When I started at Contentful, I didn't know an API from a PDF. Cue me trying to Google tech terminology on the sly during meetings. It became clear that I would need to get up to speed, and fast. I wondered if I should learn how to code or sit with a developer and learn the tricks of the trade. But both of these options made me quake in my boots (sorry, devs). Instead, I turned to podcasts.
Through podcasts, I learned what I needed, and it didn't feel like a slog. I grasped concepts without having to know the itty-bitty details. The podcasts often involved stories and interviews –– both things I, as a writer, could understand. In this blog, I'll share my favorite tech podcasts with you and recommend some standout episodes. Happy listening!
Darknet Diaries tells true stories from the dark side of the internet. It focuses on major hacks, penetration testing, cybercrime, hacktivism and security breaches. Some episodes include more technical information than others, but the host, Jack Rhysider, makes it palatable with his expert storytelling.
With cybersecurity being such an essential topic on the tech agenda, Darknet Diaries informs in an entertaining way. Since listening, I know more about topics like cyber espionage, ransomware and zero-day brokering. I'm itching for someone to ask me about administration accounts because I have an opinion on them now.
On that note, Contentful has a bug bounty program. It's a way for us to reward hackers and security researchers for reporting vulnerabilities in our system. If you’re inclined that way, let us know in the Contentful community Slack.
Why you should listen: You'll become obsessed with maintaining your cyber security –– and your CSO will love you for it.
Best episodes: Episode 98, with New York Times cybersecurity journalist Nicole Perlroth, explores the shady world of Zero Day Brokers. And episode 36, Jeremy from Marketing, talks you through a typical penetration test. You'll never look at your new colleagues the same way again.
Created in collaboration with Algolia, Dreamstacks is Contentful's very own podcast. It delves into the topics we chat about every day. How do we teach and learn in Covid times? What am I supposed to do with GraphQL?
We like to say Dreamstacks feeds the mind and soul. It's like hanging with your techie mates at a bar, including multi-talented Contentful employee, Amelia Winger-Bearskin. While you’ll only find a handful of episodes, we're just getting started. Now is the time to jump on board and get the title of an OG listener.
Why you should listen: Become part of the Contentful community. We're all in this together!
Best episodes: Try episode two to learn how to use live coding in your conference talk, demo, videos, streams and live musical performances.
Reply All by the Gimlet
Ask for tech podcast recommendations, and nine times out of ten, someone will suggest Reply All — with good reason.
Reply All, hosted by Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi, investigates all the ways we use the internet. Some common threads include internet rabbit holes and unexplainable phenomena. Did you know that the Hasidic Jewish community in New York has their own version of the internet? And that OG Instagram and Twitter handles are worth thousands of dollars? Reply All’s regular feature “Super Tech Support” solves listeners' tech problems.
Why you should listen: Enjoy an entertaining and heartwarming exploration of the length and breadth of humans' relationship with the internet.
Best episodes: Episodes 102 and 103 Long Distance Part 1 and 2 ask the age-old question: "Who is behind all those scam emails and phone calls?" with host Alex Goldman traveling to India to meet the man at the other end of the line.
Wired Tech in Two
Here's a routine to love: sit down at your desk, sip on a coffee and pop on Wired Tech in Two. Released every weekday, Wired's Tech in Two features a two minute wrap-up of the day's tech news read by Wired's Editor-in-Chief Nick Thompson.
Why you should listen: Get informed on the day's news –– without getting stuck doom scrolling for hours.
Wild Wild Tech
Like Reply All but with a stronger pop culture bent, Wild Wild Tech tells stories of how technology shapes our culture in unexpected ways. The hosts, Jordan Webber and Joshua Rivera cover topics ranging from the recent Gamestop saga to the dark side of deep fakes.
And while Wild Wild Tech is more entertaining than educational, it will give you something to chat about with your colleagues. Plus,considering the wide-reaching effects of the technology we use (or create) every day is always interesting.
Why you should listen: Listen because it’s fun. That’s enough, right?
Best episodes: Check out the episode "Has the internet permanently changed how we speak?" to hear a linguist outline how the English language has changed thanks to hashtags, emojis, Twitter and texting. Or try "How did a fake restaurant become #1 on TripAdvisor?" for a wild look into the world of online restaurant reviews.
At some point during your career, you might fancy learning how to code. If you're anything like me, that diverges into taking a few classes and becoming agitated by your inability to grasp even the most basic concepts. Hieroglyphics or source code? Who knows.
Codenewbie was the antidote to my bruised ego. The podcast, over 17 seasons, covers topics from React.js to web accessibility by interviewing people in the tech world. Codenewbie is careful to explain things that other people might skim over. They don't assume much knowledge of the tech world. And while it might not teach you how to code, you'll be familiar with the basics –– enough to hold your own in a room full of developers.
Why you should listen: You won't have to nod blankly in your next meeting when someone brings up Node.js.
Best episodes: The podcast has been running for so long that it has covered a wide range of topics. Where you start depends on what you’re keen to learn about.