Learning Code Through Listening

Sarah Morris O’Keefe
4 min readJan 27, 2018

When I first started my journey into learning to code, I hadn’t actually written a line in an editor before. I didn’t know anything about using the terminal. I honestly had no idea if I would even be interested in the skill. What really sent me off on this voyage was listening to podcasts. While the list has changed over the years, these are the podcasts I’ve learned the most from regarding development.

  1. Developer Tea — This has been on my list for the longest, and I feel like it was one of the biggest influencers in my decision to go after a career in development. It’s hosted by Jonathan Cutrell and he has plenty of bite-sized episodes for quick listening. It’s great for short commutes or when you’re stuck in line somewhere, and he also has a TON of great interviewees on the show (from data scientists to lead developers to CEOs). The thing I like most about this podcast is that I never walk away from it feeling like I wasted my time listening. There’s valuable advice in each episode regardless of what part of the journey you’re on, or what position you hold or wish to hold. New episodes come out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (unless there is a holiday or he’s busy having a child or something crazy).
  2. CodeNewbie — I didn’t jump on the CodeNewbie train until my senior year of college (when this had already been an established podcast for a year) but I LOVE listening to this when I’m feeling like my learning journey is going too slow. The host, Saron, does a great job of having her guests talk about how they began in the industry. She also does a great job of talking about job opportunites and tech meetups in the NYC area if you’re close to there. These episodes are quite a bit longer than Developer Tea, but super easy to digest over multiple commutes if yours is short. I think the most recent season just ended because there hasn’t been a new episode since mid-December 2017.
  3. Learn to Code With Me — This podcast has sort of evolved over the seasons and the current season is more broad than it used to be. I really like going back and listening to the older episodes where she talks specifically to developers and about their learning process, but if you’re interested in broader topics than development (I.E. data science, growing a freelance business, machine learning, cyber security, etc.) this season will be great for…
Sarah Morris O’Keefe

Software Engineer @ iHeartRadio // Writing + Tech + Music + Mindfulness + Wine + Gaming // https://sarahmorrisokeefe.com