I listen to quite a few podcasts. I’m obsessed with web development. Therefore I listen to most web development podcasts I can get my hands on. Below is a rundown of those that I currently enjoy.
Boagworld Boos & Podcast
Paul Boag creates a nice mix between his boos and his seasonal podcast. The boos are frequent, usually at least one or two per week, and each lasts a few minutes. They’re quite topical and informative. They range from issues of human behavior to in-depth development practice.
His seasonal show is themed and thought out in advance. The last season was all about the redesign of boagworld.com, which I highly enjoyed. His next season is coming up, and I recommend it for anyone out there that works with the web. I’m probably biased toward these shows because Paul Boag runs a development company making websites for clients, and I work for a company that makes websites for clients. I can connect.
The Big Web Show
Jeffrey Zeldman hosts the 5by5 branded Big Web Show. It’s an interview show, where Zeldman, and sometimes Dan Benjamin, interview prominent members of the web community. Guests range from startup founders to prominent developers, but some of my favorite episodes are when Jeffrey interviews Happy Cog employees, or just talks about his own experiences to Dan. His style is laid back and he asks his guests a lot of personal questions.
Considering Zeldman’s role in original web standards development and the web in general, I’m excited to listen to each episode to gain some perspective from someone with, well, so much perspective.
Shop Talk Show
Shop Talk is pretty new but it’s got some things going for it that are quite rare in this genre of podcast: it’s consistent and focused.
Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert do an excellent job focusing the conversation on front end web development, and they bring on great guests. They also do a nice job engaging an audience by answering audio and email questions during the show. And they balance it all with geeky humor, which is fun. It’s only a couple of months in and it’s skyrocketed to the top of my “must-listen” list.
I have a love hate relationship with the SitePoint podcast. It’s a weekly show, but it’s really two shows in one. Every other week, Louis Simoneau interviews people who I probably would never know about otherwise. The interviews are quite good and more in-depth than some other shows I listen to. Simoneau is a developer for Flippa and isn’t afraid to talk technical on these weeks.
On the opposite week, Simoneau hosts a panel show where a few others join him to talk about industry news. This week suffers from the same disease as most “tech” podcasts – branditis. They talk too much about the Apples and the Googles and yada yada. I keep listening to it because periodically there’s a good story I’m interested in, but the non-interview week is typically lower on my listening priorities.
Creative Coding Podcast
Creative Coding is a good and informative podcast, but leans toward the boring side. The hosts are mostly front end devs, I think, and they have quiet, English accents, and sometimes I realize my mind is wondering off while I listen. The content can be good, and I listen when I don’t have something better, but it’s just not as engaging a podcast as some others. It’s a good one to listen to while you’re doing a mindless task so you can concentrate on what they’re saying, because the topics are pretty good ones most of the time. It’s hosted by Iain Lebb and Seb Lee-Delisle (sorry if y’all happen to read this – not trying to be rude).
The Non-Breaking Space
I found out about Non Breaking Space from Shop Talk, as the two shows did a joint show. It’s also quite new, only a few episodes in, and I don’t have much experience with it. However, in the joint shows, the conversation was informative and entertaining. It’s hosted by front end developers Christopher Schmitt, Dave McFarland, and Chris Enns. It’s been fun so far, despite the near identical guest list to Shop Talk. I’m addicted, like I said, and it’s fun, so I listen.
The Industry Radio Show
The Industry Radio Show is another podcast I found because of Chris Coyier. It’s both a new blog and podcast. It’s only had a couple of episodes. They’ve been decent. The verdict is still out.
The hosts are a bit hipsterish (sorry if that offends you hipsters) but the topics are mostly relevant. My general annoyance with “The Industry” is the name. It comes off very cocky to me, calling your own industry the industry. But that’s just me bitching. The podcast has that same quasi-cockiness in my opinion, but I have enjoyed it – and it’s welcome when there really just aren’t a lot of podcasts focused for web developers.
Freelance Jam Podcast
Freelance Jam is a podcast by Dave Yankowiak and Brian Casel. They’re both WordPress developers, and their guests tend to skew toward WordPress oriented freelancers and people, but not totally. They’re nice guys, and I like WordPress (a lot), so I really like this show.
A bonus for me is that they recently made an mp3 format of the show available in addition to video, so now I can subscribe without hogging my limited iPhone storage capacity.
If you’re a freelancer, it’s good. If you’re a freelancing WordPress developer, it’s great.
I honestly don’t know if ExplicitWeb is still going. It’s been terribly inconsistent from the start, but when they do a show, I enjoy it. It’s hosted by Hannah Wolfe, John O’Nolan, and Rob Hawkes. They are very entertaining, and somewhat on topic. But the topics are fun, mostly front end and design and sometimes about WordPress. Every three months or so it comes around, I listen.
I had to have a shameless plug, right? WPCandy is probably the leading WordPress blog there is, and it’s got a full gauntlet of audio (and some video) shows. I’ve been a part of the main podcast for quite a while, where I talk with Ryan Imel about WordPress news. It’s crazy meta, so don’t listen unless you geek out on WordPress.
In the last few months, Ryan has expanded the shows to include others with more interviews and some where we preview plugins and stuff. We also do one jointly that’s similar to Paul Boag’s Boos, called Pressbits, where we share quick thoughts about WordPress. So, if you do like WordPress and podcasts, check them out. If you’re obsessed with WordPress like me, I recommend the master show feed in iTunes to catch them all.
Not quite web
Inevitably, if I don’t mention it, someone will comment about some “tech” podcasts I’ve left out. I haven’t left them out, I’m trying to focus on web stuff. But, Here is a short list of some tech podcasts I like.
- Mixergy – Great if you’re into startups. Tons of interviews, each around an hour long. Pretty evergreen, though. Set your iTunes to delete these after you listen, or your iPhone will fill up fast.
- TWiT – Leo Laporte still does tech news better than most. His weekly TWiT show is good for listening to while you’re doing something else. I don’t waste my time listening to all the other This Week in Big Companies he does, this one has plenty of that.
- The Verge – I’ve listened to a couple of these, but they seem to be more hipster versions of TWiT. Their blog is fantastic, though.
- 5by5 – Dan Benjamin has tons of podcasts. I really don’t subscribe but periodically go to his site and see what’s recent and if I want to listen to something. I really like what Dan does, despite not keeping many of his feeds in iTunes.
Podcasts of my past
Sometimes I listen to podcasts for a bit and then they just sort of fizzle out. Here are a few I’ve tried that I can think of.
- Think Vitamin – use to be decent, though somewhat boring (lots of inside baseball – not boring personalities) podcast by Ryan Carson and company. It hasn’t had an episode since their Treehouse product came out.
- This Developer’s Life – I tried this one based on a recommendation I saw somewhere, but it’s just too personal and off topic. I’ve unsubscribed.
- Unmatched Style – I imagine this is like the one above. I honestly can’t remember anything about it.
- Copyblogger – Copyblogger does a online marketing podcast that is so marketing-y it made my ears bleed, so I unsubscribed.
- Probably a lot of others I can’t think of right now.
Find any worth listening?
If you found any of these worth checking out, then good, that’s why I shared them. But you get extra internet points if you share some others with me that maybe I’ve not heard of. I can always go for more web related podcasts in my queue.