Hacking my brain with podcasts

I was most of the way through my Mechanical Engineering degree before I realized that I wanted to be a web developer. I had no clue how to get into the industry but I figured that if I could find a niche then I could focus my learning and maybe get good enough to get hired somewhere. I decided to focus on building sites with Drupal.

I downloaded every podcast on the topic that I could find and listened to them walking to and from school each day. I became familiar with the terminology. The tooling. What things were easy (brochure sites!). What things were hard (traffic spikes!).

The podcast hosts didn’t know it, but they became my friends. We spent so much time together that eventually it didn’t seem so farfetched for me to do the kind of work that they were doing. I felt like part of the club. And when it came time to do job interviews, I could speak the language.

Whenever I’ve wanted to try new things in my career, I’ve followed a similar process. When I wanted to get really good at Javascript, I downloaded Career.js and Javascript Jabber. When I needed to build my first Rails app, I found Ruby Rogues and the Ruby on Rails podcast. Now that I’m working on my own product (an app for online Excel training), I’m subscribed to Indie Hackers, How I Built This, and Startups for the Rest of Us.

Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The great thing about the internet is that you can spend time with anyone in the world, no matter where you live.

So choose wisely! Thoughtfully selecting podcasts is like hacking your brain, helping you move towards where you want to go.