Current Podcast Lineup (July 2022)
I'll cut straight to the chase with my current lineup for those looking for new shows. If you're interested in some more details about the podcasts individually continue reading the sections below.
- The Changelog
- Merge Conflict
- .NET Rocks
- Software Unscripted
At this point, you may be wondering why I listen to SO MANY different podcasts. My answer to that is that I truly enjoy every one of them. I've shuffled podcasts in and out of my regular rotation for several years and my number one criteria for being included is whether or not I enjoy the episodes and that they keep me engaged.
If you're curious as to how I approach listening or why I find listening to software development podcasts useful, check out this post that I wrote last year, which also includes the podcasts that I was listening to at that time. TLDR; I have trained my ear to be able to listen effectively at 2x playback speed and I listen as much as possible at times when my mind doesn't need to be focused on a single thing. For example, I listen to podcasts while working out, cleaning the house, doing yard work, and other tasks that allow me to focus my mind on something other than the task at hand.
The Changelog podcast's headline is "Conversations with the hackers, leaders, and innovators of the software world" and they deliver on that headline in every episode. Interestingly enough The Changelog also has a family of podcasts and a few of which we'll be going over later. The Changelog is hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo. They are both great hosts who have the ability to ask thought-provoking questions that lead to interesting conversations with each guest. Every episode involves at least one guest and usually one to two hours of great content.
The Changelog is released on a weekly cadence which makes it very consumable. I never feel overloaded or get behind on their episodes. One of my favorite aspects of The Changelog podcast is that they do a great job of striking the balance between cutting edge and relevant content. Typically you see guests that are relevant for one reason or another within a one to three month window. For example, there was a recent episode about the new desktop programming framework Tauri. While Tauri is relatively new, it isn't so fresh that I had never heard of it. In my opinion, this makes the episodes a little more interesting.
My favorite episode from 2022 is definitely "Practical ways to solve hard problems" with guest Frank Krueger (who turns out to be a host in another podcast we'll talk about later). If you have any interest in checking out I would recommend heading over to their site or browsing your podcast player of choice. I'm sure they'll have something that sparks your interest (if software podcasts are your thing).
Before ending this section on The Changelog I'd like to plug their other podcasts that I also listen to and highly recommend. I find each of these more narrowly focused podcasts to share the great production quality and content that The Changelog delivers.
CoRecursive is a software podcast hosted by Adam Gordon Bell. If I had to describe CoRecursive to a stranger I would go with "It's like 'This American Life', except for software nerds". Officially CoRecursive is deemed as a podcast that goes into "the stories behind the code", which can lead to some intriguing episodes. Often times the stories that go into the building of software can be more interesting than the software itself. What kind of challenges did a developer or team have to overcome? Why did the product almost never launch? How did an accidental side project turn into a timeless tool that impacts millions of people? These are the kinds of questions that get answered in CoRecursive and often times they are truly fascinating.
CoRecursive episodes are published on a monthly basis, which definitely makes it one of the more anticipated podcasts in my lineup. I always try to listen to the latest CoRecursive as soon as I can after it's released. Adam does a great job at really making the episode a conversation about the process and stories behind the software. There have been some well-known and not so well-known guests and they're all interesting in their own way.
My favorite episode from 2022 is "Serenity OS" with guest Andreas Kling. The story behind both Andreas and Serenity OS is truly inspiring. It's definitely an episode that I'll relisten in the future. If you're interested in what goes on behind the scenes in producing software, CoRecursive is absolutely worth your time.
The Hanselminutes Podcast hosted by Scott Hanselman is a classic podcast geared to really anyone with an interest in technology. With the tag line of "Fresh Tech Talk from Fresh Faces" there is something for everyone. At the time of writing this post, Scott has published 849 episodes of the Hanselminutes podcast with the first dating all the way back to January 2006. The guests that Scott brings on are related to technology, but not all necessarily software development which can make it a nice change of pace from the other podcasts that I've listed here.
