26 September 2013

Thoughts on programming podcasts

Do you remember any movies or pictures about the "Gold Rush" in America? When thinking about getting knowledge today I imagine exactly that: a man with a sieve filtering out a lot of dirt just to find a tiny golden nugget. It's not like there is a website where you can go and read all the facts that YOU don't know but should. Acquiring knowledge is a work of going through a lot of information and finding missing parts for your puzzle. I probably sound like an obsessed person but that's because I am obsessed.

Today I going to talk about one such dirt-gold source, namely podcasts. I've been listening to a lot of these lately and, honestly, 95% is useless crap:

  • things that you do know
  • things that you don't need to know
  • things that you aren't ready to know

But every now and then you stumble upon something brilliant so a 5% that's left make all the difference. Following suggestions will help you to get the maximum out of it:
There's no use if you aren't paying attention, so save them for "activities" like waiting in line for a doctor, public transport, driving, cooking and etc.
You should make notes of what you've learned. It has the following benefits:

  1. the very activity of trying to summarize information makes you understand it better;
  2. I find it motivating when you can go back and look at the gist you've written;
  3. retrieving information from your memory noticeably facilitates further memory consolidaton.

Finally I will throw some podcasts I listened to:

  1. Changelog - news and discussions on hot topics
  2. Coderpath - stories about programming life
  3. Giant robots smashing into other gians robots - not particulary useful, but fun
  4. InfoQ - not really a podcast because often it's hard to follow idea without provided PDF slides by hand. Otherwise really good website, covers lot of topics
  5. JavaPosse - topic titles sound good, but terrible audio quality
  6. Pragmatic bookshelf - authors about their books
  7. Ruby Rogues - my favourite, best podcast on Ruby
  8. RubyShow - dense with useful info
  9. Ruby5 - short news
  10. SE Radio - very different topics, more enterprise than agile focused
  11. The Dev Show - fuuuuun
ps sorry but I really suck at placing commas in English =(

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