Favorite podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some are moderately heavy and technical, some are lighter stories and just for fun. Many encourage me to be a better person, or help me to move forward to achieve my goals.

Here are a few favorites:

99% Invisible: this podcast is fun and interesting!  Their specialty is “intriguing design of everyday things”, often architecture. Recently they had an episode of mini-stories, one on the design of the standard (“Snelling”) eye chart. It turns out everyone uses it because it’s easy, but not because it’s the best. It’s easier for the doctors, but not necessarily for the patients, it’s not as accurate.
Another mini-story was about “copyright traps” in maps. Map makers spend a great deal of time and effort on their work, so they insert fake towns into their maps.  If another map copies their work, they’ll copy the fake town, so they’ll get busted for copyright violation. In one case people set up a few businesses and homes in a new area. They looked up on the map what they should name their town, they saw a name, so they used it.  A “fake town” became a real one!

New Stack Makers: As an “expert on quality dev and devops”*, I keep up to speed with what people are doing in terms of web server systems. The trend in the last few years is for containers, specifically Docker containers, and also microservices.  These tools give us power and flexibility at the expense of making things explosively more complex. This podcast helps me stay up-to-date on what practical steps people are making to create, manage, update, and simplify their server infrastructure.

Entre Leadership Podcast: Again as an expert, commonly I find myself in a leadership position. Generally I’m the most senior person, so people look to me for guidance and perspective. This is a challenge for my enlightenment and humility, and I take this role seriously. By listening to this and other leadership podcasts, I learn how to side step my ego and help people come up with their own plans, execute them, and get feedback.