175. Awesome Podcasts!

After discovering that we made it on to a list of awesome podcasts about tech, we decided to use this episode to look at that list and share some of our favorite podcast content and what we are currently listening to! To start off we share different ways and times to consume podcast content, from the shower to the car! We run through the best tech media out there, with Dave talking about Python Bytes and Michael sharing his love for the Ladybug Podcast. Following that we move onto non-tech shows, highlighting The Legion on Zoom and the ever-popular, topical and informative 99% Invisible. To finish off we talk about some funny shows we enjoy, Underunderstood, and how Michael has improved this very show by listening to Your Podcast Coach!


Key Points From This Episode:


  • Last week's exciting discovery about the popularity of our podcast!
  • The best, weirdest, and most common activities to do while listening to podcasts.
  • Looking at Broccoli.js, the library that we thought we made up!
  • Dave's interest in the Python Bytes podcast and its helpful news.
  • Ways for getting through long, chatty podcast episode that contain useful information. 
  • Are there any investigative tech podcasts? 
  • Two of our current favorites, Soft Skills Radio and the Ladybug Podcast.   
  • The non-tech content we like; podcasts about comic books and design!
  • Answering the unanswered question on Underunderstood.
  • Where to go if you are looking for something for some nerdy laughs? 
  • Your Podcast Coach, for improving your own podcast game and getting ideas for shows!

Transcript for Episode 175. Awesome Podcasts





[00:00:01] MN: Hello and welcome to The Rabbit Hole, the definitive developers podcast live from the boogie down Bronx. I’m your host, Michael Nunez. Our cohost today –


[00:00:08] DA: Dave Anderson.


[00:00:10] MN: And our producer.


[00:00:11] WJ: William Jeffries.


[00:00:12] MN: Today, we’ll be talking about awesome podcasts.


[00:00:16] DA: We're so good.


[00:00:17] MN: Yeah. I mean, this episode is not going to be just all about The Rabbit Hole podcast because that would be all sorts of wild to do that, so we’re going to put our podcast aside and talk about other awesome podcasts.


[00:00:30] DA: Although, I mean, we do have to talk about ourselves a little bit because you did find out last week, Mike, that we are awesome officially, and that's pretty cool. We have to let people know about that.


[00:00:41] MN: Yeah. I mean, I'll be honest. I don't remember how I found that. I think I had to put The Rabbit Hole, like use Google-fu to use the double quotes to find something that we were looking for to talk about and then found a GitHub post that had a list of a ton of podcasts, and we were on it, which was like really cool. So we thought it would be great to actually go through that list and talk about some podcasts that we listen to. We’ll talk about the kinds of podcasts. 


[00:01:10] WJ: Their list was called the awesome podcasts lists, right? That’s how we discovered how awesome we are.


[00:01:17] DA: Yeah, exactly. There’s kind of that meme of the awesome list, which is actually a great thing that we get to do a podcast episode about that too. But it’s like if you’re starting something new like learning a new language, I think that’s one of my steps where I look at learn X in one minutes and then I look at the awesome list for Go or Python or Ruby, and then they’ll have all the cool things that are helpful for different situations. And podcasts, there's a lot of different kinds of tech podcasts out there, and pretty much every podcast that I listen to that I love is on this list, and there are so many more on this list on top of that, and I already think I listen to too many podcasts, so I don’t know. There’s a bunch that I’m definitely going to check out.


[00:02:01] MN: Yeah. I think we should dive right into the types of podcast that we will indulge as we either are going through a story or a feature that is really easy for us to handle and maintain. I think we have a episode list on music and I think that podcasts may fall into the branch of audio listening that we would prefer.


[00:02:24] DA: It would take a really big brain though to like listen to a podcast and code at the same time. You got to be pretty solid.


[00:02:31] MN: Oh, yeah. Pun intended solid, check out those episodes too while you’re at it. But words can be a little difficult if you're trying to find the flow or like deep thought, and I try to listen to podcasts whenever I can. But programming is one of those places where it’s a little bit harder for me to do that.


[00:02:47] DA: Right. Whenever your hands are busy and like [inaudible 00:02:50] when I walk the dog or when I commute, I guess. But, you know, 2020.


[00:02:56] MN: Commuting. What is commuting?


[00:02:59] DA: That’s driving someplace, if I'm driving to visit my family or something.


[00:03:04] MN: Yeah.


[00:03:05] WJ: I think they’re also good for cleaning or even showering if you have the audio equipment to listen to something while you do that.


[00:03:13] DA: I do listen to podcasts when I shower but I feel like weird admitting to the public like —


[00:03:21] WJ: I was naked when I heard this.


