Things I Find Useful: Podcast Edition

This will be an occasional series of posts, in which I talk about things that I find useful. All of the posts can also be found on this page.

I had an iPod at an early-enough point, that I was sort of in on the first wave of podcast popularity. I didn’t keep up with it, partly because most of the podcasts I liked at the time kind of fizzled out, and partly because I can’t stand using iTunes.

Side note to Apple: How is it that every version of iTunes seems to be worse than the previous one?!

After almost a decade of hiatus, I started listening to them again back in 2016. I was doing some long drives between Miramichi and Fredericton, as well as flights, so it seemed like a good opportunity to reacquaint myself with this world. It seems like while I was away, podcasting waned a bit in the public consciousness (in favour of vlogging, I suspect), but has also made a resurgence.

So, what am I listening to these days? I’ve got a few general categories of podcasts that I find useful and enjoyable:

Security

  • Mornings with Mark: Mark’s podcasts are informative, often funny, and best of all – short! A lot of podcasts go for 45-120(!) minutes, but Mark always manages to keep his to 4-8 minutes. He’s a talented speaker, knows his stuff, and wants to help us all get better at security.
  • Purple Squad Security: John Svazic covers current, critical topics related to security on both the offensive AND defensive side of things. Besides being an entertaining speaker himself, he brings on really interesting guests.
  • Black Hills Information Security: This security consulting firm puts out some fantastic quality webcasts, and then they kindly turn it in to a podcast!

Software Testing

  • The Testing Show: Officially sponsored by Qualitest, this podcast has some of the greater minds in software testing, discussing current issues and ideas that affect the field. If you want to get in to testing, or up your game, this is the podcast for you.
  • Quality Remarks: While this podcast seems to be on semi-permanent hiatus, the 11 episodes are top-notch, and Keith Klain interviews some of the top testers in the field. Of particular note for me, was his interview with the late Jerry Weinberg.

Entertainment

  • The Audio Guide to Babylon 5: I make no secret of how much of a geek I am, especially when it comes to science fiction. Babylon 5 is one of my all-time favourites in that genre, and this podcast does a fantastic job of looking at the series episode-by-episode. They split up each episode in to a spoiler-free section, then kick off a much more in-depth section (which of course is full of spoilers).
  • Welcome To Night Vale: I was SUPER late to the party on this one; it took me almost a year to catch up from the beginning to the current point in the story. I don’t really know how to describe Night Vale, other than it’s creepy, hilarious, touching, and nerdy. If any or all of those things are of interest to you, listen.
  • Good Morning Night Vale: A recently kicked-off companion podcast for Welcome To Night Vale, it features a few of the secondary actors, sitting around and talking about each episode. It’s been on the go since May 2018, so they have a fair bit of catching up to do, but if you’re a fan of Night Vale, I think this is definitely worth a listen.


  • And now, dear reader, I turn it back to you: If there’s just one podcast you could recommmend, what would it be, and why?

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