Why Should You Care About Podcasts
There are many ways to keep up to date to what’s going on in the software community. Blogs, books, magazines, conferences, discussion groups, mailing lists, you name it… So, should you care about podcasts?
If you are anything like most of us mere mortals, you’ve already come to realize that there are way too many things that you would like learn and only so many hours in a day. Podcasts allow you to squeeze some more "learning time" from an otherwise compressed schedule.
I especially love to listen to podcasts on my running sessions. On the other end, I have found that I don't usually care for them while commuting to and from work: I need some time to relax listening to good music before and after a stressful day. Your mileage might vary.
The podcasts listed below are basically the only one which I am subscribed to on iTunes. I can't keep up with all the shows, so I try to cherry pick from the themes that are closer to my day to day work, occasionally listening to topics I am not familiar with just to see what's going on.
I especially love shows which have a clear focus, the right amount of "small talk", and where the host(s) have a good understaing of the subject matter. Again, YMMV.
05 - Deep Fried Bytes
At number 5 we have Deep Fried Bytes, hosted by Keith Elder and Chris Woodruff. The schedule is not strict, roughly one or two shows per month. Too bad because the content, almost exclusively on Microsoft technologies, tends to be top notch.
04 - Hanselminutes
His shows tend to be on the short side (usually around 30 minutes), but they are usually really focused. He'll usually talk about .NET technologies.
Once in a while you can lift your spirit with one episode of the Hanselminutiae series, which are more unstructured and tend to be a conversation about nerdish stuff and gadgets with some geek guest.
Favorite episode: Uncle Bob Martin: SOLID, this time with feeling.
03 - Herding Code
At number 3 we have Herding Code, hosted by K. Scott Allen, Kevin Dente, Scott Koon, and Jon Galloway. Four hosts tend to produce a slightly lower signal to noise ratio compared to other podcasts, but the content is usually well worth it. Again, you'll mostly hear about Microsoft technologies here.
Favorite episode: Herding Code 51: Greg Young on Our Grand Failure – Thoughts on DDDD
02 - DotNet Rocks
At number 2 we find what's arguably the best and longest running podcast on .NET technologies. DotNetRocks, hosted by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell and now at his 523 eposide, usually issues a new show twice a week.
At the beginning of every new show, there's a short section (a couple of minutes or so) named "Better Know Framework" in which they "shine some light "on some class of the .NET Base Class Library.
If you have time for only one podcast and don't care for other technologies/platforms, then this is probably the podcast you should be listening to.
Favorite episode: Panel: Is Software Development Too Complex?
01 - Software Engineering Radio
At the top of my list we have a podcast that is not devoted to .NET technologies.
Software Engineering Radio, usually hosted by Markus Völter, is your 10,000 feet view on what's going on in the software industry: new languages, patterns, processes. And evergreen topics like OOAD, components, architecture, etc...
The shows are usually extremely focused on the topic to be discussed, and Markus shows a remarkable easiness moving from one subject to another. He surely prepares a lot before the shows; his questions to the guest are usually spot-on and he has a way of rephrasing the concepts exposed by the experts that really helps your understanding.
The show has a fortnight frequency, therefore I usually don't miss a single show. I actually downloaded a lot of old episodes: since they are not so strictly connected with current-day technologies, they usually stand the test of time pretty well.
As an added plus, a show usually last about 1 hour which is perfect for my workout sessions :)
Favorite episode: Software Craftsmanship With Bob Martin