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Podcasts for Hackers (designpepper.com)
197 points by joshuacc on Feb 11, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 74 comments

NPR's Planet Money Podcast: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/

Lots of examples of people hacking various economic systems (i.e. buying dollar coins to get airline miles) as well as the occasional economics behind tech podcast (Marco Arment & JoCo were both featured recently), and a great way to get a sense of the macroeconomic landscape.

I also love the Motley Fool podcast. They have a lot of great info packed into each episode, while staying true to the Motley Fool style of humor and amazingly simplified explanations of complex topics.

I highly recommend Back to Work.

The signal to noise ratio is a problem, but we're talking about some pretty high quality signal and some pretty hilarious noise.

Yes: Merlin can be _extremely_ rambly and he often has a hard time staying on topic, but when he is on, he's on. The last three episodes have been especially great on topics such as risk, valuing yourself, and looking at the big picture in determining how to live your life and career. They resonated very well with me as someone who has taken the plunge of quitting my job and working on my own apps and projects.

99% Invisible is in the same category of general nerdy podcasts like Radiolab (i.e. not just meant for programmers). I think this show specifically would be interesting to hackers, on manufactured sounds for digital interfaces, but there's a lot of good stuff in the archives.


Absolutely agree on 99% Invisible. Roman Mars does a fantastic job and episodes are really well produced. If you're interested on design, this is the show to listen. Episodes are short, 5-15mins.

I actually discovered this during the Christmas break and listened all the episodes in few days. Now it's the highlight of my week.

The podcast might be nice, but for some reason they don't publish links to the mp3 in their podcast RSS feed.

Ironic to see a podcast about design making a simple UX mistake like that.

I'm not sure which feed you're looking at. http://invisible99.podbean.com/feed/ does have mp3 enclosures.

It may be time to start a news podcast, the "hacker new podcast", where 3 of the top HN users discuss the day's headlines and comments on HN - 5 minutes/day.

Think of it as a summary of HN for HN fans who don't have the time to read all the comments.

Slate's Gabfests would probably be a good model for these. They're really entertaining to listen to, and very insightful.

They've never discussed it explicitly, but their "formula" seems to include:

- usually at most three main topics (occasionally more)

- a closing bit of silliness

- they make sure everyone has had time to prepare something to say on the topics to-be-discussed

- each person has a computer handy (but I never hear anyone typing, which is nice)

- they have some facility for including external audio (for discussion, e.g., music or ads)

- one person leads the discussion, trying to keep people on topic, and making sure that a transition happens to the next one at the right time

- keep the podcast between 45 and 60 minutes, fairly consistently

- they release it at a regular time

- it's weekly, and comes out at a regular time

As another Gabfest fan, I'll add: - Community involvement. Live shows and a facebook fan page which they stay active on, and refer to during the show. - Good mix of regulars, semi-regulars (usually other Slate people), and occasional guests.

TechZing was doing something similar with its panel shows but.. definitely not 5 minutes or each day ;-) I give your idea a thumbs up but podcast production is pretty hard work so it would take some rather dedicated souls to pull it off well.

A few podcasts I like which focus more on broad technology trends, tech in society, and the future:

* Seminars About Long Term Thinking: http://longnow.org/seminars/ A little like TED, but longer talks and more focused on tech and long-term thinking. Don't miss Brewster Kahle's recent talk about the Internet Archive (http://longnow.org/seminars/02011/nov/30/universal-access-al...).

* Triangulation: http://twit.tv/tri1 Interviews with tech luminaries on the TWIT network

* Technometria: http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/series/technometria.html Interview/conversations led by Phil Windley, creator of IT Conversations, which is also worth checking out (http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/ ; the original home of the StackOverflow/StackExchange podcast).

2600's Off the Hook - http://www.2600.com/offthehook/

And there are several very good german podcasts:

Chaosradio - http://chaosradio.ccc.de/

Chaosradio Express (CRE) - http://cre.fm/

mobilemacs - http://mobilemacs.de/

Funny how German podcasters pretty much unanimously decided not to do ads or sponsoring while american podcasts are often littered with ads to the point where it gets unbearable.

Compare and contrast the TWiT network or 5by5 with Tim Pritlove or BitsUndSo

Isn't the TWiT network a bit of a special case with Leo Laporte trying to monetize and self produce the same niche of programming he was doing with the Screen Savers back on ZDTV? There isn't much of a choice when the point of the screen casts are that they should be your job. Also it helps that we're conditioned to see adverts everywhere.

There was a time when TWiT was funded exclusively by donations, making a point of not taking ads in order to stay independent. At some point I guess the temptation become too big.

