By Jonathan Robertson
Jun 5, 2017
I don’t have a particularly long commute to work each day, but I try to fill it with interesting information related to technology news, security and developer tips. I’ve listened to a variety of podcasts on these topics over the years, but a few have really stood out to me personally and I’d like to share them with you. If any of these shows sound at all interesting, I’d highly encourage you to check them out as soon as possible.
Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte have discussed security news and issues for around two hours every Tuesday since August of 2005.
During weeks where security news is a little slow, they fill the gaps by answering questions that listeners have recently submitted.
As new security issues arise, Gibson typically explains what they are, how they work (if possible), why/if they matter and if there are any strategies we can use to protect ourselves.
These kinds of issues have occasionally been blown out of proportion in the news, social media, etc., which is usually due to a misunderstanding of the technology underlying that issue. In those situations, Security Now has taken the opportunity to explain how the technology actually works and how or why the issue isn’t quite as big of a deal as people have suggested.
It may not sound all that sexy, but Gibson and Laporte do an exceptional job of peeling away the complexity of security news and making it easier to consume.
Sean Washington and Paul Straw host a show about their lives as web developers including what they like, what they’re learning and how they survive.
This show was suggested to me by our product manager at Jungle Disk, Wes Dunn. He explained that it helped him develop a more complete perspective of what developers are thinking and going through when they have a project to tackle.
I started listening to Does Not Compute a few months after becoming a developer and have found their content to be insightful and refreshing.
Web development can sometimes be overwhelming. New ideas and frameworks are circulated regularly and a kind of pressure can develop in the community to use the ‘latest and greatest.’ The hosts are aware of this and encourage listeners to not get caught up in feeling the need to learn everything all at once. Developers sometimes just need to release a product and learning something completely new isn’t always the right answer.
Overall, Washington and Straw are fun and encouraging to listen to. They have interests, pet projects and sometimes go on tangents about games they’re into or missed sleep they wish they could get back. In a meaningful and enjoyable way, I think, this show is surprisingly human.
Jonathan Cutrell gives guidance on how to grow and deliver value as a developer in the workplace.
The episodes are short and typically fit within the length of a tea break (hence the name: Developer Tea).
Cutrell coaches his listeners on how to become better developers and employees. His episodes are full of experience and often very informative. He pulls on past experiences and lessons learned through years of reflection to support his suggestions and guidance. There are a variety of formats used in this show including general software development tips, interviews with industry professionals, guidance to career growth and even answers to listener questions.
Cutrell’s replies to tough listener questions have regularly impressed me with their depth and consideration. I think this is a great learning resource for understanding what it really means to be a software developer in the context of the company you’re working for.