The American media personality and stand-up comedian, Joe Rogan, grabbed headlines when he signed a $100 million contract with Spotify in May 2020 to host his popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
His personal interests, which range from mixed-martial arts to magic mushrooms, aren’t for everyone. His humor does occasionally miss the mark, but his popularity as an entertainer and thorough interviewer has exploded as he welcomes a diverse range of guests from all sides of the political spectrum — including some from the developer community. To that end, here are five podcasts that programmers might want to check out.
5. James Damore
James Damore, an engineer with a history of stellar performance reviews, took a request by Google’s HR department to heart when it asked for constructive feedback following a diversity seminar. He offered what he thought was a thoughtful response about biological differences between men and women and how that impacts their careers in tech. But he was caught in a political crossfire and ultimately, was fired.
In this nuanced and detailed exchange with Rogan, Damore outlines his observations, how he believes his words were misconstrued and the difficulties of having what you believe to be an honest idea exchange in times of social upheaval. His interview is a not-to-miss podcast for programmers.
4. Alexis Ohanian
What’s it like to lose $3 billion?
Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit in 2005. When the website got hot, he sold it to Conde Nast for $10 million. As of 2020, Reddit is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion.
In fairness, Ohanian is a co-founder, so he only lost out on half of that market capitalization, or about $1.5 billion. Regardless, there’s no doubt that his $10 million exit price will keep him comfortable.
Programmers will enjoy this podcast as Ohanian recounts what it was like to develop an ambitious web application. He discusses how he felt when users began to use the site, and then, how he felt as the project that started out as a lark become a multi-million-dollar payday.
3. Hugo Martin
“How does a game like Doom Eternal start?” That’s the question Rogan asks Hugo Martin in this podcast for programmers. Martin, creative director at id Software, discusses the creative process and an unsolicited proclamation of his love for developing software. “Making games is f*****g awesome,” Martin said. “It is. I can’t believe this is my job. A stick of dynamite and a crowbar wouldn’t get me to stop developing software.”
Hugo Martincreative director, id Software and Doom Eternal
2. The Twitter roundtable
What’s it like to run one of the largest social media platforms? And more specifically, how do you strike a balance between free speech and corporate interests?
In this roundtable, journalist Tim Pool challenged Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde — Twitter’s CEO and global lead for legal, policy and trust and safety, respectively — on how they make decisions about who can have a voice on the social media platform and who gets shut down.
This compelling podcast for programmers digs into issues around modern software application development, freedom of the press and the right to free speech.
1. John Carmack
John Carmack is a co-founder of id Software and a developer with software credits that include Wolfenstein, Shadowforge, Quake and Doom. In his 150-minute appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Carmack shared his love of software, fondly recounted nights where he was up into the early hours of the morning trying to get a piece of code to work, and the pleasure of releasing software that was well-received by users.
For those who love programming, don’t miss this podcast. It’s my personal favorite Joe Rogan Experience because I felt like I was listening to a kindred spirit
A non-Rogan podcast for programmers
This last recommendation isn’t a Joe Rogan Experience. But one of the best technology podcasts I’ve heard was NPR’s How I Built This interview with Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari. If you ever owned an Atari 2600 and wondered why the entire game console industry crashed, hear all about it in this 51-minute podcast. It’s well worth it.