Another german one is Working Draft. Mostly front-end development http://workingdraft.de.

how could "StackOverflow" not be listed here? love listening to this show because it is a) technical & b) funny in a "Statler and Waldorf" sort of way ~ http://blog.stackoverflow.com/category/podcasts/

and also ByteIntoIt, a real radio show also podcasted & streamed ~ http://www.rrr.org.au/program/byte-into-it/

will there still be a stack overflow podcast though after Jeff quit stack exchange?

the last episode is from december 8th 2011

No. It was mostly on open discussion between Jeff and Joel (There are so many "Let's discuss this after the podcast") about stackoverflow.

It is not going to be. In fact, it has not been ever since Jeff discussed his exit with Joel. (2 months since)

that's a question Jeff could answer.

The Lifestyle Business Podcast - http://www.lifestylebusinesspodcast.com/

Great podcast about the intersection between business & lifestyle - focused on bootstrapping and hacking your own business to get them off the ground.

Stanford's "Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar" is pure gold if you are looking for high-level business, innovation and entrepreneurial discussions.


Don't forget about the Java Posse - http://javaposse.com/

Software Engineering Radio: http://www.se-radio.net/

http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/ has some classic stuff. worth searching their archives. (Woz is good, and Jon Udell)

No Podcast list is complete without mentioning Software engineering radio: http://se-radio.net

This compilation of podcasts by Skilldrick has some real good ones: http://skilldrick.co.uk/2011/08/podcasts-i-listen-to/ Especially, The Changelog and FLOSS weekly.

Also another small compilation from infoq: http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/09/archcasts I especially enjoy On Architecture with Grady Booch: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/onarchitectu...

Stack Overflow (now stackexchange, you can find the old episodes on itconversations), and techzing podcasts are packed with wit and humor. Listening to Joel, Justin and Jason, brightens any day.

I also subscribe to Compucast: http://computersciencepodcast.com/podcasts.html and Channel9: http://channel9.msdn.com/

Herding Code: http://herdingcode.com/ and radio free python: http://www.radiofreepython.com/ are on my "to listen" list.

Thanks for including some that I'm involved in! :-) I want to suggest two others (which are not mine):

Founders Talk - http://5by5.tv/founderstalk - a frequent interview podcast with founders, true HN style. The guests are often programmers.

Mixergy - http://mixergy.com/ - same as above but with more of a business slant. Mixergy is huge though and Andrew is perhaps as much a "friend of HN" as we could get IMHO :-)

Not a problem. I really enjoy your shows.

smacks head Not sure how I missed Mixergy. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll add them momentarily.

Oh, and can't believe I forgot http://thechangelog.com/ also :-)

And.. http://herdingcode.com/

http://hackermedley.org/ was one of my all time faves for.. 5 episodes. Sadly they stopped doing it but every episode was awesome.

The pilot episode on GSM security was my favorite one.

There's a great collection of podcasts here: http://hackermedia.org/ and here: http://www.thelinuxlink.net/

The 2600 family of shows: http://www.2600.com/offthehook, http://www.2600.com/offthewall and the Hackers On Planet Earth conference archives: http://blip.tv/2600magazine/rss

Security now: http://twit.tv/sn

This Developer's Life: http://thisdeveloperslife.com/

The Linux Action Show: http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/show/linuxactionshow/

Techsnap: http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/show/techsnap/

Ubuntu-UK Podcast: http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/

Free As In Freedom (The Software Freedom Law Show): http://www.softwarefreedom.org/podcast/

I´d suggest: Hypercritical: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical/ The Big Web Show: http://5by5.tv/bigwebshow/ The Critical Path: http://5by5.tv/criticalpath/ This Week in Startups: http://www.thisweekinstartups.com/

Creative Coding Podcast: http://creativecodingpodcast.com/ - Flash, HTML5, Processing, OpenFrameworks, or anything graphics and interaction-related. Frequent interviews with developers. Irregular.

LostCast: http://www.lostdecadegames.com/ - HTML5 game development. Fairly recent and not terribly hardcore. Irregular.


Jason's show and network is what gave me my entrepreneurial spark a year ago. Great guests and great content. He does need to move the show to SF though. You can only interview LA founders for so long. I've really enjoyed the shows the past few weeks @ CNet and Waze because he has interviewed some of the most prominent tech startups.

Completely agree. The show itself has great content. Jason is a smart guy who is humble enough to be engaging and relatable, and confident enough to ask the right questions and make poignant comments. (Only caveat to this statement is the mailchimp ads. The "eee eee eee" part of these ads make me cringe every time.)

