by Ayo Isaiah
The best podcasts for new coders, and the best tools for listening to them
I was a bit surprised by the results of the recent Free Code Camp/CodeNewbie survey. Only around 26% of people learning to code around the world listen to coding-related podcasts. One respondent even said she “had no idea that coding podcasts existed.”
If you’re among the 74% of people who are learning to code but not yet listen to any development-related podcasts, this article is for you.
Why you should listen to podcasts
Podcasts are simply radio-style audio shows distributed over the internet, usually for free. They provide an excellent way to consume quality information while performing daily tasks such as commuting, cleaning, or working out.
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the years and they now cover a very wide range of subjects. There’s no shortage of high quality shows that will help you become more knowledgeable, keep up with your favorite tools, and help you develop a broader perspective on the ever-changing field that is technology.
I recommend that you subscribe to few coding-related podcasts and work them into your routine instead of just listening to music all the time.
If you’re into front end development and user experience design, Shop Talk is an excellent show for you. It features interviews with top developers in the industry, as well as rapid-fire sessions where hosts Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier answer loads of listener-submitted questions.
The CodeNewbie Podcast is for — you guessed it — people new to coding! Host Saron Yitbarek interviews a new guest every week, and they talk about their coding journey, how they landed their first coding job, and more. Quincy Larson appeared on the show a while back, so that would be an excellent episode to start with.
Front-End Happy Hour is a new Podcast featuring a panel of software developers from places like LinkedIn, Netflix, and Apple who discuss all things web development over their favorite happy hour drinks.
No matter what aspect of programming you’re into, Software Engineering Daily will prove an excellent source of technical information. There are over 200 episodes, and most are around an hour long — plenty of content for you to devour.
Started in 2009, The Changelog mainly discusses topics related to open source software. It’s hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo. Free Code Camp was discussed in-depth on one of the episodes, if you’re interested in checking that out.
This is a short 15–20 minute podcast that’s “designed to fit into your tea break.” A new episode comes out every two or three days, and covers topics like building healthy relationships with clients, preparing for interviews, networking, and so much more. I recommend you download all the episodes, as there is a plethora of quality stuff here.
This monthly podcast is aimed at all types of developers, and covers performance, design patterns, database implementation, and plenty of object-oriented programming tips.
You can catch up on all things mobile-responsive — and the people who make it happen — on this weekly podcast hosted by Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte.
10. Modern Web
11. Front-End Five
Front-end Five is a weekly five-minute podcast produced by Code School that covers all the juicy news in the web development space, including community events.
12. The Web Platform
As you might have guessed, this podcast covers everything Angular.js. If you’re Angular.js or using it regularly, you’ll definitely want to keep up with this one.
14. CodePen Radio
If you’re looking to start your own software business or startup, CodePen Radio has you covered. Chris Coyier, Alex Vazquez, and Tim Sabat — the co-founders of CodePen — talk about the evolution of simple ideas into real businesses. There are over 80 episodes to pore over, and new shows are released approximately once a week. Highly recommended.
The Style Guide Podcast is a short series of interviews hosted by Anna Debenham and Brad Frost. In each of the 12 episodes, they talk about creating and maintaining style guides, designing reusable patterns, and how to pitch style guides to stakeholders.
I’ve provided a .opml file which you can download and import into your favorite podcast app to subscribe to all these shows with one click.
Speaking of podcasters, if you have no idea about how to listen to a podcast or if you’re just getting started with this form of media, here’s a few software options you should consider.
If you run Linux, gPodder seems to be the best option you’ve got. It’s the one I use on my machine and it does a great job of organizing my collection. However, it cannot play anything on it’s own — you’ll need to open downloaded files in an external application.
Another option is Vocal, which was specifically built for Elementary OS, but works on other Ubuntu-based distributions, RPM distributions (such as Fedora), and Arch Linux.
Clementine is a music app with excellent support for podcasts as well, but it does not support video podcasts since it’s only an audio player.
iTunes is the most popular podcast app for Windows but I find it to be clunky, slow and certainly overkill if all you want is a simple podcast manager.
Grover Podcast (free) is a decent alternative for Windows 10 devices. It looks really nice and provides iTunes integration.
The aforementioned gPodder app is also available on Windows.
There’s no shortage of podcast clients on mobile devices for catching up on your favorite shows on the go.
On the iOS side of things, Overcast (Free — iPhone/iPad) is considered the best podcast app by many.
Downcast ($2.99) is another great option if you want to sync your subscriptions between your iPhone and Macbook.
If you like to jump between devices, Pocket Casts ($3.99 — Android, iPhone/iPad, Windows Phone) is simply the best for syncing your collection between these devices, and it also provides a web client for listening on your computer.
Other notable apps include: Doggcatcher ($3.99 — Android only), Player FM (Free — Android, Web), and Grover Pro ($2.99 — Windows 10 Mobile). Open source nerds should use AntennaPod (Free — Android only).
Personally, I use Podcast Addict (Free/$2.99 — Android only) and my experience with it has been flawless, so it’s an excellent option to look at as well.
I hope this post has helped you discover some awesome coding podcasts worth subscribing to and working into your daily routine. I hope they prove valuable to your journey toward becoming a software developer.
Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, click the green heart below and share with your budding developer friends.
And follow my journey to coding awesomeness on my personal blog. Cheers.