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International Podcast Day With the Head Geeks

International Podcast Day began in 2015 to celebrate the audio medium around the world. The day is meant to acknowledge and appreciate all who make podcasting possible—from the hosts to the fans, podcasts wouldn’t be possible without audio enthusiast of every shape and size. To commemorate this international holiday, we’ve asked some of our Head Geeks (and, not by coincidence, the hosts of SolarWinds TechPod) to tell us about some of their favorite podcasts. Kevin –
  1. Hidden Brain – Science and storytelling are combined to produce an extremely interesting show discussing the patterns and processes that drive human behavior. This show presents amazing scientific findings like how discussing or showing images of funerals, cemeteries, or graves can cause a person a person to choose “No” in any significant decisions for the rest of their day or the science behind why bronze medal winners are so much happier than silver medal winners.
  2. Sounding Off with Rick Beato – I played classical, Spanish, and acoustic guitar throughout high school and college, as well as bass guitar in a couple rock and blues bands. But I’ve always loved almost all forms of music, from Renaissance madrigals to EDM. Rick Beato is a musician, composer, and producer who interviews musicians and performers worth knowing about. My favorite feature on his show is “What Makes This Song Great?” in which he dissects popular music and explains all kinds of cool aspects of various songs you probably wouldn’t notice, like unusual time signatures, key shifts, vocal and instrumental arrangements, and innovative techniques. It’s a must-listen for any music fan.
  3. You’re Wrong About – So many stories in our society serve as touchstones for major civic movements and social change. But what if the story you know and love is a deliberately or organically twisted version of reality? Find out the truth about many flashpoints in American stories, from the racist roots of the Electoral College, to why Wayfair was accused of human trafficking, to the real reason important American televangelists like Jim Baker fell from grace. Always interesting.
  4. America Dissected – I’m a performance tuning expert, so much so that I want to apply those lessons to everything with which I spend a lot of time. If you like to noodle over ways to improve the world, start here. But be warned, when you find out the real way Big Pharma sets drug prices or how police response to the opiate versus the crack epidemics indelibly altered America, you will be angry. About half of the topics relate to medicine or health in some way since the podcast create is Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and former city health commissioner.
  5. Data Driven – I read a lot about what is happening in the world of data, so I don’t usually listen to a lot of podcasts about the same. However, I make an exception for Data Driven. It’s like the late great NPR show Car Talk, except for the age of data.
Chrystal
  1. Off Topic – It’s completely random. Whatever they feel like talking about really. They’re based in Austin, TX. Topics range from video games, the MCU, comics, amusement parks, other “nerd culture,” and more. Lots of fun stories and generally a funny/good time. They’re at 300 episodes now and I still listen to almost everyone.
  2. Idiots and a Broad – Hosted by a video game writer and former games journalist Alanah Pearce (the eponymous broad). It’s new, but so far very funny. The host and three friends (including actor Rahul Kohli) discuss travels around the world, the cultures they experience, and whatever else comes to mind. Stories spin off to more stories. They also touch on topics in the video game space with other “nerd culture.”
Liz –
  1. ALL true crime – I was once told those who enjoy puzzles love a good crime story, as you’re putting the pieces together to solve the mystery. Consider me guilty as charged. If you look at my previous listened list in this category, it’s extensive...but here are a few: Culpable, Your Own Backyard, Up and Vanished, and Cover-Up.
  2. Modern Love – My parents used to get the New York Times every Sunday. Like clockwork, I’d steal the Styles section and burrow back in my room to read it cover-to-cover. I adored the weekly install of Modern Love—the stories were heartwarming, jaw-dropping, funny, and really made you feel. They’ve now taken the weekly essays and read the stories on the podcast, dropping a new episode each Wednesday. If you like these clips, you can also find some of the stories on Amazon’s Modern Love Series.
  3. Dumb Dad Podcast – As my husband and I were entering our chapter of parenthood, we found Kevin and Evan on Instagram. In my opinion one of their funniest reels covers the trip home from delivering your baby. After stumbling on their content, we began listening to their podcast and it highlights so much of the comedy and humility associated with parenthood. My favorite episode is with Bradley Hasemeyer. If you need comedic relief no matter where you may be on your parenthood journey, their banter is worth a listen.
  4. Think Fast, Talk Smart – I’ve always had a passion for communicating. I competed in forensics through middle and high school, and I majored in communications at JMU. This podcast has been one of my favorites, as it feeds my constant curiosity for all-things communication and it has helped me continue to strengthen essential skills. Whether you’re looking to improve your presentation delivery, how you write emails, or want to nerd out about communication, this is the podcast for you.
  5. SolarWinds TechPod – I may be biased, but this one is certainly on my list of favorites! TechPod listeners can walk away with more than knowledge and perspectives beyond technology. On any given episode, you hear industry titans and friends catching up on a range of topics. Some of my favorite episodes include:
  • "Return to Work: The New Different" – At the onset of the pandemic, it was fascinating to hear how two powerhouses in IT helped their organizations navigate the unfamiliar. This episode speaks to how we were all united in our experiences, lessons learned, and how we can continue to grow as we embrace challenges ahead in the new different.
  • "IT Pros: The Next Generation" – Meka’s story is nothing short of incredible, and could’ve gone for more than an hour! I enjoyed getting to know Meka and his vision around empowering young minds through technology and mentorship.
Leon –
  1. The Current Status – Led by Phoummala Schmitt, Theresa Miller, and Melissa Palmer, this video-based discussion (I’m still going to call it a podcast) features no-bs discussions of current topics and top-of-mind opinions. With a healthy dose of “what are you eating over there?”
  2. IT Reality – Featuring a wide range of semi-regular guests, but rounded up and (generally) herded to a topic by Vince and Nathan, you might very well hear guests and hosts talking about just about anything as long as it has something to do with IT.
  3. Technically Religious – How does someone navigate the strict requirements of IT careers when they adhere just as strongly to a religious, moral, or ethical point of view? That’s the question Technically Religious explores in every episode. Hosted by a range of voices from a diverse set of religious (and non-religious) backgrounds, each episode explores how to make a career in IT complement (or at least not conflict) with our personal values.
  4. On-Premise IT – Brought to you by the same folks who run the Tech Field Day series, each episode includes depth experts in a particular field, who attempt to wrestle with a challenging issue, idea, or ideal—offering a range of approaches and engaging conversations from start to finish.
  5. Screaming in the Cloud – Corey Quinn has built both his reputation and his business on trademark snark, but there’s more beneath the snappy retorts and scathing tweets. Helping organizations save thousands (or even millions) on their cloud costs has given him access to some of the most interesting voices in DevOps and cloud computing today. Coming onto the podcast, Corey gives them the floor and lets their intellect shine, to the benefit of everyone.
Podcasts open a gateway for us to explore different interest and learn more about topics and ideas we’re passionate about. Here at SolarWinds, TechPod is a place where IT professionals and enthusiast alike can participate in conversations about tech in the modern work environment. Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.
Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline is a Head Geek, noted database expert, and software industry veteran. As a 13-time Microsoft Data Platform MVP and with 35 years' experience…
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