Favorite Ruby and Rails Podcasts
Podcasts have been a great help to get some great information about Ruby and Rails, as well as to discover and connect with more of the community. I figured I’d list a few that I listen to, and would appreciate folks passing back any good ones I might be missing.
Some will be old hat to the ruby folks, but there might be some new ones that could peak pique your interest. If you’re a newbie to Rails like me, I suggest you add these to your podcast watcher of choice immediately! Most of these will fall into either the “news of the week”, “interviews”, “howto” or “training” categories. I’ll categorize them for you a bit so you can pick and choose if you prefer one or the other. There are a few that I’ve picked out that aren’t strictly Rails or Ruby oriented, but they still get prime location in my weekly podcast listening.
- Coderpath [itunes] (audio,interviews) @milesforrest and @curtismchale
Ok, so even though this is a bit of shameless not-quite-my-own self promotion, and Miles and Curtis are buddies of mine, I do have to honestly recommend the Coderpath podcast. They do interviews of some of the big names in the Rails community such as DHH, Ryan Bates, Wayne Seguin and others, and ask a lot of good questions about some of the “how” of the community, the sort of questions someone like me might ask (and I do). Also keep an eye on Miles’ twitter feed as he’ll send out where you can submit questions for the podcast.
- RailsCasts [itunes] (video, training) @rbates
Ryan Bates’ great podcast is a staple of the Rails community, and he gives short, bite sized chunks of information on different aspects of rails programming. One week it might be how to do something like nested routes, another will be a series of Rails 3 howtos. Awesome stuff. Personally I’d recommend watching these and not deleting them, so you can go back for further reference later on.
Rails CoachTeach Me To Code Podcast [itunes] (audio, interviews, training and howto) @charlesmaxwood Note: Updated link, RailsCoach is now Teach Me To Code Podcast
This is a recent discovery of mine, and Charles does a great job in intermixing interviews and talking about how to do various issues, such as finding a mentor or how to take the best advantage of your first (Rails|Ruby)Conf. My favourite part of this podcast is that he seems to be (and no insult intended) about on my level, or a bit above, so a lot of the questions he asks would be pretty much exactly what I’d want to know in the same situation.
- VimCasts [itunes] (video, training) @nelstrom
Not purely a Ruby or Rails podcast, but vim is a skill that every programmer should know, and Drew does a great job in giving both a newbie friendly, and old-hat educating, series of screencasts. If it says anything to you, I’ve been using vi and vim since around 1995 and was still learning things from the first podcast. Great stuff in easy to digest chunks like RailsCasts.
- RailsLab Scaling Rails [itunes] (video, training) @greggpollack
This is a 21 part series that isn’t being updated anymore, but is a must-watch for anyone who wants to know a bit more about Scaling Rails. This isn’t going to be applicable to 90% of what 90% of the audience does, but is still invaluable information in giving you the background information to know why certain decisions you make in technology can have big (or small) impacts on scaling down the road.
- Your Workflow [itunes] (audio, interviews) @curtismchale
Ok this is another bit of not-quite-my-own self promotion, as Curtis is a buddy of mine from the Fraser Valley Ruby Brigade (FV.rb). This podcast addresses a niche that isn’t really addressed in other places, and takes that tack of “how do you get your job done” and talks about the workflow that people have. Curtis is a designer and so far his interview has focused on wordpress development, but the site and podcast is all about people’s workflow, and you’re sure to find something new.
- Ruby Pulse [itunes] (video, training) aaalex
Ruby Pulse is to Ruby what RailsCasts is to Rails. Alex takes a small chunk of code, a gem, or technology concept and works with it in a 5-10 minute podcast. Ruby Pulse is unique is that it’s done in one go, with no editing, so as the intro says, sometimes unexpected things will happen. More often than not, you’ll get a nice introduction to a new and interesting gem or two.
- Ruby 5 [itunes] (audio, news) Envy Labs
Ruby5 is the bite size chunk news show, and gives you the Ruby and Rails news of the week in a five minute podcast a couple of times a week. Ruby5 was split off of Rails Envy for people who wanted their news a bit more compressed and less “chatty”. Great way to hear what’s new and interesting and keep yourself right on the edge.
- The Ruby Show [i], The Dev Show [i] and other good stuff from 5by5 (audio, news, interviews)
Those familiar with Rails Envy will recognize these as cut from that tree. 5by5 has a very good series of podcasts with various names in the Rails and open source community, and has a great mix of news and interview shows. The Ruby Show and the Dev Show are the ones that are on my podcast weekly, but I’ve also recently discovered The Pipeline, which is an interview show with innovators and newsmakers, and it deserves a listen as well.
- Stack Overflow Podcast [itunes] (audio, news, howto and interviews) @spolsky and @jeffatwood
Another not-really Rails oriented, but Joel Spolsky is a name that should be familiar to anyone doing development, as will StackOverflow.com. You’ll also recognize Jeff Atwood from his great codinghorror.com site. The guys get into some of the programming practices they follow, business, and interviewing people in their circle. It’s a really interesting look into the development and business of the StackOverflow community. Just ignore the whole “.NET” thing
- The Changelog [itunes] (audio, interview) @adamstac and @pengwynn
These are the guys behind tail.thechangelog.com and the github.com/explore pages, and give a great weekly interview with someone in the open source community, and really get into it from the philosophical point of view. Being able to get a dose of what’s going on in the Open Source community is definitely an asset and their show (and the opening and closing music) is my Saturday must-have-on-while-driving podcast.
- 37signals Podcast [itunes] (interview, howto) @dhh and @jasonfried
If you ask for a Rails oriented podcast, how can you not include one from the company that started it all. This one features DHH and Jason Fried sitting down and talking about all things community, rails and 37signals related. Sometimes they are just chilling talking about Rails, sometimes it’s interviewing the sysadmin team, and somtimes it’s chatting about how the business side of the uhm, business works. DHH is never one to hide his opinion about things, so it’s always a great and educational listen.
So there you go, hope you enjoy the list and find something new. Remember though that you don’t want to get caught up in listening to podcasts about coding, and forget to do the coding yourself. These will definitely give you a boost of inspiration, training, or just a weekly re-connection with the community. Also please comment if I’ve missed any good ones!