Five Years of Podcasts

I started listening to tech podcasts in 2014. I had a horrible commute during my summer internship in Noida that required 4 hours of traveling a day. It wasn’t much better in the next 6 months of my PS in Bangalore - 3 hours everyday.

But then a strange thing happened. I eventually began to look forward to these commutes. They became an integral part of my day, the most interesting part some days. This is all thanks to podcasts, which for some reason I never knew existed until a friend introduced them to me. 

I’ve learnt how Python is used for scientific computing at CERN, and what part programmers play amongst the heavy-duty scientists there. I learnt how Netflix’s engineering infrastructure is super robust, thanks to an internal service they run that randomly attacks their own servers. I got an introduction to Go, Rust, Haskell and their ecosystems  - interesting languages that offer alternate approaches of thinking. I’ve learnt so much about cryptocurrencies, javascript, rethinkDB, the Berkeley AMPLab, open source communities and companies, the list goes on.

I’ve gone from listening to purely technical podcasts to entrepreneurial and motivational podcasts as well. Listening to A16Z is like listening to people from the future commenting about the present and where it’s going. Autonomous cars, blockchain, fintech, IoT, VR, AI - they cover it all. Podcasts like Developer Tea, SE Radio, Talk Python To Me have given me new professional aspirations and ideas to think about coworker interaction and career direction. Tim Ferris has recorded some fascinating interviews, ranging from Valley VCs and tech moguls to famous musicians, athletes and authors. Some really memorable interviews were with a FBI negotiator, Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) and Robert Greene (author of Mastery). Podcast Addict is a great app for Android, easy to search and subscribe as well.

My favorite podcast these days is School of Greatness, mostly because it’s short and sweet and packed with motivation. My current commute is basically zero so I don’t get as much time to listen these days. Ironic how I miss those long traffic jams now.

Written on January 1, 2019