podcast – If you follow my writings, you will pick up on the fact that I am a big baseball fan. I am also an avid history buff, so this podcast is a perfect combination of two things that I really enjoy. It is a weekly show by Bob Wright, and this show actually inspired me to start my own podcast. In addition to the great baseball information, Bob occasionally shares information on podcasting.
StackOverflow podcast – StackOverflow.com is a great question and answer programming site put together by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. One of the neatest things about it is that if you listen to the podcast, you get some great insights into how the site was created and if you have listened to the podcast from the very beginning (episode 1), then you really have deep intimate knowledge of the site. I have always wanted to create a “from scratch” startup company like Joel and Jeff are doing (although Joel still has his day job).
Diggnation – This is a weekly look at some of the top stories from the site digg.com that is co-hosted by the founder of digg. The show is not just about technology, but many of the stories that you see on digg are technology related, so you get quite a bit of what is new by listening to the show. The show is quit hilarious.
I, Cringley – This podcast is actually the spoken word edition of the blog of Robert X. Cringley, the former technology columnist for PBS. He left PBS in December of 2008 to run a startup company and moved his column to his own site. Because he was a technology columnist for PBS for many years (and with InfoWorld prior to that), most of his columns are technology related although he will get into the current affairs quite a bit (economy, stimulus plans, housing market, etc).
NPR Story of the Day – This is a daily show from National Public Radio in the United States. They cover one story in the podcast each day and the length of the story varies widely from ~3 minutes to full feature episodes that can last closer to 20 minutes. Sometimes it is stories that you will see on other new channels, but sometimes it is a story that you would not have heard somewhere else.
Security Now – This show is part of the TWIT network of shows (run by Leo Laporte). It is a weekly look at Security related issues with Steve Gibson, an independent software developer. They cover security news, but they spend a lot of time talking about deep security topics like explaining how SSL works.
Onion Radio News – This show is purely for fun. The Onion is a satirical newspaper (and website) and this is their audio version. They have a ~1 minute newscast everyday that is a total joke (don’t confuse it with a real news story), and usually it is quite funny.
Thirsty Developer – This is a shameless plug for the podcast that I co-host with Dave Bost. But I do subscribe to the show (mainly to QA the RSS feed, because I listen to the show while editing it), so it is a valid part of the list. Every week we interview a real world developer, designer or architect and talk about something they have done with a technology. We will interview “big name” guests on occasion, but we don’t limit ourselves to “conference circuit” of speakers that you see on every other podcast; we like to talk to the normal folks. As a result the show may not be as polished at times, but I think that is part of the charm. Recording and producing the show is the most fun I have in my job (although it is not an official part of my job at Microsoft).
Windows Weekly – This is another TWIT network show that is a weekly look at all things Microsoft (so much more than just the Windows Operating System). Most of the shows are just Leo Laporte interviewing Paul Thurrott, but on occasion they will have a guest on the show. Paul Thurrott is a journalist and a blogger (http://www.winsupersite.com/) that is very plugged into Microsoft.
I am sure that I am missing a great podcast (or two). If you have a suggestion for one that I might not have stumbled upon, please drop me a comment below. Thanks!