I don’t know which podcast I first started listening to regularly but it might have been Leo Larporte’s famous This Week in Tech while I lived in Washington, D.C. back in early 2008. Since then the list of podcasts I listen to has steadily increased with the possible exception of the sad day when Cranky Geeks ended. These days my list in iTunes contains about a dozen podcasts and plenty of unlistened episodes to keep me busy for quite a while.
So here’s a quick rundown of what keeps me entertained and informed on my commutes (and while I’m doing the dishes):
37 signals: 37signals is a Web services company based in the United States and while I haven’t really used them myself their online products such as Basecamp (project management), Campfire (real-time collaboration), and Highrise (contact management) seem to be very popular with many folks. Their podcast is released about once a month and some of my favorite episodes have focused on things such as 37 signals’ hiring process, a programming roundtable, and dealing with criticism of the company. What I like beyond learning about the individual topics is hearing bits and pieces about the company’s philosophy which (I think) can be summed up as having a lean, no-bullshit approach.
IBM developerWorks: While I’ve used the excellent resources provided by IBM on its developerWorks Web site on many occasions it wasn’t until a tweet by fellow Vienna University of Technology colleague @barfooz that I discovered the developerWorks podcast. So far I’ve listened to 3 or 4 episodes of the Andy Glover Java series and I’m definitely hooked.
LabCAST: LabCAST is the official video-podcast of the MIT Media Lab and presents about half a dozen of its projects per year. The episodes are short (often <5 minutes) but always offer an interesting glimpse into what’s going at what is undoubtedly one of the most interesting research facilities in the world.
Meet Mobility: Meet:Mobility is a joint project by three of the leading bloggers in the mobile computing space: Steve Paine (@chippy) from Carrypad.com and UMPCportal.com, @jkkmobile (don’t really know his real name;-) from jkkmobile.com, and Sascha Pallenberg (@sascha_p) from netbooknews.de/netbooknews.com. This is really the only mobile computing podcast that I listen to and given the broad coverage of the field, including analyses of news and conference reports, provided by these three guys I feel well informed.
NPR Science Friday: Ira Flatow’s Science Friday is an absolutely excellent radio show about all things science and technology. Yes, it sometimes is very U.S. centric but the people he interviews on the show always add interesting perspectives and insights to the table. As I write this I’ve got several dozen Science Friday episodes stored on my iPod touch, covering everything from climate change, the Microsoft Kinect, multi-tasking, to oil spills.
PRI’s The World – Global Economy: Unfortunately it looks like the Global Economy podcast won’t be continued, the last episode was published in mid-September 2010, however I’m still keeping it in my list in the hope of hearing more of these stories which always looked at economic developments from interesting angles.
PRI’s The World – Technology: If I only have time to listen to one podcast in a week then it’s always The World’s Technology podcast. Clark Boyd (@worldstechpod) is doing an exceptional job of covering “tech that matters” and regularly beats the mainstream press when it comes to discovering new developments, organizations, and services which use or apply technology in novel ways. Definitely a must-listen!
Raumzeit: After Lukas Lang (@lukaslang) raved about Tim Pritlove’s latest podcast venture Raumzeit for many weeks I finally gave it a listen and have to say his praise was definitely spot-on. Raumzeit is a German podcast sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and focuses on all thing related to space travel. The two episodes I listened to so far focused on mission planning and space waste and were both very interesting.
Software Engineering Radio: I only very recently stumbled across Software Engineering Radio thanks to a tweet by aforementioned @barfooz. I’ve listened to 3 or 4 episodes from the archive so far and really enjoyed all of them. Definitely well worth a listen for anyone interested in software engineering.
Spectrum: Deutsche Welle’s Spectrum, edited by the Cyrus Farivar (@cfarivar), focuses on European science and technology news and thereby fills a gap in my often very U.S.-centric look at this topic. If I have time for a second podcast in a week beyond The World’s Tech podcast then I always listen to this one.
I have a number of other podcasts listed in iTunes - e.g. 24 horas, Alternativlos, BackStory with the American History Guys, FLOSS Weekly, GeekNights with Rym + Scott, Green Tech Today, etc. – however I don’t listen to them regularly (anymore) these days or simply haven’t had time to listen to them at all yet.