4 Audiobooks and Podcasts to Hone Your Software Development Skills

As discussed in a previous article, finding Books to Love & Hate can be as easy as switching authors, from Jim Butcher to Jeff Carlson, or skimming through anthologies. More than just leisure reading, however, books can also be great for developing skills — including software development.

In the fast-paced world of software development, staying abreast of the latest trends, tools, and methodologies is crucial. Thus, as traditional learning methods evolve, audiobooks and podcasts have emerged as valuable resources for developers seeking to enhance their skills. However, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, reading platforms today have evolved to help users navigate through the sea of content. Using a combination of editorial expertise and machine learning, audiobook subscription service Everand curates recommendations so that users only find the content that they’ll love. So, you can easily go from listening to podcasts like The Changelog hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo or learning from Ask Your Developer by Jeff Lawson to finding your new favorites.

Are you curious as to what new favorites should make your list? Below, we delve into four audiobooks and podcasts that stand out for their ability to hone software development skills.

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Originally published in 1999, this book has become a classic, celebrated for its pragmatic and timeless advice. The book’s structure, presented as a series of tips and anecdotes, ensures accessibility for developers at various levels of expertise.

Hunt and Thomas emphasize the importance of practical solutions and adopting a mindset of continuous learning. One of the strengths of The Pragmatic Programmer is its ability to transcend specific programming languages and technologies. Instead, it focuses on fundamental principles and practices that remain relevant across different contexts, like the SOLID principles of object-oriented design or maintaining a debugging notebook. As a software developer, listening to this audiobook provides not only actionable insights but also a holistic perspective on the art and craft of programming.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

While not explicitly a software development book, Atomic Habits by James Clear provides insights that can significantly impact a developer’s journey. The book explores the compound effect of small changes, emphasizing the power of consistent habits. Clear’s concept of “1% better every day” is particularly relevant to software development, where continuous improvement is key.

For instance, one of Clear’s four laws is to “Make it attractive” or start temptation bungling if you want to make a change in your life. So, if you want to start learning a new programming language but lack motivation, then you can join a club where that language is a mutual interest. This shows us that Clear’s principles of habit formation can be applied to mastering coding languages, adopting best practices, and improving problem-solving skills.

Talk Python to Me

Talk Python to Me offers a deep dive into the versatility and applicability of Python, showcasing its role in various domains. Featuring interviews with notable figures in the Python community like Henry Schreiner or William Stein, the podcast covers a wide range of topics, from using cibuildwheel to manage the scikit-HEP packages to CoCalc, a fully collaborative notebook development environment.

While host Michael Kennedy aims to provide valuable insights, tips, and discussions that cater to both beginners and experienced Python developers, the podcast is not specifically a walkthrough. Instead, guests share their personal experiences, providing listeners with insights on how to leverage Python’s full potential.

The Changelog

The Changelog podcast, hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo, offers a unique perspective into the world of open source and software development. One week, you can listen to Zach Latta discuss how he joined obsolete messaging app Yo as their first engineer and founded Hack Club, then listen to Carnegie Mellon researcher Jean Yang talk about APIs and Akita Software the next.

Thus, for software developers keen on staying informed and inspired, The Changelog provides valuable insights and firsthand experiences from the forefront of the tech world. The diverse range of guests and topics ensures that listeners gain exposure to various perspectives and approaches, making it an enriching resource for those looking to expand their horizons.

Whether you’re looking to refine your coding skills or stay updated on industry trends, these resources offer a blend of education and motivation. For more on the world of software development, check out our other posts on CaseySoftware.