Top Podcasts for Geeks

Some stimulating gems of podcasts for nerds & geeks

Podcasts were an amazing invention — they allow you to keep your brain stimulated and learning whilst doing mindless or repetitive things, like cleaning, walking or driving. Or if your brain is a little more active than normal and craves constant stimulation, podcasts will be gold. You may even hate boring things less and relax more, safe in the knowledge that you are still actually doing something productive.

I've really got into podcasts in the last few months; I'm not sure1 how I survived before, and I've learned a lot of useful bits of advice that I've been able to incorporate into how I approach things.

Below is a list of the best podcasts I've stumbled across, in order of decreasing relevance to developers. I've briefly described each in my own words based upon hours of listening.

Podcasts for geeks

Syntax — Tasty Web Development Treats

Frequency: twice-weekly. Good humorous chat, spliced with diverse and genuinely useful developer tips, from useful Javascript functions to editor plugins and life tips in general.

The Big Web Show

1-2 weekly. The Big Web Show seems to come in seasons, where frequency varies a bit within each. However the show is great, episodes are ~1hr and the show has a big archive of previous episodes so overall is one of the best developer podcast resources.

Being Freelance

Frequency: weekly. Down-to-earth and entertaining interviews with freelancers from all professions, sharing their freelancing tips. Perfect for freelancers or people thinking about freelancing, or any remote worker just needing to hear human voices whilst working.

Killing It — Adventures In Start-ups and Mental Health

Frequency: weekly. Slightly concerning title at first glance, can be a bit heavy at times so listen in moderation, but contains some very important stories from the world of start-ups with lessons that will be relevant to most people in tech.

This Week In Startups

Frequency: twice-weekly. Covers tech news and topics, whilst giving advice on business and investment. Especially interesting and informative are the live pitches which periodically happen on the show. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the audacity of the host Jason Calacanis and various Americanisms.

Simple Programmer

Frequency: Daily (but not updated in a while) — currently at over 700 episodes. John Somnez has a huge online presence, with books, videos and podcasts. His advice is always interesting and covers both technical and soft skills for developers.

WSJ Tech News Briefing

Frequency: every weekday. Short and snappy 5-10 min episodes covering the main tech news for the day.

Tech Stuff Daily

Frequency: every weekday. 5-10 min episodes exploring a given tech news topic.

Faster Than Normal

Frequency: weekly. If your brain runs a little faster than normal or even to the point of ADHD, this podcast will become your bible and I believe is useful for anybody serious about making the most out of their day!

This Week In Science

Frequency: weekly. This would have made my favourite podcast solely for its incredibly catchy and original intro, but the episodes are also top-quality, humorous, consistent at once a week and has long episodes (1.5-2 hours).

Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science

Frequency: weekly. This is also one of the most well-delivered podcasts I listen to, so it makes this list. Also at 823 episodes it has to be an inexhaustible resource.

  1. I couldn't resist this — my mind made an inappropriate hyperlink!