[00:03:23] DA: I’m like worried that the hosts are going to find out about, and then they’re going to be like, “Oh.” Or maybe they won’t think about it but like –


[00:03:33] WJ: Yeah. It’s definitely the weirdest place that I listen to podcasts. Other than that, my podcasting habits are pretty normal. I listen when cleaning or when I'm commuting, which obviously I don’t really do anymore. Or when I’m exercising, which I think is the other big one. A lot of people listen to podcasts while they’re exercising.


[00:03:52] DA: I am so lazy, I am so not fit, and I don’t like exercising. That is a great idea. I should exercise and I should listen to a podcast. 


[00:04:02] MN: You got to exercise first, Dave.


[00:04:05] WJ: It’s a great motivation to exercise because you’re like, “I really want to hear the next episode.” This is my exercise podcast, so I can’t listen to it unless I’m at the gym.


[00:04:15] DA: I like doing crunches. Yeah. There’s a lot of different reasons why you might listen to a podcast. Like Mike said, there are so many different kinds and there’s a lot of different things you can get out of a podcast like being informed about the latest developments in technology, like the latest Broccoli.js library.


[00:04:37] MN: Yes, cutting edge.


[00:04:39] WJ: Wait, is there a new Broccoli.js one?


[00:04:41] MN: No I think that is the joke that I use it all the time that that’s going to be the next framework that we’re all going to be using. First, it was Angular, and it was React, and it was Vue. Then it’ll be Broccoli, before you know it, William.


[00:04:53] DA: It is out now.


[00:04:55] MN: Oh, yeah. No, I don’t. I’m sure it’s a thing. It definitely is a thing.


[00:04:58] WJ: Wait. I have used Broccoli. Are we not talking about actual Broccoli.js?


[00:05:03] MN: Yeah. I never used Broccoli.js. That’s a real thing.


[00:05:05] WJ: This is just a joke about how everything is a JavaScript library.


[00:05:10] MN: Yeah, and Broccoli.js is real, apparently.


[00:05:14] WJ: Yeah, you got to write a Broc file.


[00:05:17] MN: Oh, my gosh.


[00:05:19] DA: I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.


[00:05:20] MN: No, he’s serious.


[00:05:21] DA: We’re a JavaScript podcast I think please. [inaudible 00:05:25].


[00:05:26] MN: Github.com/broccolijs/broccoli. That’s the actual place. Don’t think – I’m not trolling you. It’s real.


[00:05:34] DA: Yeah, and I think really you may find an interview with the creator of Broccoli.js and like have what their inspiration was and why they decided to make a JavaScript library named after a vegetable. What’s going on in their lives?


[00:05:47] MN: Why Broccoli?


[00:05:49] WJ: I actually heard a podcast interview with [inaudible 00:05:51] about Broccoli.js and I believe the reason why she decided to build it was because of branch shaking. Parallelizing more effectively and reducing the total package size.


[00:06:05] MN: Oh, my goodness.


[00:06:06] DA: Oh, my God. I just Googled it and it exists.


[00:06:09] MN: Yes.


[00:06:09] DA: JavaScript driver, you can hear the interview.   


[00:06:13] WJ: Yeah, JavaScript driver. Yeah, that was it.


[00:06:15] DA: Broccoli.js interview.


[00:06:19] MN: All right.


[00:06:21] DA: Take it out.


[00:06:22] MN: I got to change it now. It’s got to be Asparagus.js. That’s going to be the library of the future.


[00:06:26] DA: It could exist just, this on a podcast.


[00:06:29] MN: There you go.


[00:06:30] DA: Because it also exists on the internet. Well, yeah. So the interview, I really want to listen to that now.


[00:06:39] WJ: It was years ago that I heard about it, so I don’t know what the status is with this library. Are people still using this, is it active?


[00:06:48] DA: Case stars? I don’t know.


[00:06:50] MN: It’s got 3.3 case stars on GitHub, and I guess the last commit to master was on June 22nd, 2020.


[00:06:58] WJ: Okay. So it sounds like still a thing.


[00:07:01] MN: Still going strong.


[00:07:03] DA: I used to listen too on and off but very frequently listen to this podcast called Python Bytes for like Python news when I first started out programming with Python, and like one of the big things that they were always updating on which I was so excited to hear more about was like when Python 3 was going to take over, when Python 2 was done. It was so interesting. There was so much controversy and drama around this. There was always like new contributions.


