Jan Monschke

My favorite (tech) podcasts

October 09, 2019

Over the last years I’ve been listening to podcasts more and more. Some of them I listen to for pure entertainment, some of them I use to learn about new things and trends in software development.

I often talk about my favorite podcasts with friends and coworkers and they always want to know about other podcasts that I could share with them which is why I want to share these podcasts with you all now. Below you’ll find my current top 10 podcasts, enjoy! 🎉

If your favorite podcast is missing on this list, I would love to hear about it!

Tech podcasts

  • The Changelog was probably the first podcast that I listened to back from when I was still studying in 2010 and I still listen to it to this day. Adam and Jared produce a high quality podcast with a wide variety of topics in their episodes. They invite guests of a popular open source project and they interview them about the background of the project and how it can be useful for listeners. They also create episodes on important current topics like Kim Crayton’s #causeascene movement (ep. #334) or they talked to Dominic Tarr about the event-stream compromise (ep. #326). Episodes are usually 1h to 1.5h long.

  • JS Party is a spin-off of The Changelog that focuses on JavaScript- and Frontend-related topics. It’s also super well produced and you can feel the hosts are well-prepared for their interview partners. The show features a lot of recurring hosts which is refreshing to hear since podcasts are usually hosted by the same people. Episodes range from 1h to 1.5h, just like The Changelog. Full disclosure: I was a guest on one of their episodes where I talked about the Nested Loops project 😊 (ep. 52).

  • React Podcast is a podcast that, you might have guessed it from the name already, specializes on React and its ecosystem. The hosts invite authors of popular libraries, they discuss new trends and they talk about experiences of working in tech. I can especially recommend the episodes about Gatsby (ep. 28) and The Future of Work (ep. 65).

  • Cyber by Motherboard is a podcast about hacks, breaches, security-vulnerabilities and their impact on modern society. The hosts provide great background-reporting on hacks that you might have heard about on the news and the hacks that you have probably not heard about. My favorite episodes are the ones about a spyware sting operation and where they report about how hackers break into iCloud-locked iPhones. Their episodes are usually around half an hour long.

    • Bonus podcast about cyber security: Breach. A more narrative podcast that currently has two seasons, one in which they talk about the Yahoo hacks and one where they go into detail on the Equifax breach. The reporting in the 2nd season was especially good.
  • The Entrepreneurial Coder is the newest edition to my podcasts list. On this interview-style podcast, the host interviews other developers about their journey into being self-employed or becoming educators in tech. I love this show because the guests are sharing in detail why they have their own businesses and how they got there. Guests range from developers that offer courses, that wrote books or developers that created their own products and companies and work on them full-time now. My favorite episodes are the ones with Chris Ferdinandi, the author of GoMakeThings and Vanilla JS academy (ep. Building an Audience by Being Consistent), and the episode with Adam Wathan, the author of Refactoring UI (ep. Creating and Launching Courses for Developers). Episodes are typically around an hour long.

Non-tech podcasts

  • Reply-All is not a tech podcast in the sense of the other ones mentioned above but it still focuses on tech topics but more on the sociological side of tech. All topics are related to internet culture and in each episode, they take a deep dive into a news story or they run an experiment/investigation themselves. My favorite episodes are about the story of Paul Le Roux (ep. The Founder), the one about a SnapChat thief and modern ways to fish people (ep. The SnapChat thief) and their investigation into why some podcasts crash modern car stereo systems (ep. The Roman Mars Mazda Virus). Episodes are half an hour to an hour long.

  • Planet Money is a super well produced podcast about money, the economy and it’s influence on society and each one of us individually. While economic topics might sound boring to a lot of people, this podcast makes these topics approachable with humor and great story-telling. Ever since my friend Nik Graf recommended this podcast to me at React Conf 2016, I’ve been a subscriber and listen to their newest episodes almost every week! My highlight episodes are the ones about India getting rid of most of their cash (ep. 770), the invention of Duty Free (ep. 841) and their visit to the Libertarian summer camp (ep. 286). Episodes are usually 20min to half an hour long.

  • Heaven’s Gate is a single season narrative podcast that is about the history of the Heaven’s Gate cult. The host, Glynn Washington, who has also been part of another cult, explains the inner workings of this cult and interviews ex-members about their experiences. Each episode is told in a very captivating way and once you start listening, it’s hard to stop because you want to know how all the pieces come together in the end. This podcast was recommended to me by my dear friend Jeremy.

  • The Habitat was recommended to me by Carolyn and I binged it in just a couple of days. The show follows people that lived in a real-world Mars habitat on planet earth for a year. Goal of this experiment was to find out how life on Mars might be like. It’s only a single season of six episodes of which each is around 30min long.

🍅 It took 4 pomodoros to write this post 🍅