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Does Anybody Listen? - Podcasts related to Architecture Topics

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Keeping up to date on software architecture is difficult, because only a few information sources cover this important area explicitly. Of course, Online Services like InfoQ offer a lot of information on software architecture and design. But what about learning in your spare time, for instance when you are commuting or during your running exercise? Can audio podcasts provide an appropriate solution?

In the age of mobile devices, podcasts have turned out to be a complementary option to consume information whenever a user prefers. Fortunately, at least a few companies and experts dedicate some of their time and resources to provide podcasts on software architecture and software engineering. In the list below we have focused on English language podcasts that still publish episodes regularly. Thus, we intentionally omitted well-known podcasts that have stopped production in the meantime such as Microsoft’s ARCast with Ron Jacobs.

  • Since 2008 the renowned IBM Fellow Grady Booch regularly records the On Architecture podcast on behalf of IEEE Software. In 10 minute episodes, Booch explains various viewpoints on software architecture, from philosophical to very concrete explorations. Due to the short length most of the times the author can only scratch the surface. Nonetheless, the episodes are entertaining and informative.
  • Cay Hasselmann’s Critical Enterprise Architecture netcast explains topics related to enterprise architecture in – as he claims – vendor neutral way. The author of the book Value Driven Enterprise Architecture provides his explanations and views on important topics such as TOGAF or Zachman’s Enterprise Architecture Model. Although the podcast lacks professional production quality and appears sometimes elongated, it presents valuable information.
  • Probably, one of the best known podcasts is called Software Engineering Radio. It’s produced by Markus Voelter as well as other German software engineering experts, and has recently published episode 178 with Jonas Boner talking about the Akka framework. The episodes provide coverage of the whole spectrum of software development with many discussions on architecture-related aspects.
  • Recently, the 694th episode of .NET Rocks addressed the building of .NET Gadgets.The show with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell targets .NET developers, but provides also essential information for software architects in a .NET ecosystem. It is probably the best known podcast dedicated to .NET, which is why it’s guest list reads like the who-is-who of .NET experts.
  • What .NET Rocks is to .NET developers, The Java Posse is to Java developers. Its hosts include Tor Norbye (Google), Carl Quinn (Netflix), Dick Wall (Locus Development/Escalate) as well as Joe Nuxoll (Tesla Motors). All episodes either cover a whole bunch of Java news or provide roundups on topics such as most recently  Domain Specific Languages or Developer Practices.
  • Those software architects that are interested in the world of Ruby should listen to The Ruby Show. Peter Cooper and Jason Seifer provide weekly episodes on Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Like the other aforementioned podcasts, the Ruby Show provides an entertaining and informative mix of news, technical insights and discussions.

There are not too many podcasts on software architecture or enterprise architecture in particular. But there are ones on various technology platforms and software engineering. Many further shows appear orphaned or reach only a very small community. Unfortunately, no English architecture specific podcasts such as the German Heise Developer Software ArchitekTOUR seem to exist that provide vendor-neutral, in-depth information. Hence, there is still sufficient room for architecture experts to fill this gap.

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