There’s certainly no shortage of podcasts aimed at developers, but which are worth your time?
Here’s my take on some of the best regular shows and video series aimed at developers, whether you’re just learning to write code or are a full-time programmer.
Programming Throwdown offers a general introduction to a wide range of programming-related topics in an interesting and engaging manner. Early episodes focus on providing an overview of programming languages from high-level (Lua scripting) to low (Assembly). There are explorations of broader programming-related concepts, such as Design Patterns and Unit Testing, as well as examinations of general-interest tech topics, like answering ‘What is a field programmable gate array?’. The banter between the two hosts is bright and breezy, and each show includes a discussion of recent development-related news and the hosts’ recommendations for tools and books. The schedule varies, with new shows released somewhere between once a month and every three months.
This long-running weekly show is hosted by Scott Hanselman, who works for the web platform team at Microsoft. Scott classifies himself as a .NET person who dabbles in Ruby, but the show offers an overview of a wide range of development technologies and approaches. The series also regularly touches on general interest technology-related topics, with recent examples including an interview with a doctor who’s working on creating a bionic pancreas, and a discussion of issues faced by minority groups in the technology industry.
Software Engineering Radio
Another well-established show, Software Engineering Radio is aimed at professional software developers. Each show aims to provide a deep dive into a specific topic, and frequently offers interviews with a subject-matter expert from the software-engineering world. The podcast is designed to be a lasting educational resource on the topics covered, which range from specific languages and software frameworks to system architectures and development approaches. It’s updated every two to four weeks.
A podcast featuring interviews with some of the most interesting people in the open source community about the projects they’re working on. FLOSS Weekly covers both well-known efforts, such as The Beagleboard Foundation and the Wireshark network analyser, to smaller initiatives you’ve probably never heard of.
This Developer’s Life
A show that delves into the issues confronting developers in their daily lives. Based on the podcast This American Life, the first-hand experiences relayed by programmers touch on many aspects of human life – motivation, dealing with pressure, how to disconnect and more. Updated periodically.
A show covering a broad range of .NET-related topics in considerable technical depth, with very detailed show notes breaking down the discussion point-by-point. Updated roughly every two to three weeks.
A long-running Java podcast that mixes Java platform news, interviews and opinions – often engaging in detailed discussions of code – with the odd bit of off-topic and interesting banter. Each episode comes with an extensive collection of links in the show notes for further reading on the topics discussed.
Stanford Engineering Everywhere
This isn’t a podcast but a series of lectures posted by Stanford University aimed at teaching the basics of computer science.
The Introduction to Computer Science courses provide a grounding in the topic for those with no knowledge of the subject, and do so in an engaging and accessible manner.
The series walks the viewer through basic data structures and common programming language statements through to discussions of how data is held in memory and the difference between imperative and object-oriented programming paradigms.
Each course is made up of 27 lectures lasting about 40 to 50 minutes each – so even though no new lectures are being put up right now, there’s enough content to keep you busy for a while.
Each video lecture is provided alongside transcripts of the lectures, handouts and assignments.
Again, this isn’t a podcast, but anyone interested in swotting up on web development could do a lot worse than checking out the phpacademy YouTube channel.
In spite of the name, the channel covers far more than PHP, including most aspects of web development and features tutorials on an array of front-end technologies, databases, design patterns and useful tools such as Git.
Each tutorial is usually no longer than a few minutes at most and focuses on teaching you about a specific aspect of a single topic.