I run a lot - for exercise, and because I enjoy it. Despite my enjoyment of the task, running for an hour or more can get a little…tedious.
I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to podcasts on my longer runs. It’s also nice to have the option when commuting or traveling for work.
Below is a list of what I’ve been listening to. I’ll provide website links, a description from the website, and my own thoughts on why I find each show valuable.
As I think I know my audience, I’ll start with SQL Server-related podcasts, and move on to others afterwards.
SQL Server Podcasts
These shows are about Microsoft SQL Server, or the Microsoft Data Platform more generally.
“Dear SQL DBA” is a free podcast where I answer questions from (and about) SQL Server DBAs and Developers
This is Kendra Little’s podcast. The format is fun, kind of like “Dear Abby” where each episode is based on a listener-submitted question. There haven’t been new episodes lately, but there is a ton of great stuff in the archive. I started from the beginning, and then bounced around based on episode titles that seemed particularly interesting to me
SQL Server Radio is a podcast (an internet radio show) for SQL Server DBAs, database developers, architects, system administrators, and anyone else who is interested in the SQL Server platform. The show is intended to add another platform of knowledge sharing to the already strong SQL Server community.
Currently hosted by Guy Glantser and Eitan Blumin, there is a new episode once a month. The format mostly revolves around discussing real-world problems they’ve seen and solved recently, although discussion of new features and product announcements is pretty common too.
Probably the most unique thing about this show is how FUNNY the hosts are. There is always a lot of laughter in these episodes. Up until recently, Matan Yungman was an excellent co-host with Guy. As a fan of the show, I was disappointed that Matan stepped down - but I think Eitan is doing a fantastic job so far.
In this SQL Server podcast, Carlos L Chacon and guests discuss a variety of SQL Server related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development. We want to introduce new and familiar topics and talk about them in a way you may have not considered. We are all in different stages as data professionals, and we can all learn something new. We hope you will join us on the SQL Trail, compañeros — you won’t regret it.
While this podcast is primarily hosted by Carlos L Chacon, Kevin Feasel and Eugene Meidinger are routine guests / co-hosts on the show. When I first started listening, Angela Henry was also a frequent guest, although she hasn’t been on in a while.
The show covers a huge range of topics in the Microsoft Data Platform, and frequently has additional guests who are experts on specific features or topics. There has been a particular focus on PowerBI and related technologies recently, which has been interesting to me, as a novice in that area.
This is a good one to scroll back through the episodes, as they’ve likely talked about anything and everything you’re interested in.
SQL Server Pain Relief: Office Hours is like listening in while patients bring their SQL Server pains to the emergency room, and the doctors give their opinions. Join your host, performance tuning specialist Brent Ozar, and his highly-qualified SQL Server Medical Team as they give you an inside look into some of the best solutions to your server problems. Tune in to get the best tips for performance tuning, virtualization, disaster recovery and much more.
It feels a little weird to include this in the list, as they stopped producing new episodes over a year ago. But I can’t help myself, because it is just too much fun listening to Erik Darling, Tara Kizer, Richie Rump, and Brent Ozar field listener questions about all aspects of SQL Server.
Like the SQL Server Radio folks, they’re a funny bunch. But I can’t tell you how much I learned from listening through episodes of this show - especially about what NOT to do with SQL Server
Other Technology Podcasts
My day job is a full stack developer, working with Microsoft technologies. I do a ton of web application development using ASP.NET and Angular. Most of these podcasts revolve around that stack, although there are exceptions.
We are a few guys who’ve been professional programmers for years. As avid listeners of podcasts and consumers of many things code-related, we were frustrated by the lack of quality programming (pun) available in listenable formats. Given our years of experience and real-world problem solving skills, we thought it might be worth getting into this world of podcasting and “giving back” a shot.
Hosted by Allen Underwood, Joe Zack, and Michael Outlaw, this podcast comes out twice a month with a MONSTER episode (90-120 minutes is pretty typical). While the show is founded around .NET programming, it also touches on a lot of web technologies, as well as hitting bigger picture technical topics around software architecture, design patterns, etc.
The hosts have great chemistry, and their “tip of the week” at the end of every show has amazing tools and productivity suggestions.
Hanselminutes Podcast is “Fresh Air” for developers. Scott interviews movers and shakers in technology in this commute-time show. From Michio Kaku to Paul Lutus, Ward Cunningham to Kimberly Bryant, Hanselminutes is talk radio guaranteed not to waste your time.
Scott Hanselman hosts this long-running podcast. Each episode is an interview with someone in the technology field, or someone with a unique perspective on issues related to tech.
Scott has this thing down to a science, I can always expect really interesting content in each episode. I’ll listen to a lot of episodes even if the topic isn’t really in my wheelhouse, and always come away with new knowledge and perspectives.
An ongoing series of conversations bringing you right up to the cutting edge of Microsoft Research.
Hosted by Gretchen Huizinga, this show has really fascinating interviews with researchers at Microsoft. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the episodes lately have been about A.I., machine learning, deep learning, and related topics and disciplines.
I check this out when I want to scratch that “what’s on the cutting edge” itch. It’s honestly inspiring to hear about some of the exciting problems being worked on.
The Azure DevOps Podcast is a show for developers and devops professionals shipping software using Microsoft technologies. Each show brings you hard-hitting interviews with industry experts innovating better methods and sharing success stories. Listen in to learn how to increase quality, ship quickly, and operate well.
Hosted by Jeffrey Palermo, this is another interview-based podcast. I often find myself in the thick of setting up DevOps pipelines, deployment processes, automated builds, etc. I’ve gained a ton of useful tips and technology recommendations from listening to this show. If you work in that space, definitely give this a listen.
Given how quickly the landscape changes in frontend development, I find this podcast EXTREMELY helpful in keeping me up to date. It’s great to hear from industry leaders (hosts John Papa, Ward Bell, and Dan Wahlin) on these topics that I work with every day.
Emma Bostian, Kelly Vaughn, and Ali Spittel talk career and code.
Despite being experts in their areas of expertise, Emma, Kelly, and Ali manage to discuss coding and career topics in a really down-to-Earth, practical manner. If you’ve ever tried to explain a complex topic to someone, you know this takes skill!
I heard about this show while listening to an episode of Hanselminutes (where Scott interviewed Ali) and it quickly became a go-to in my podcast app.
Professional Development Podcasts
Learning technology is only part of the software or data professional’s career. These help me continue growing in the personal and professional development space.
It takes more than great code to be a great engineer. Soft Skills Engineering is a weekly advice podcast for software developers about the non-technical stuff that goes into being a great software developer.
The hilarious and insightful hosts of this weekly show are Dave Smith and Jamison Dance. The format involves answering two listener submitted questions, specifically about non-technical topics related to being a software engineer.
I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from this show about dealing with people, and being a better and more considerate employee and coworker.
A podcast that focuses on personal and professional improvement
This is a pretty new podcast hosted by Terry Floyd, a former colleague of mine. Terry has worn many hats and pivoted career paths multiple times - which gives him a unique perspective on life, career, and technology.
I enjoyed listening to these early episodes with short riffs on how we spend our time, dealing with failure, and the realities of competition in business - and I really look forward to seeing where this show goes!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a huge “THANK YOU” to all the folks that create all of this content and make it available for free. You all rock!
Readers - hopefully you find these podcasts helpful or entertaining on your commute, at your desk, or on the run 😎
Am I missing out on some great SQL Server or other tech-related podcasts? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter!