For those of you who never listen to podcasts, you'd be surprised to hear that podcasts are big business. Millions of people worldwide listen to podcasts to expand their horizons and consume content when they otherwise wouldn't. After all, you can't read when you're driving a new car, running 10K or cutting vegetables for dinner.

Although most podcasts nowadays are of high quality, there are so many that it's sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. As such, I asked X-Team developers to list their favorite podcasts. Here are the most frequently mentioned ones:

99% Invisible

This is an X-Team favorite, so much so that X-Teamers can earn a bounty if they listen to any episode of 99% Invisible. It's a popular one outside of X-Team too, with over 250 million downloads.

99% Invisible episodes cover a wide variety of topics, but they all fall under the umbrella of the unnoticed design and architecture choices that have shaped our world and that we don't really question anymore.

For example, a recent episode was about cartoon sound effects, how they were made, and why we've been using the same ones for decades on end. Other episodes have explored the ongoing success of Magic: The Gathering or the struggles of bringing power back to Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria in 2017.

The Tim Ferris Show

Tim Ferris, once described by Newsweek as "the world's best guinea pig", is a well-known personal development author and entrepreneur. His podcast was the first business/interview podcast to reach 100 million downloads. Today, it's surpassed 300 million downloads.

Tim interviews world-renowned experts in various fields, from the CEO of Stripe to LeBron James. He tries to understand their views on life and what made them successful, so his listeners can go apply that advice to their own lives.

How I Built This

Guy Raz interviews company founders to understand why they built their companies and how they did it. The companies he interviews aren't small either: we're talking Squarespace, WeWork, Five Guys, Patagonia, and so on...

This podcast is for budding entrepreneurs or for the people who aren't quite sure whether they should make the jump into entrepreneurship yet. There's plenty of excellent advice in every episode.

Jocko Podcast

Jocko Willink is no joke. He's a retired Navy SEAL officer whose SEAL team became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit during the Iraq war. He's also the author of the popular book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.

His podcast talks about discipline, leadership, and taking life in your own hands. If you're looking for extra motivation to start your day, Jocko is sure to give it to you.

The Knowledge Project

From the popular blog Farnam Street comes the equally popular podcast the Knowledge Project. Hosted by Shane Parrish, the Knowledge Project is considered the #1 podcast for curious minds. Its topics range from "how to parent successfully" to "how to win the game of life".

Similar to the Tim Ferris Show, the Knowledge Project interviews people who are experts at what they do. The CEO of Shopify, the founder of Stratechery, and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio are some of the high-profile guests that have been featured on the show.

Shop Talk Show

Now we're moving into developer podcast territory. Shop Talk Show is a podcast about all things Internet and programming, from how to manage your emails to the great big divide between web design and web development (and about where there is a divide at all).

React Native Radio

This is a weekly podcast about, you guessed it, React Native. If you want to learn from developers who are in the trenches, using RN creatively day in day out, this is a good podcast to listen to.

Usefully, you can click through on each episode on the website to see the transcript of the conversation. This allows you to briefly skim what's being talked about before deciding which episode to listen to.

Developer Tea Podcast

With over 11 million downloads, this podcast is designed to fit into your tea break: most episodes don't last longer than fifteen minutes. They're snippets of extremely applicable advice for developers, from how to best start your workday to how you can beat procrastination.

Syntax

A podcast about web development hosted by full stack engineers Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski. Topics vary widely, from comparing Gatsby with Next to the client lifecycle for freelance developers.

The hosts also provide an excellent summary of their conversation on their website, when you click on a specific episode. This gives you an immediate overview of what's been talked about, the pros and cons, and further resources. Check it out!


These were some of the podcasts that our developers love listening to. As you can see, it's a mix of personal development and programming podcasts! What are yours? Let us know in the comments below 👇.