I think like when things started to settle down and I also wasn't programming in Python anymore, like I stopped listening as much. But then I started programming in Python. I came back to it. But great podcast and really nice for like little tiny developments and changes that are happening, like what’s this new operator appearing in your favorite version of your language. Pretty nice to like hear somebody talk about it. There’s blog posts too or the RFCs. You can read the RFCs but that’s intense.


[00:08:03] WJ: Yeah. There used to be a podcast called the Ruby5. I don’t think they still make it anymore. But, yeah, I think it was actually pretty short-lived. But they were trying to do Ruby news in five minutes, which is a really nice bite-sized chunk of dense information. I think it’s hard to put this together though. That’s a high-effort, low-output podcast format.


[00:08:28] DA: Right. But if you do it right, then it’s super effective. A lot of the podcasts that I like to listen to that aren’t technical are in that format, where it’s just high density, high caloric intake of information.


[00:08:43] WJ: It’s just gorging.


[00:08:45] MN: Devouring.


[00:08:47] DA: Other podcasts, ours I like to think, are focused and topical, where you have one topic where you write an outline and maybe you stick to the script or maybe you talk about Broccoli.js.


[00:08:58] MN: Yup. That’s us. That’s us all right.


[00:09:03] WJ: We’re trying to stay focussed. There’s also the bullshitting in the room category.


[00:09:10] MN: That could be us I guess, the combination of both.


[00:09:15] DA: We no longer have the room, but —


[00:09:18] MN: Yeah, there is a whole lot of that. Yeah. The podcast that I listen to, there is a lot of the bullshit in the room, and it's really long which can be tiresome. But I just managed to sit through it for the sake of getting whatever topics that are coming up in hip hop culture and stuff like that. So it's like part of the reason why I’d sit through a two-hour podcast with people bullshitting in a room.


[00:09:43] WJ: Oh, my God. A two-hour podcast [inaudible 00:09:45].


[00:09:45] MN: I mean, I had to double speed it, just so I could get through it. It's great though.


[00:09:49] WJ: But, yeah, I guess that’s not so bad on 2X.


[00:09:51] MN: Which is another thing. I don't know if people are able to do – If you do a 2X on a podcast while simultaneously being a 10X developer, that’s a lot of multiplication happening.


[00:10:02] DA: 20X.


[00:10:02] MN: That is crazy. Only the finest of 10X developers will be able to pull that one off because that’s nuts.


[00:10:09] DA: The last kind of podcast though I could think of was a storytelling podcast, so like investigative or journalistic where they’re like pulling a thread and teasing out details. I don’t really know too many things that do that with like tech-related things.


[00:10:24] MN: No Reply I think it’s called.


[00:10:27] DA: Or Reply All.


[00:10:28] MN: Reply All. Reply All. Excuse me. That is not No Reply. It’s Reply All podcast. I have sometimes that are sometimes tech-related, but I don’t think it goes into the realm of the history of PHP or whatever. More it has to do with tech but also for engineering in-depth, not that I recall.


[00:10:44] DA: That one is pretty good, yeah. They posted on the people who are doing spam calls that claim to be tech support people [inaudible 00:10:51].


[00:10:53] MN: Yeah. That one actually is the reason why I know about this podcast because I heard that and it was insane. Bobby went to the headquarters to find the person who was trying to scam him all the way from India. Just hang up the phone, bro. What are you doing?


[00:11:08] DA: I mean, this is [inaudible 00:11:09]. We have William in South Korea. You could be like in the field. You could be our field reporter doing journalistic deep dive into I don't know what. Banchan I guess.


[00:11:24] MN: On Banchan, William.


[00:11:26] WJ: We should’ve done this while I was still in India. I could have rolled up on all the scammers.


[00:11:31] MN: That would be crazy.


[00:11:33] DA: That’s true. I know that this episode has already been done, but it’s great. So we’ll do it again.


[00:11:40] MN: Yeah, do it again.


[00:11:42] WJ: What are some other podcasts you guys think are cool?


[00:11:45] DA: I don’t think you have Soft Skills Radio. Basically, they talk about like the job of being an engineer but about the non-technical skills that you need in order to be good at that, and they answer people’s questions and they normally keep it pretty tight. Two questions on an episode and pretty engaging with the audience. I think they did a really great job.


[00:12:07] WJ: Yeah. I think the soft skills in engineering make for better radio than the hard skills in engineering. Nobody wants to talk about your Bloom filter.


[00:12:17] DA: I want to know about your [inaudible 00:12:18]. What about you, Mike?


