Want to plug into the enterprise tech community? These podcasts will keep you up to date on what’s going on in open source, cloud scale, software-defined-everything, and other tech topics that help you do your job.
Technology isn’t about hardware or software; it’s about people. Our entire industry is based on someone who has a problem and someone else pounding away on a keyboard somewhere to create a solution to that problem. Technology isn’t about the look and feel of mobile devices and apps. It’s a reflection of the people who tackle challenges like cloud scale architecture and hyper-converged infrastructure, because those people deliver the services promised by the people providing those mobile devices and apps. And these people have an infectious passion for what they do because it’s fun!
This powerful technology community extends far beyond Silicon Valley. Technologists around the globe come together at conferences, meetups, and at Happy Hours to share ideas, techniques, and sometimes to commiserate. But they also share their experiences with the rest of the world through things like blogs and, yes, podcasts!
I’m a self-proclaimed podcast addict. I spend anywhere from one to four hours a day listening to them during commute hours (depending on how bad Bay Area traffic is). Nothing in the world is more valuable to my ability to succeed than sitting down with other human beings and benefiting from their knowledge and experience. Podcasts give me that experience at scale, from passionate, talented, and successful individuals.
Every one of us have busy lives that demand more and more of our most precious resource: time. Yet we want to hear from people whose technical information and opinions we like and trust (or at least, who we find entertaining to disagree with). A great podcast (and just for the record, I’m really not a fan of the name, but we’re stuck with it) is all about the quality of people who are speaking. Imagine the value of going to a conference and hearing the C-levels of innovative companies talk about what they are doing and where they think the industry is going. Now imagine saving the time and cost of traveling to a conference. Instead, you have that group of phenomenal people talk to you in your living room, your gym, your car, or wherever you are.
This collection of intelligent, driven, and many times hilariously entertaining group is what I refer to as “The Cool Geeks.” These people take a sizable chunk of their daily lives and devote it to providing the rest of the world with their unique perspective on their sphere of influence within the larger technology community as well as bring amazing guests into their conversations. For those interested in deep diving into the minds of those talking about how software is eating the world, I recommend that you subscribe to these podcasts on iTunes and follow them on Twitter.
In no particular order:
What is a “Cloud Native” application? What is a microservices architecture? What is Mesos, Kubernetes, or Docker? Brian Gracely of EMC (@bgracely) and Aaron Delp of SoldFire (@aarondelp) walk you through a constantly shifting landscape of technologies, projects, and products that make up the mosaic of next-generation application development and deployment. The relationships they have built over the years allow them to bring in the founders and leaders from truly innovative companies. They introduced me to the people behind companies like CoreOS, Docker, Splunk, Mirantis, Red Hat, SignalFX, Intel, the Cloud Foundry foundation, and dozens of others. Beyond the Cloudcast’s stellar guests, the interviewers are dedicated to evolving the show to ensure that the content continues to highlight the most relevant new technologies and the path those technologies take to enterprise production. They also launched a BytSized series that provides quick overviews of some of the latest trends and new technologies in an easy-to-digest format.
What is OpenStack? You can find a Wikipedia definition for this massive open source project to plug into any elevator pitch, but it really won’t tell you exactly what people are using it for. For that, you go to OSpod. Nicki Acosta of Cisco (@nikiacosta) and Jeff Dickey of Redapt (@nextcast) talk with the veterans, the innovators, the CEOs, and the architects that provide the details about use cases, challenges, opportunities, and road maps for OpenStack projects as well as the productized versions of the technology. Listen to the project technical leads and other leading minds from Swift, Neutron, Nova, and several others. They sit down with the people from companies like Rackspace, Miratins, HP, Symantec, EMC, and Platform 9 that are built around these projects, contribute to them, and are getting deployments done in production. Even better: Niki and Jeff bring their own OpenStack experience to the table and broadcast the show live, which allows listeners to participate in the conversation by submitting questions in real time.
