I'm fortunate enough to live in a relatively small city and have a commute that generally never takes longer than 15-20m. Nevertheless, a few years ago I began listening to podcasts to more actively fill in the noise gap while sitting in traffic. I've found they can often open your mind to different approaches or teach you about something new (and with the crap that's played on the radio nowadays, they might even sound better).
Podcasts, while not a replacement for actual interaction with developers, can be a great way to learn something new if you are too far away to attend a meet-up or user group meeting.
These podcasts are just some of the development ones that I enjoy listening to (as a .NET guy) and commonly recommend to others. Your taste may vary.
If there is a single development podcast to listen to, Coding Blocks is it. While the tagline may mention .NET, this covers a broad array of topics and actually talks about code as opposed to many others that simply skirt around the issue and get sidetracked.
- An in-depth review of the Gang of Four Design Patterns book, including modern use cases and examples.
- Improving yourself as a developer (from junior to advanced), and how to prepare for technical interviews to land that dream job.
- A chapter-by-chapter discussion of Clean Code and how it might apply in today's world.
If the conversation isn't enough, they have an incredible community on Slack with over 1,000 members that you can be a part of. Additionally, if you aren't in your car, simply swing by their YouTube channel where all of their previous episodes reside.
Seriously, check it out.
MS Dev Show
Another awesome developer podcast that stays more within the .NET / Microsoft ecosystem is the aptly named MS Dev Show. Topics range from .NET, Visual Studio, Azure, Windows, and much more.
Hosts Carl and Jason are both extremely energetic and knowledgeable guys that can always spark engaging conversations with a variety of guest hosts. With over 130 episodes all available on YouTube, there's sure to be something that piques one of your interests.
Variety is the spice of life. Rich and Carl over at .NET Rocks seem to know this as their long running .NET Rocks podcast features nearly 1,400 episodes spanning over a wide array of development (and non-development topics).
The show doesn't ever really deep-dive into any specific topics, but instead provides a "survey course" style introduction into it. The guests are always interesting and although the conversations can often veer off the rails, it still makes for an entertaining and often informative listen.
Particularly interesting are the "Geek Out" series of shows, in which Rich heavily researches a given topic (e.g. space travel, thorium reactors, whiskey, you name it) and essentially lectures on it. They provide an interesting break from strict development talk and might give you something to talk about at a party.
Software Engineering Radio
Software Engineering Radio, while informative, may not be for everyone as it often has a very academic feel to it. But I would encourage folks to give it a try as it frequently contains valuable and interesting discussions.
It focuses more as an educational resource as opposed to an entertaining newscast and its goal is to inform and educate the professional software developer. With nearly 300 episodes, you might want to search through their archives to see if you find a topic that interests you and give it a listen.
The podcasts are generally quite brief (between 30-45m) and consist of Scott and a guest chatting about a specific technology or issue within the development world. Scott is always an entertaining guy, and he always comes with questions that often lead into deeper-than-code type discussions.
Merge Conflict is a discussion about technology, web development, and all sorts of other goodness. It's hosted by Microsoft's Xamarin superhero, James Montemagno and Frank Krueger and is often as energetic as a morning cup of coffee.
While the topics generally focus on all aspects of web development, their "Lightning Talks" are pretty entertaining as James and Frank attempt to tackle 5 different topics within a 30 minute period.