4 Web Development Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

Podcasts have become an integral part of my weekly routine in keeping up with what is happening in the world of web development. As a web developer, it is easy to become overwhelmed at the pace at our industry changes! There are only so many hours in a day and we all have many responsibilities outside of work. Things are changing constantly though, even to the point of “Javascript Fatigue” phrase becoming a term. Part of my answer in how to keep up and continue learning has become podcasts.

My commute to work daily is about 35 minutes each way. That works out to be 70 minutes each day and 350 minutes weekly for just about 6 hours of total driving time each week. Listening to a podcast while I drive is the perfect solution for me because that time in the car is largely wasted otherwise. Instead of flipping through the radio or mindlessly driving, I am able to listen to some informed folks talk about the next new thing in Javascript or a best practice in React to consider. Even if some concepts of web development are difficult to grasp audibly, I can always go back through the show notes to follow links and review points mentioned.

Here's a list of podcasts that are queued up for my drives:

Syntax

From the authors: "Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski are two full stack web developers who like to break down complex topics and make them easy to understand."

These guys are great and so professional. While other podcasts frequently have audio issues or the hosts sometimes ramble, Scott and Wes author training video courses for a living. They each have a great setup for cohosting a podcast with plenty of helpful content. The content of Syntax is pretty broad and covers both frontend and backend concepts with Javascript and React being some of the favorite topics of discussion. As developers who create learning materials for other developers, they have a lot of good insight about marketing/influencing/exposure and have played a part in me creating this blog to begin with. Scott and Wes tailor their content to be understandable for beginners and upwards so you may find it rather basic at sometimes, but there is always enough meat served up for the more experienced. Make sure to check out their websites Level Up Tutorials and wesbos.com for even more great learning!

The React Podcast

From the authors: "Interviews and news about React hosted by Michael Jackson. The React Podcast covers everything React.js and is hosted by Michael Jackson, the founder of React Training and co-author of React Router."

The React Podcast, like it's name might suggest, is the podcast to listen to for all things React. It is the best React-focused podcast that I've been able to find to-date and has the best guests, many of which are from the React core team. The host, Michael Jackson, runs training workshops on React and thus is a knowledgable host on the topic. I started to list out the notable guests that have been on the podcast thus far but then realized that it would be hard to leave any out. The podcast started at the beginning of 2018 and hasn't been running very long. Here's hoping that Michael keeps this going and make sure to tune in!

React Round Up

From the authors: "A weekly discussion among React developers"

Devchat.tv produces a host of different podcasts relating to many popular languages and frameworks. The React Round Up podcast is a new listing for them (with only 18 shows at the time of this writing) but so far the shows have been pretty solid. If you listen to Javascript Jabber you might notice some carryover or duplicate content from that one. I guess this is understandable as React is a subset of Javascript, but I'd rather have unique content on each podcast. That being said, host Charles Max Wood has interesting guests on the podcast such as Jared Palmer, Nikolas Burk, and Kent C. Dodds. Definitely worth a listen!

React Native Radio

From the authors: "React Native Radio Podcast"

While not purely focused on React, the React Native Radio Podcast does have a lot of content that ties over well into the world of React. Additionally, as a React developer, I am always interested to hear the challenges being tackled in the mobile world. If I ever start working on a mobile application, this podcast will have prepared me well for many approaches to common problems. There is also some good React, GraphQL, and tooling content scattered across this podcast. Nader Dabit is the main host on the show and they are about to hit their 100th episode soon. Lots of quality content to go through.

Honorable Mentions

The four podcasts detailed above are my podcasts of choice and the ones that I feel have been the most helpful to my learning and understanding of the Javascript ecosystem thus far. However, with 6 hours of driving time each week, I have plenty of time left over for some other flavors. The following podcasts are honorable mentions that I have found helpful but are either not actively maintained, or don't quite fit what I am interested in learning.

GraphQL Radio

From the authors: "Join the monthly podcast about the GraphQL ecosystem. We invite experts and developers to talk about their experiences with GraphQL."

The audio quality for this podcast is often quite poor and therefore it requires that I be a bit more determined to grimace through. It also hasn't been very active recently in releasing new content. That being said, if you are interested in learning GraphQL, there are worthwhile shows in the archives to dig through.

JAMstack Radio

From the authors: "A show all about the JAMstack, a new way to build fast & secure apps or websites."

JAMstack radio takes its name from the term coined by Netlify co-founder Mathias Biilmann to refer to the solution stack of JavaScript, APIs, and markup for building websites. This podcast hasn't had many shows released recently so I'm not sure if its still being produced or not. Many great shows in the archives though and lots to learn.

Full Stack Radio

From the authors: "A podcast for developers interested in building great software products. Every episode, Adam Wathan is joined by a guest to talk about everything from product design and user experience to unit testing and system administration."

A bit more of a full stack flavor is great from time to time. This podcast has turned pretty Vue heavy recently (which I don't mind but am not as interested in at the movement). Adam Wathan does a great job at hosting, asking interesting questions to his guests, and providing great content. Definitely worth a try!

Podcast Player of Choice

At the beginning of my foray into the world of podcasts, I used the default podcasts app on my iPhone. I later learned about the advantages of listening to the podcasts at faster speed settings and started to search for a better application to listen on. Overcast has become my podcast player of choice. There are some great reviews about Overcast and I couldn't agree more after using it for the past 8 or 9 months. One of the best features of Overcast is it's Smart Speed setting which shortens silences in the audio without any distortion. According to the app, Smart Speed has so far saved me an extra 10 hours beyond speed adjustments alone in my time using Overcast. Smart Speed combined with an play speed around 1.6x allows me to fly through podcasts while being able to fully comprehend what is being discussed. However, if you are an Android user, you're out of luck with Overcast as it is offered on iOS only but I am sure that Android has some worthy podcast players as well.

Find what brings you benefit

In conclusion, my best advice on podcasts would be: find what brings you benefit. You might not get the same benefit from these podcasts that I do. Your learning style might not be audio at all, and at that point I would suggest you don't listen to any of these podcast recommendations. However, I strongly believe that every web developer can find some helpful content in the podcasts recommended above. Download one or two that has a topic that interests you and see how you like it. Keep learning and finding new ways to learn!

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