[00:12:22] MN: There’s a person I follow on Twitter, Kelly Vaughn. She is a female front end software engineer and she has a podcast with two other female engineers called the Ladybug Podcast, and they talk about different aspects of software engineering, and it’s just always great to have a diverse group of people in the space to talk about their experience. They have all sorts of different topics or like main branches like they do different book clubs. They have interviews, personal development, and stuff like that, and their website is pretty cool. They have a dope logo as well, so shout out to them. Every so often, I try to catch one of their episodes, and it's always like pretty refreshing to hear different ideas and stuff about software development in general.


[00:13:05] DA: I hadn't heard of this podcast before but I was looking at their website, and it looks super cool. The design is great and I agree. I think that podcasting is like very democratic. It's like a little intimidating when it started but it’s the Internet and it’s open for anybody. That’s a great opportunity for people who listen to more different kinds of voices than may not have immediately available to you. 


[00:13:32] MN: I always think that small specific podcasts are pretty cool. The idea – The one that I'm about to mention, I’m mentioning it not only because my brother’s on the podcast now. But the times that I’ve spent learning Elixir is like the community is very positive. So the podcast that my brother is on is called the Elixir Mix, and it's a group of individuals. They just hit their 100th episode, and my brother’s now one of the panelists, so shout out to Steve Nunez on the Elixir Mix. If you’re an Elixir mixer, that’s probably the podcast that you’re listening to. If you're not, then feel free to subscribe to that one.


[00:14:04] WJ: I’m a fan of the [inaudible 00:14:05] podcast. It’s giant robots smashing into other giant robots, which is a dope name.


[00:14:10] MN: That name is so dope. That is such a dope name.


[00:14:14] WJ: Then also The Bike Shed. Those are pretty solid, although they’ve gone through some different iterations. They’ve been around for so long. They’ve had some turnover but they are still going.


[00:14:25] MN: There’s still, Bike Shed.


[00:14:26] DA: Yeah. I mean, that’s pretty great. It’s kind of refreshing to look at that and see how they manage to keep it fresh for so many episodes. They’re on 259 right now. But we’re not that far behind. We’re getting there.


[00:14:41] MN: And we’re getting there slowly, but surely. We just got record one episode a day and then just we’ll catch up that way if anything. 


[00:14:49] DA: [inaudible 00:14:49] over time.


[00:14:52] MN: Sooner or later.


[00:14:53] DA: Yeah. Then another cool podcast too that we [inaudible 00:14:54] they’re like a friend of the show podcast, CodeNewbie.


[00:14:59] WJ: CodeNewbie’s great.


[00:15:00] DA: [inaudible 00:15:00]. Pretty nice, organic discussion of the evolution of two people launching a product, and they’re both like pretty cool products. There’s like interesting kind of scenes look and company growing through different stages. Are there any non-development podcasts you listen to or are you guys just listening to podcasts where people recite code too?


[00:15:28] MN: No, not just reciting code. That will be a bit wild. I have two that I currently listen to. I guess at the age right now in the midst of a pandemic, people have sprouted new podcasts in my inner circle of friends. The podcast I’m currently listening to, one is called the Legion on Zoom. It’s a play on the villain group called the Legion of Doom and it's a comic book podcast. The host is a friend of mine, Chez, and two of his friends. They’re talking about comic book news. So if you're interested in Marvel, DC, and that kind of stuff, that's the one that I'm currently subscribed to.


[00:16:03] DA: Oh, cool. Yeah. I’ve recently started getting into that. There's like a lot of drama, right, the comic industry?


[00:16:09] MN: Yeah. Then the idea like the Snyder Cut is coming out soon on HBO Max and this whole controversy that's happening. It’s pretty crazy. So if you want to get like an inside look to comic books from individuals who live in the Bronx or Washington Heights, definitely subscribe to that one.


[00:16:26] DA: I mean, I think that’s tangentially related like culture.


[00:16:29] MN: Yeah.


[00:16:30] DA: You got to talk about something work with. I think they know 99% Invisible. Roman Mars.


[00:16:36] WJ: Yeah, so good. Roman Mars just has the voice of an angel.


[00:16:41] MN: Wait. What’s that podcast about?


[00:16:43] DA: It’s just about the hidden design all around us, and they’re just doing a great job with the programming and content, like always being very thoughtful about the topics. They’ve also done a very good job of steering the ship to be aware of the social context of different things. Since Black Lives Matter, they caught so much wind. They’ve had some really thoughtful episodes that like talk about design and society and all that but also like shifted in a broader perspective.


[00:17:15] WJ: I’ll have check out the more recent episodes because I haven't heard any of the  topical one. When I was listening to them, they had these very evergreen topics like airport design, which is surprisingly fascinating.