What does a modern tech career path look like? What is real influence marketing? What is vBacon!? John Troyer of TechReckoning (@jtroyer), Amy Lewis of SolidFire (@CommsNinja), and Matt Brender of Basho (@mjbrender) do an inspiring job of digging into topics that you cannot find discussed with such devotion elsewhere. Are Unicorns born or bred? How does social media help your career? What does it mean to be a technology evangelist? What is social selling? What are the metrics for a tech community manager? These topics take listeners down a path that reveal the ins and outs of how technology, experience, passion, social networking, and luck converge, leading people to the roles that they have today. With guests that range from CTOs to Cloud Evangelists, from places like VMware, Cisco, and Juniper, the Geek Whisperers gang provides their uniquely entertaining and honest brand of insight, repartee, and mic-drop authenticity.
What does Hyper-Converged mean to you? Why should we care about the Internet of Things? Why would Apple sell a watch for $10,000? Greg Knieriemen of Hitachi (@Knieriemen), Ed Saipetch of Centurylink (@edsai), and Sarah Vela of Dell (@orchid8) tackle both the obscure and most-written-about tech news topics in a way that provides a common sense perspective wrapped in some very witty banter. You’ll laugh out loud, but you also will walk away with in-depth and relevant analysis from the discussions between the hosts and their fantastic guests coming from places like Intel, Cisco, EMC, Gallo, and many others. What makes this podcast unique is its entertaining tech news delivered by individuals with close connections to the people, the companies, and the technologies they talk about.
Are you looking for a way to wrap your head around the ever-growing ecosystem of distributed system architecture? Are you searching for the meaning behind why some companies are failing in their efforts to provide cloud services? Or are you just someone who cares about the intersection of enterprise infrastructure software and Cosco jeans?
Cote of Pivotal (@cote), Matt Ray of Chef (@mattray), and Brandon Whichard of IBM (@bwhichard) bring their quirky personal fascination with everyday situations to the complex debate over the underlying technologies that service enterprise workloads. Guests are not a part of the show’s format but every once in a while Cote’s lamp is a special guest on the show. This podcast gives you an opportunity to share the experiences of three guys who work on amazing technology products, help shape the discussions that are moving the industry forward, and also find new and innovative ways to discuss topics like toothpaste.
Get ready for rapid-fire high-level multi-pronged tech talk mash-ups. What is SDN and SDS really? Who’s acquiring whom, and what does it mean for the industry? Who’s innovating, and who’s just putting out press releases? Nigel Poulton of Pluralsight (@NigelPoulton), Hans De Leehnheer, a datacenter strategist (@HansDeLeenheer), Rick Vanover, storage expert (@RickVanover), Marc Farley of Quaddra SW (@GoFarley), and Gabriel Chapman of SolidFire (@Bacon_is_King) create verbal steel cage death matches. Their multiple points of view battle it out to provide the listener with a wealth of perspective and history on important topics in the the enterprise tech vendor and client community. When they have executive guests from places like VMware, they don’t pull punches when asking questions, and they keep the conversation vendor neutral.
Sit down with people like the U.S. secretary of defense Ash Carter; talk about GPS vs MEMS and what the future of geolocation is. Get national and international regulatory perspective for CEOs at startups trying to break through red tape. Follow the a16z (@a16z) contributors as they sit down with influencers and thought leaders from M&A to bitcoin as they discuss how software is eating the world. This show is special: It digs deeply into these topics and provides insight from guests whom you don’t find elsewhere.
This podcast is for those who want an operations and developer’s perspective on packaging, build testing, microservices, release management, service discovery, queuing, and a hundred other things that matter. And it’s a fantastic group! J. Paul Reed founding host (@SoberBuildEng), Seth Thomas of Chef (@cheeseplus), Pete Cheslock of Threat Stack (@petecheslock), J. Michael McGarr of Netflix (@SonOfGarr), Katherine Daneils of Etsy (@beerops), Youssuf ElKalay of ServiceNow (@buildscientist), EJ Ciramella of Rapid7 (@eciramella), and Sascha Bates of Chef (@sascha_d) collectively attack the issues with a breadth and depth of professional and personal perspective. Their diversity produces a phenomenally balanced analysis and discussion for each of the topics along with the many special guests they have on.
I’ve just begun to dig into these shows but they bear mentioning. Each of them digs deep into great technology discussions that others may not focus on so closely.
Which podcasts would you add? I’m always looking for more people to listen to on my daily commute!
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