Recommend "how I made/fixed this software" podcasts by women
April 8, 2014 9:02 PM   Subscribe

I love programming/sysadmin case studies, I love women's perspectives, and I'm swinging back into listening to podcasts. Help me find more of what I love?

Christie Koehler recently started co-hosting the In Beta podcast, which discusses technology (focusing more on building and maintaining and using software and hardware, especially open source, and less on moneymaking). I especially got a lot out of last week's episode, in which she described how her WordPress site got taken down by a big burst of traffic, and what specific steps she took to bring it back up, and what lessons she's learned for the future. I learned about how WordPress works and I now finally understand what "swap" is, which makes me really happy.

Does anyone have recommendations for more podcasts -- series or episodes -- in which women narrate these kinds of technical case studies from their own experiences? I especially enjoy "here's how we recovered from a disaster" stories and "here's how we designed this thing, and why and how we made certain choices" stories. For example, Laura Thomson's "Dumps, disks, and disasters: a detective story" and "How Not to Release Software" presentation are examples of the former, and the Architecture of Open Source Applications books are sort of the textual form of the latter. Basically, I want podcasts by, or interviewing, the people who make things, preferably open source things, and I want many of them to be women.

(I'm also fine with mixed-gender groups, or podcasts with diversity via rotating guests; I just get tired of "all cis men, all the time!" podcasts.)

I don't want podcasts on "what Microsoft/Facebook/Google did this week," "how to IPO," "what's new in iOS 10," and similar. And I don't just want intro-to-women-in-tech stuff about What's The Deal With Sexism In Tech? (I liked how the Motherboard podcast interviewed Máirín Duffy about her work and her motherhood; looking forward to the next episode of that.)

Slightly related: history of technology is fun too (I will be adding more Engines of Our Ingenuity and 99% Invisible to my rotation as well, even though they're hosted by men, plus possibly TechStuff from HowStuffWorks), and I am sort of interested in Linux tips/culture podcasts (so I may try The JaK Attack, DistroWatch Weekly, Free as in Freedom, and Sunday Morning Linux Review, which all (I think) have women). But it seems like those niches are filled, and the "stories told by the people who made/fixed the things" niche isn't.

I followed links from some previous questions and found some stuff to investigate: Do you have any recommendations?
posted by brainwane to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
It's more interviews than case studies, and it's more enterprise IT than open source but check out Adapting IT from Lauren Malhoit.

Several episodes of Glenn Fleishmann's The New Disruptors also might be up your alley, although these are also interviews (and about business to some extent) rather than how-I-fixed-it.
posted by troyer at 10:29 PM on April 8, 2014

For you security types, Healthy Paranoia is a podcast hosted by the pseudonymous Mrs. Y. Very good, very technical.
posted by troyer at 11:40 AM on April 9, 2014

Ruby Rogues has some episodes that are very close to what you want, some that are further away. It's in a panel-plus-rotating-guests format, though the one woman on the panel recently left the show (they still do reasonably well on guests). Some episodes get into specific stories, others stick to general principles or tech-related cultural issues. A few personal favorites that I think you might like are:
posted by moss at 9:29 PM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

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