My Favorite Podcasts 2019
After working at home for a couple of years, it was hard to get back in the car every morning to commute after changing jobs. I'm lucky that it isn't that far, but it still felt like a monumental waste of time to be stuck in traffic. Podcasts have redeemed my commute, helping me learn some things as I drive. These are the Podcasts that I currently subscribe to, alphabetically, in either technical or non-technical categories.
Scott Hanselman is a veteran podcaster, and a great interviewer. He makes a deliberate effort to have guests that are in demographics less well represented in the tech community. Most of the episodes are programming related, but there are some that are just things Scott and his techie audience are interested in, and some of my favorites have been when he invites his "non-technical spouse" on to talk about life.
This Python podcast is hosted by Tobias Macey and covers Python projects and Python community members doing interesting things. Many episodes focus on data science, and Tobias even started a separate podcast just on data engineering. As an interviewer, Tobias is not the strongest. Sometimes his questions seem to go on and on, and his vocal tone is a bit flat, but he's a smart guy and often has interesting episodes.
Since this is a Python news podcast, I have my podcast app put this show at the front of the queue as soon as it comes out. It is hosted by Michael Kennedy and Brian Okken, who individually host other podcasts in my list. It is a great way to keep up on news in the Python community and hear about interesting articles that have been published.
Surprisingly not a Python-specific podcast, SE Radio is produced by the people at the IEEE Software technical magazine. There are a number of hosts, and subjects are wide and varied. These episodes tend to be on the longer-side, often over an hour, and can be a bit hit-or-miss for me. Occasionally a guest will stray into promoting their project/company, but I suppose that's a fair trade-off for getting an expert's time. I like this one for broad exposure to tools and techniques in the industry.
Michael Kennedy is another great interviewer, because his episodes are conversations with his guests. They flow naturally, often have a touch of humor, and are on interesting subjects. Michael is an unapologetic champion of Python, and I share his opinion of the language being the first thing to reach for in so many situations.
I really enjoy writing automated tests, and think a lot about how to do so better, so it is interesting to listen to this podcast to get some different perspectives. I have to say that the early episodes were pretty awkward, but Brian Okken has come miles from where he started. I suspect some of that improvement comes from working closely with Michael Kennedy.
Brett McKay hosts this show aimed at elevating manhood. His typical episode is an interview with an author of a recently published book on a subject fitting his theme, including subjects like leadership, military history, philosophy, finances, fitness, social skills and more.
These "episodes" are normally recordings of talks given at the annual FairMormon Conference, where scholars and other experts defend and give insights into the doctrines and history of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You're in for the long haul when Hardcore History comes up in your queue -- episodes often span multiple hours. The host, Dan Carlin, will be the first to say that he isn't a historian, more a journalist researching the past. Unlike many podcasts, this is pure narration as opposed to interviews, and the results are fascinating.
This is a podcast about big, audacious ideas and the people pursuing them. Topics have included self-driving cars, artificial meat and cryptocurrencies. The subjects are presented for a broad audience, so they give you something to think about as opposed to diving too much into the technical details.
A public radio staple, This American Life tells (usually) true stories on some episode-specific theme. This is one of the few podcasts on my list that my wife is willing to listen to. The stories are usually great. Maybe it is my imagination but it seems like the plight of immigrants in the U.S. has gotten an excessive amount of coverage lately. There are some musical themes that go along with the stories, too. I wonder if the producers have names for them and say, "OK, cue the 'This is kinda crazy' music" or "Time to play the 'pensive' music".