I really would like him to move up to the bay area too but part of me think he's able to take a more critical perspective on startups because he's not physically immersed in the SV culture. It would be really cool to run into him in a starbucks or something though.

I enjoy that he didn't start in SF and am sad he's considering moving the show there.

It's great to discover entrepreneurs beyond the usual suspects in the usual ecosystems. There's more to success in this industry than the valley.

I recommend Econtalk http://www.econtalk.org/

In addition to the good topics on economics, they also cover technology, e.g. Kelly on Technology and What Technology Wants - http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2010/11/kelly_on_techno.htm... or Hazlett on Apple vs. Google - http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2010/10/hazlett_on_appl.htm...

My latest favourite is Taleb on Anti-fragility - http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/01/taleb_on_antifr.htm...

The Morning Stream (http://frogpants.com/tms) is a particularly good podcast, although the subject matter does not usually contain any programming or indeed tech related material. The banter, and chemistry between the show's co-hosts, and the interesting assortment of trivia that is often on stock brightens my mornings, and the time that I spend on drudge work. I usually listen to silence, or music with no lyrics, mostly jazz and electronica when I have to concentrate on the task at hand. Podcasts are a huge distraction vector for me personally, or at least were till I banned them from my assigned work hours. Nonetheless `The Morning Stream' is highly recommended.

I cannot recommend more the BBC Radio4 In Our Time talks:


They cover different topics, from philosophy to history, and they always have the most interesting guests.

Thanks for this article and comments, I usually listen to Justin and Jason's TechZing but here there are some links very interesting (i.e. http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/, i've seen they put a transcript of every episode so it's useful for me, i use podcasts also to improve my english)

A suggestion for podcast authors: if you cant put a full transcript, at least try to have an abstract (with link,s people, societies etc..)

This is obviously missing nodeup:

* Got all the core team members talking about where nodejs is going * Does live events with 150 people nerding out and drinking beer.

It's an obvious miss.

Landing Page Optimization by Tim Ash http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/landing-page-optimization...

Thou not as frequently updated lately, it's extremely informative podcast on landing pages, data analysis and consumer behavior in relation to web pages.

€uroTr@sh: Information Security Podcast - http://www.eurotrashsecurity.eu/index.php/Main_Page

Using this opportunity I would like to propose to organize some kind of streaming channel (on twitch.tv or similar) about hacking/coding.

Thanks for the list. A friend recently did one as well, which was a bit more general, though has some good tips.


CBC's Spark podcast: http://www.cbc.ca/spark/

Recent stories: Limor Fried on Open Source Hardware, Cory Doctorow on the War on General Computing, Don Tapscott on the Future of Crowdsourcing.

In the same way that Planet Money is being recommended, I have to suggest Dan Carlin's excellent Hardcore History:


There's a new one called http://deductivedevelopers.com with Matt Woodward and Peter Farrell who both have a long history with open source.

I love James Robertson's Independent Missinterpretations podcast about Smalltalk: http://www.jarober.com/rss/blog_podcast.xml

Perhaps not for "hackers" per se, but Shop Talk (http://shoptalkshow.com/) is worth a listen if you're a front-end developer type.

Not specifically "hackery" but Buzz Out Loud is a pretty fantastic tech podcast;


PaulDotCom Security Weekly http://www.pauldotcom.com/

Good podcast discussing tech, hacking, sec , exploits and more

Quintessential hackers podcast: Thomas Gideon's Command Line Podcast http://thecommandline.net/

More related to startups than hackers (but so is Mixergy which is on the list), This Week in Startups (or TWiST), is very entertaining!

I would definitely add The Changelog [1] to the list.

[1] http://thechangelog.com/

Steve Blank's Customer Development Podcast http://clearshore.net

Forgive me, but what has "This Developer's Life", and "The Ruby Show" got to do with "hacking" exactly?

"This Developer's Life" is my new favorite podcast. It's introspective, and covers the mental, emotional, and personal side of the life of hackers. And it has great background music.

I think you have the term "hackers" mixed up with Fortran/AJAX/.Net developers.

You say this on a forum titled "Hacker News"? What definition of hacker are you using?

I'm using definition 3 from Merriam-Webster, "an expert at programming and solving problems with a computer", and that is the most compatible meaning for this forum.

I see.

I was just wondering, if there is any equally great podcast for HTML/HTML5/CSS/CSS3 hackers.

Aren't there any Python-related podcasts? Seems like everything is either Ruby or JS.

here a good one to add to the list http://radiofreepython.com/

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I will try to update the post soon.

php and java would be excellent!



Software Engineering Radio http://www.se-radio.net/


Thanks for the link!

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