Podcasts are GAMECHANGING for learning! 🗣💻🎧

October 19, 2020

  • career
  • other

Originally posted on DEV

Discuss:

  • Do you have any favorite tech or software engineering related podcasts?
  • What do you like about it?

I absolutely LOVE podcasts.

I find myself listening to podcasts whenever I’m grocery shopping, walking, running, or even folding laundry. Unlike books or videos, podcasts offer the convenience of being listened to on-the-go.


Despite listening to podcasts for years, I actually never listened to tech or software engineering related podcasts.

I’m not sure why but I think I might’ve had some preconceived notion that software engineering or coding podcasts would be a bit dry, kind of like listening to a lecture.

However, as I’ve recently discovered, that is absolutely not the case! There’s a HUGE variety of content whether it be related to a specific technology or topic within software engineering or a career question. Wherever you are in your coding journey, you’re bound to find something that’s interesting and insightful to you.

Listening to podcasts have expanded my world of software engineering in a strange way. There are hundreds and thousands of people who code around the world, all with interesting perspectives and ideas which we may not come across in our day to day. Especially for those who are early in their careers, it can be pretty eye-opening and oddly comforting to realize that a lot of the questions we have or the problems we’re trying to solve at work are actually not that unique. Podcasts can be a great way to expand your perspective and gain exposure to the communities and people outside of our everyday.

I had always turned exclusively to books, blogposts, and videos as a learning resource so podcasts have been an absolute game changer!

Outside of serving as a great learning resource, I appreciate that some podcasts have a casualness that make them fun to listen to.

A few of my favorites include…

1. Soft Skills Engineering

Their tagline is: “It takes more than great code to be a great engineer.”

The soft skills side of engineering isn’t something that’s actively taught in school or bootcamps, but it’s actually pretty important! The show covers topics like pay raises, getting promoted, 1 on 1’s with managers, which are all pretty universal topics that are important. To give a general sense, some episode titles include:

  • Declining job offers and being the outside hire
  • Stuck on the ladder and can’t say no
  • Unpaid team lead and banking hours
  • One-on-ones and inter-team power struggles

As a plus, the hosts are pretty entertaining and it can be a light-hearted listen.

2. CodeNewbie

Their tagline is: “The most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code”

Though the name of this show is, “Code Newbie”, you don’t have to be a newbie to enjoy this show! What I really appreciate about this show is the diverse range of guests and topics. Each episode features a different guest who is pretty passionate about a certain topic. This in turn gets me interested in something new I might not have known much about before. To give a general sense, some episode titles include:

  • Why you shouldn’t forget about CSS
  • Why you should consider learning Ruby
  • How to not get bogged down in technical debt
  • What does ageism in tech look like?

I also like how their guests share their story about how they came to code.

3. Programming Throwdown

Their description says: “Programming Throwdown attempt to educate Computer Scientists and Software Engineers on a cavalcade of programming and tech topics.”

I really love this show for getting a high-level introduction into various topics of software engineering I might not be very familiar with. The episodes are a little over an hour long but I think the hosts do a great job of making their content digestible and interesting to follow. To give a general sense, some episode titles include:

  • Working from Home
  • DevOps and Site Reliability
  • Terminal and Shells
  • Teaching Kids to Code

A lot of their older episodes are focused on a specific programming language like Javascript, Ruby, Go, C++, Java.

Bonus

I work with Ruby on Rails in my day-to-day. I’ve really listening to Rails 5by5 and Ruby Rogues! It’s super insightful to hear of the challenges other Ruby on Rails developers and teams face. I’m often surprised at how relevant the topics are with whatever I’m dealing with.

Disclaimer: No one’s paying me to recommend these shows (unfortunately, lol)

In Conclusion

I really enjoy listening to podcasts. They’ve expanded my world of software engineering.

We all have our own preferences and styles of learning! While I love podcasts, I know others who can’t stand them and would much rather read a blog post. However, if you’ve never given software engineering or coding related podcasts a try, I highly recommend you give one a listen!

Feel free to recommend me your favorite coding/tech/career-related podcast and what you love about it!


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