How do you stay current?

In a recent conversation I had with a graduating CS student, they asked what podcasts I listen to in order to stay current on technology. This was a really good question, and is something everyone should think about.

What tools do you use to stay current with technology? Software – and tech in general – evolves rapidly. Having solid resources is vital to knowing what is changing and how to stay ahead of those changes.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. But I also read a lot of different material. Here are some items on my current list that you all should take a look at.

Darknet Diaries

This is a great podcast covering the little-known portions of the Internet that the movies make seem cool and exciting. The reality of the “dark web” is actually quite nuanced. The technology is fairly exciting, but it’s also an unregulated, unsupervised void. The number of illicit activities happening in this hidden corner of the web are legion, so it’s best to tread with caution.

But stories told on Darknet Diaries help to shine light on this world, and it’s a great way to learn what happens without trying to navigate that side of the Internet yourself.

PHPUgly

I’m fairly sure some folks will drag me on Discord for this, but I listen to the PHPUgly podcast every week to keep track of happenings in the community. The podcast is a packaged version of the weekly live stream and, in most situations, is a bit more consumable as long pauses are edited out of the audio.

The team behind the podcast are solid PHP devs, and care deeply about the community. They pull together an hour of discussion content each week, and interact with their Discord community both during the show and between recordings.

Their latest episode touched on everything from PHP features to usability tools in desktop Linux to data privacy and security. It’s a bit of a variety show and, while I don’t always agree with the host’s opinions, is never a disappointment.

Remember, the podcast is an audio version of the YouTube livestream, so you can either listen to or watch the show whenever you want.

php[architect]

Every month, the PHP community comes together to publish a magazine. php[architect] contains fantastic tutorials, solid opinions on tech, and the occasional coding puzzle. I also happen to write the monthly Security Corner column.

The magazine comes both digitally and in print, so you can consume this content however you want. Each issue is in line with current tech trends and will help you see both modern PHP and the shape of things to come. The folks behind PHPUgly also work to record a dedicated monthly podcast for php[architect] that often interviews contributors to give you even more content!

Social media

Twitter isn’t just one thing – it’s a great microblogging stream where I can follow multiple trends and content producers at the same time. I follow other developers, AI/ML experts, cryptographers, business professionals, and more. Each new follower adds content to an incredibly real-time and current feed.

Mastodon is like Twitter, but federated and more modern. I have fewer followers myself over there, but the content I follow tends to be even richer than that on Twitter.

Social media and microblogging are both great ways to curate a lot of content all at once.