The Hanselminutes Podcast is released every week and episodes are typically between 30 and 60 minutes. I've been listening to Hanselminutes for about four years now and truly enjoyed every episode. I think one of the reasons that I have stuck with Scott's podcast for so long is his demeanor as an interviewer. He is calm, asks intelligent questions, and has always done his research prior to the episode.
My favorite episode of 2022 is "Redefining Imposter Syndrome" with guest Maya Bello. I found this episode particularly interesting because I feel that almost everyone suffers from imposter syndrome to some extent, but few acknowledge or discuss it. Maya approaches imposter syndrome in a unique way to turn it from a potential negative to a positive. The Hanselminutes Podcast has been a stalwart in my podcast lineup for years and would highly recommend it to anyone interested.
Merge Conflict is a podcast hosted by James Montemagno and Frank Krueger (mentioned previously in the Changelog section). James and Frank's on-air dynamic is what really makes this podcast enjoyable for me. Although the podcast is titled "Merge Conflict" they rarely have conflicting opinions on topics, but definitely differ in their personalities (at least from what I can tell from listening). James currently works at Microsoft and Frank is a solo developer. Both have an interest and passion for .NET technologies, which makes this podcast relevant for those who are interested in .NET.
Along with regular discussions about the current events happening in the .NET landscape, episode topics also include mobile programming, machine learning, AI, drones, and so much more. Merge Conflict episodes come out weekly and their always top of my list. The episodes typically range from 30 to 60 minutes, which is right in the sweet spot of long enough for deeper content, but not too long where it's easy to lose interest.
My favorite episode of 2022 is "Turning Hacks into Reality" in which James and Frank discuss some of their "holiday hacks" (side projects taken up during the holidays) that have turned into more than just a hack. I found this episode especially interesting because I have a few side projects that I've either abandoned or continued on longer than what they're worth. It's always fun to hear thoughts from others who share the same interests as ourselves. If any of this sounds interesting, I highly recommend giving Merge Conflict a shot.
.NET Rocks has been in my podcast lineup longer than any other podcast. I started listening in 2017 and have been a consistent subscriber since. The show is hosted by Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin, both very experienced developers. The show typically includes a guest who is involved in the .NET development ecosystem. They have produced over 1800 episodes and are most likely the most popular podcast for .NET developers.
The show releases episodes on a weekly basis and they are usually about 60 minutes in length. Due to their reputation and popularity, Carl and Richard are able to pull in some pretty impressive guests who are influential in the .NET space like Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Hunter, Kathleen Dollard, Mads Torgerson, and many more. The content is always very relevant and produced very well. For podcast listeners that also have an interest in .NET, this one is a must listen in my opinion.
My favorite episode from 2022 so far has been "Pivoting your Startup" with Phil Haack. That episode was particularly interesting because Phil talked pretty openly about shifting focus from ChatOps for deployments to customer support built on tools like Slack. It's interesting to hear how people approach those decisions and ultimately make them. In the case of a startup, those decisions could make or break the company's future.
Software Unscripted is a relatively new podcast, which means it's also new to my regular lineup. Each episode is hosted by Richard Feldman and includes a guest. So far most of the episodes have been related to functional programming, which I find pretty interesting. While I don't use functional programming day to day, I find the paradigms and concepts to be valuable to be aware of.
Software Unscripted is released weekly with episode length typically in the 45 to 60-minute range. I have really enjoyed the conversational aspect of the podcast in all of the episodes that I've listened to so far. Richard does a great job of conducting the podcast in a way that feels like a discussion instead of an interview. I find this style to be pretty refreshing.
My favorite episode of 2022 has been "Dark Lang" with Paul Biggar. If you've never heard of Dark Lang you should definitely check it out. Paul's approach to creating an innovative programming language is quite unique. I highly recommend checking out both the podcast and Dark lang.
Podcasts have truly changed the way that I learn about new and exciting topics in the software world. If you have any recommendations for podcasts I should give a listen, definitely let me know on Twitter.