Last week I raved about podcasts, and a reader comment asked how I find them. Good question–worthy enough to be the subject of a post, rather than just a two-line comment in response.
There are several ways to find them, and I think it’s worth the effort.
The first is to ask a knowledgeable colleague. It was a coworker who told me about Pauldotcom, and I have one current coworker who seems to know about all of the information security podcasts out there. So word of mouth helps. If someone who works with you finds a particular podcast helpful, it’s a good bet that podcast will help you too.
If that’s not an option, a simple Google search may turn up something useful to you. All podcasters have web pages, after all. The key really is to find the first one.
Listening to one podcast often leads to others. They’ll mention other podcasts, good and bad–I certainly know which ones Pauldotcom thinks are good and which, um, one he doesn’t think most people should bother with–and sometimes the hosts of other podcasts even make a guest appearance. If that happens, and you like what that person has to say, by all means check out their own podcast.
Having a podcast manager also helps. Right now I’m using Doggcatcher on Android, though I haven’t settled on a permanent podcast manager just yet. I can search within Doggcatcher itself for podcasts. Doggcatcher also has a discovery feature, where it will compare the podcasts you listen to with what other people listen to, and offer suggestions. That’s helpful. On Saturday morning I happened to tap the discovery feature, and discovered an OWASP (web application security) podcast that I didn’t know about. I don’t deal with web application security in my current position, but a lot of security jobs do, so being aware of it is important in my field. Besides that, listening to it on a regular basis will stretch me, and stretching is good. That’s where professional growth happens.
Besides, having a podcast manager is good anyway, because it makes it very easy to make sure you always have something to listen to in the car. When a podcast I follow releases something new, it downloads it for me. When there’s nothing new, it grabs something old for me. And while the news segments of a six-month-old security podcast aren’t especially valuable anymore, the technical segments and the interviews still are.