[00:17:29] DA: I mean, it’s still that. It’s still evergreen. They’ve shifted the lens a little bit in a really good way. It’s like, “Oh, this is still about airport design but it's about how airport design is not always fit for everybody because it can be racist sometimes, and this is the history of like how that happened.” It’s like, “Oh, wow.” This is actually like making the topic of airport design more rich, and it is all very abstract of like not actually a topic that they talk about but it’s that kind of thing.


[00:17:58] WJ: I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next season of Underunderstood, which is going to be dropping next month I think. If you haven't gone up on your backlog on Underunderstood, you should check that out, investigative reporting podcasts about questions that you can't find the answers to online. So you get a pretty eclectic mix of different questions, and they actually do investigate, conducting real original interviews and stuff.


[00:18:29] MN: The episode that blew my mind was the McFlurry spoon and how no one knew what the hole in the spoon was for. That was hilarious. It was funny because I guess I knew, knowing people who worked at McDonald's, what it was for, but I didn't realize that those machines don't exist anymore. But that’s for you to find out if you subscribe to Underunderstood.


[00:18:50] DA: I still need to know what happens with the muffins, like [inaudible 00:18:53] all the muffins. They never answered my question.


[00:18:56] MN: The muffin man.


[00:18:59] WJ: The other one that I’m obsessed with is Not Another D&D Podcast [inaudible 00:19:03]. It’s the only Patreon I subscribe to and I am obsessed enough with it, so I pay for the extra content that they put out on the Patreon. 


[00:19:14] MN: So is it another D&D podcast though?


[00:19:16] WJ: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s as advertised. What it says on the tin, and it’s four professional comedians from – I think they originally got that start on CollegeHumor, I think they are all in different places now. Maybe you’ve seen Hot Date on Netflix, one of the stars of that is the dungeon master of the show. It’s just a hoot and a holler. I definitely recommend checking that out if you’re looking for a comedy podcast and you’re kind of a nerd.


[00:19:41] DA: You like the sound of rolling dice. I do appreciate that they kept the physical dice of the podcast. I’ve listened to other real play mini podcasts [inaudible 00:19:53] digital dice because I suspected certain people of cheating.


[00:19:59] MN: Yes. That is valid. 


[00:20:02] DA: I mean, the [inaudible 00:20:02].


[00:20:05] WJ: Yeah. You got to get that following.


[00:20:08] MN: Another podcast that I listen to because we do podcasts and I want to make sure that I’m following good habits and make sure I’m doing a good job at it. People are entertained and listening to it. It’s a podcast called Your Podcast Coach. Michael Sharkey will go over different topics for individuals who are interested in podcasting, and I think it does a very good job with retrospectively looking at your current podcasts and then coming up with content that way.


I definitely got the idea of the solid episodes from listening to that podcast, so like the fact that I was able to talk to Dave and William about content that will give us five episodes, like right then and there I thought was pretty dope and it was something that we all could talk about and contribute and stuff like that. It derives from this podcast, so I would tell people to check it out. It’s called Your Podcast Coach.


[00:20:55] WJ: Yeah. Michael Sharkey, he’s mentoring around the industry for a long time. He was in radio before he got in podcasting, so he’s been doing this kind of stuff for like a quarter century.


[00:21:05] MN: Yeah. That’s a long time.


[00:21:05] WJ: He’s the grandfather of podcasting.


[00:21:10] DA: Yeah. He’s got one of those voices.


[00:21:13] MN: Definitely.


[00:21:14] DA: It's all in the voice.


[00:21:16] MN: Well, we covered all our tech podcasts and our non-tech podcasts to spread the love of content that's out there. I'm curious to hear what other people are listening to, so feel free to hit us up on Radio Free Rabbit if you have any podcasts that we didn't mention, and we have to share the awesome podcast link since we’re in an awesome podcast repo at this point in time. So definitely should be in the show notes for you all to see and check out.




[00:21:42] MN: Follow us now on Twitter @radiofreerabbit, so we can keep the conversation going. Like what you hear? Give us a five-star review and help developers just like you find their way into The Rabbit Hole and never miss an episode. Subscribe now however you listen to your favorite podcast. On behalf of our producer extraordinaire, William Jeffries, and my amazing co-host, Dave Anderson, and me, your host, Michael Nunez, thanks for listening to the Rabbit Hole.



Links and Resources:


The Rabbit Hole on Twitter


Python Bytes


Reply All

Soft Skills Radio

Kelly Vaughn on Twitter

Ladybug Podcast

The Elixir Mix

The Bike Shed


Legion on Zoom

The Snyder Cut

99% Invisible

Roman Mars


Not Another D&D Podcast


Hot Date

Your Podcast Coach

Michael Sharkey