9 Great Podcasts All Developers Should Be Listening To

By BrainStation September 3, 2019
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With the abundance of tech podcasts out there, it can feel impossible to find real standouts – nevermind finding the time to actually listen. But Web Developers looking to stay on top of a rapidly changing field would be making a mistake to ignore the wealth of information (and entertainment) found in the field’s top podcasts.

With that in mind, here are nine of the podcasts every Developer should be listening to.

The Changelog

If you’re interested in in-depth interviews with some of the leading minds in development, Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo’s weekly podcast – which dates all the way back to 2009 – is for you.

With a focus on open source technologies, Stacoviak and Santo interview guests including Software Engineers, hackers, and innovators. All programming languages and platforms are covered, including Ruby, node.js, JavaScript and CSS, as well as tools like Git.

Some of the most popular episodes include a discussion of Winamp2-js with Jordan Eldredge, an interview with Suz Hinton about live coding open source on Twitch, and a pair of shows about GraphQL.

ShopTalk Show

Billed as an “internet radio show about the internet,” Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier’s venerable podcast – which will mark its 350th episode in early 2019 – is especially encouraged for Front-End Developers.

Many episodes find Rupert and Coyier answering questions from the audience – a recent episode covered resume gaps, whether Designers should know CSS, and how to handle the demand for high-res mocks – making it an accessible listen.

Rupert and Coyier also have a knack for finding interesting guests. Recently, they’ve hosted Google Emojineer Monica Dinculescu and Apollo GraphQL Engineering Manager Peggy Rayzis.

Syntax

Hosted by Web Developers Scott Tolinski and Wes Bos, Syntax is a fun and accessible weekly show that finds time for technical discussion – recent episodes covered CSS layout, pointer events, and React Hooks – alongside a wide variety of other topics that might be relevant for Developers.

Episodes, for example, have delved into the costs of running a business as a solopreneur or solo founder, how to become well-liked at work, and even what to buy that special Developer in your life over the holiday season.

As entertaining as the hosts are, they also have a wealth of experience. Bos is a Full-Stack Developer who has amassed a large online following for his insights and tutorials, while Tolinski is the founder of Level Up Tutorials.

Developer Tea

Let’s face it: many of us have a backlog of saved podcasts and a dearth of time. That’s where Clearbit developer Jonathan Cutrell’s concise podcast comes in.

Intended to be digestible over the course of your tea (or coffee) break, episodes are released every few days and many clock in under 20 minutes.

Cutrell often looks beyond code to higher-level discussions; episodes have centered on goal visualization and experimentation, while an interview with Ben Orenstein probed opportunities for learning.

Front End Happy Hour

One of the least formal shows on development, this, ahem, buzzy podcast features panelists of Engineers from Netflix, Evernote, and LinkedIn bantering with guests over drinks.

Though entertaining, Front End Happy Hour is hardly empty calories. In the past, Google Engineering Manager Addy Osmani has stopped by to discuss future web platform APIs, Netflix’s Jacques Favreau and Michael Paulson have shared their thoughts on productivity, and LinkedIn’s Sarah Showers once talked about how JavaScript can be used to create smart devices.

Design Life

After noticing a dearth of development podcasts hosted by women, Charli Prangley and Femke van Schoonhoven launched this engaging weekly show in 2015.

Prangley – a Marketing Designer at ConvertKit – and Van Schoonhoven, a Designer at Uber, consider themselves “serial side project addicts” and their conversational podcast will be a boon to any Developer trying to juggle a number of competing projects.

Two of the most popular episodes – one covering personal brand design, the other explaining why Prangley and Van Schoonhoven are such strong believers in attending conferences – illustrate the diversity of topics covered on the show.

Hanselminutes

There are podcasting veterans and then there’s Scott Hanselman, the Portland-based Programmer who launched his namesake podcast in 2006 and has since published more than 650 insightful 30-minute (roughly) episodes.

Hanselman, a member of the Web Platform Team at Microsoft, interviews “fresh faces” for tightly focused weekly installments that tend to explore one topic at some length. For instance, Hanselman has explored accessibility with User Experience Designer Regine Gilbert, discussed compassionate coding with April Wensel, and offered lessons in container catharsis with Laura Frank Tacho.

Fans of Hanselman who want more can also check out his older podcast, This Developer’s Life.

JavaScript Jabber

If you’re looking for a deep dive on JavaScript, this podcast is required listening.

Each episode features a new guest and a new topic, probing JavaScript frameworks, programming practices, as well as career tips, with a focus on both the front- and back-end.

The show does presume some knowledge of JavaScript – a popular episode featured Microsoft DevOps Manager Donovan Brown discussing Azure, Python, Angular, React, and Vue – but don’t be daunted. Listeners are also welcome to submit questions or topic ideas.

Full Stack Radio

Aimed at Developers who want to build great software products, Adam Wathan’s podcast features conversations with guests about topics including product design, user experience, unit testing, and system administration.

In one interesting episode, Wathan interviewed Codetree co-founder Derrick Reimer about the product design decisions behind Level, a team communication platform Reimer was building, as well as his decision to open-source the entire codebase.

Other episodes explored Vue.js anti-patterns, Basecam’s JavaScript framework “Stimulus,” and rebuilding a SaaS app. On the lighter end, the podcast once also offered an episode called “Strength Training for Nerds,” which focused on helping Developers get in shape.

 

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