Everyone loves a good podcast, they're one of the defining media platforms of the last decade, with podcasts on anything from comedy, history, and true crime, to talk shows and politics hitting listener numbers that rival TV viewership. But podcasts are good for more than just a laugh or a tantalizing mystery, podcasts can also be a great learning tool.
This is especially true for sysadmins and IT professionals in general, who must constantly strive to keep their skills sharp and their knowledge fresh. Podcasts can provide a kind of passive maintenance for the ever-expanding skillset and knowledge base required to do your job.
Personally, I like to listen to podcasts during my commute, or while handling chores or route tasks at work. As such, I’m usually only giving a small fraction of my attention to the podcast, and even so, I’m often surprised by the amount of information I retain, especially if something piques my interest.
So, if you aren’t already listening to sysadmin podcasts, give it a shot, you may be surprised how useful you find them. Below are a few of my favorite sysadmin podcasts, listed in no particular order. You’ll find a great range of topics, tones, and styles, ranging from general IT, to downright academic, and everywhere in between, check it out!
The Admin Admin Podcast
This first podcast is broadcast from all the way across the pond in England, the Admin Admin podcast defines itself as "a show by three English guys who talk about servers and networks," and I think that's a pretty apt description.
In their podcast, hosts and IT pros Al, Jerry, and Jon discuss everything from windows servers to automation, often with a focus on real problems they've encountered in their work. This is a podcast for people who work in real-world IT. If you are a sysadmin or want to learn more about servers this podcast is for you. Listen here.
Iron Sysadmin Podcast
Since 2016, the good folks at Iron Sysadmin have kept up this weekly-ish podcast covering the latest industry news, ideas, and strategies along with a healthy dose of sysadmin chatter. In the Iron Sysadmin, you'll find a strong focus on the practical needs of sysadmins, and a dedication to solving real-world problems. This is a great listen for the drive home. Listen here.
PacketPushers: Heavy Networking
PacketPushers puts our several podcasts, but my favorite is the weekly Heavy Networking podcast, a self-described "unabashedly nerdy swan dive into networking technology." The weekly, hour-long episodes of this podcast feature both professional network engineers and sysadmins, and industry experts and insiders, all of whom will be sharing useful information. These guys never spare the gruesome details, so it's a great way to keep sharp. Listen here.
Ok, self-promotion time. You've been warned, Defrag This is not only the name of our sister blog, it's also an excellent podcast put on by my coworker Greg Mooney, which occasionally features yours truly as co-host :-). Defrag This is a podcast for IT pros and security-minded folks that features meaningful trends, commentary on breaking news, and much more. Greg has a talent for securing great guests, so there's always something thought-provoking in his biweekly podcast. Listen here.
RunAs Radio is a Microsoft-specific weekly podcast for IT Professionals that clocks in at a very reasonable 30-minutes per episode—perfect for a morning commute or a jog on the treadmill. Despite the relatively short runtime, each episode dives deeply into a specific topic, never sparing specifics. New episodes come out every Wednesday. Listen here.
This Week in Enterprise Tech
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a weekly podcast that explores the endlessly complex world of enterprise technology. As such, it's a great way to keep up with enterprise tech, and to know about things before your boss does. The show records live every Friday afternoon, so it's great listening for the Monday morning commute. And if you don't work with enterprise-level tools, don't let the name fool you, they discuss plenty of SMN applicable stuff as well. Listen here.
SANS Stormcast, ie. Daily Network Security Podcasts
A bit different from the rest of the podcasts on this list, Stormcasts are daily, highly digestible, 5-10 minute information security threat updates. As such, they’re a great way to stay on top of the threat landscape just by listening during your daily commute, just as you’d listen to the news to stay on top of other current events. I'm a big fan of this highly efficient format and I consider it a must-listen for those strapped on time. Listen here.
Enterprise Security Weekly
Hosted by Paul Asadoorian, Matt Alderman, and John Strand, Enterprise security weekly is a great weekly look into enterprise security, often with insightful insider perspectives on security vendors. There's a lot of experience on the table with these three hosts, and it really shows in the quality of the podcast. Listen here.
A classic of the security podcast oeuvre, Risky Business was first launched in 2007, and it has been steadfast ever since, providing news and commentary from industry insiders, journalists, and IT pros alike. For many, this is the must-listen security podcast. Why should we be any different? Listen here.