We listened to 864 hours of podcasts so you wouldn’t have to

We listened to 864 hours of podcasts so you wouldn’t have to

Here are the 10 episodes you can’t afford to miss.

It all started in January 2021, when a few people from the Amsterdam office got together to discuss an episode of Sam Harris’s Making Sense podcast. We all enjoyed the lively discussion that ensued so much that we wanted to bring it to the greater Reaktorian world, and in a more organized fashion. Thus, the Reaktor Podcast Club was born. More than a year and a half later, it’s still going strong.

As you might expect, a podcast club is very much like a book club: a group of podcast aficionados gets together regularly to discuss episodes they’ve collectively decided to listen to. Conversations like this are a great way to validate your understanding, hear the perspectives of others and get your own thinking challenged. Plus, you get exposed to some awesome audio content without having to read a bunch of reviews or rely on AI algorithm suggestions. Well, now the Reaktor Podcast Club has made things even easier for you. We’ve boiled down 18 months of listening to our top 10. As you’ll find, most — but not all — of the episodes are related to work/the tech industry in one way or another.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Sendhil Mullainathan: The Chaos Inside Us
    The professor of Computation and Behavioral Science at University of Chicago talks about decision making, idea creation and idea filtration, what feedback should look like, and much more.
  2. Why the Price of Coke Didn’t Change for 70 Years
    For a long time, economists couldn’t figure out why the price of the most popular soft drink in the world stayed the same for seven decades. It turns out the simple reason is rooted in one unlucky decision.
  3. Our Noisy Minds
    Another episode about decision making, this one focuses on how our choices are impacted by external factors like the weather or the results of a baseball game — and what you can do about it.
  4. The Only Unbreakable Law
    We’re bending rules with this one — it’s actually a video, not a podcast. 😮 It offers a great summary of Conway’s Law and how it shows up in practice.
  5. Alan Watts Being in the Way: Veil of Thoughts: Money, Relationships & Desire
    Alan could be described as a sort of a modern-era hippie/deep thinker. His light and conversational style talking about difficult topics like work, happiness, and relationships is a joy to listen to. You can put this one on repeat and always learn something new.
  6. Freakonomics: Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?
    Have you ever thought about why leadership in hierarchical organizations goes wrong so easily? Learn about the Peter Principle and how it affects orgs big and small.
  7. Radiolab: Colors
    You probably know that some people see less color than others but did you know that some also see more? These people are called tetrachromats. Could you be one of them?
  8. David Foster Wallace: This Is Water
    You may have heard this one before. It’s a classic. It’s also technically not a podcast — it’s a commencement speech. (It was 2005. Nobody even knew what a podcast was!) If you’ve never come across it, it’s worth your time. And if you’ve listened to it in the past, it’s interesting enough to give it another spin. 
  9. FT Tech Tonic: Harnessing the Technological Revolution
    The world around us has never changed as quickly as it is right now. In order for us to benefit from the fast pace the tech industry is taking, there are some radical changes needed.
  10. Making Sense: The New Future of Work
    Hear about the evolution of distributed work, the benefits of working from home, the new norms of knowledge work, relevant tools and security concerns, the importance of written communication, and more.

What’s your thing? Bring it to Reaktor.

As a group of almost 700, it’s not hard to find someone at Reaktor who is into the same thing as you. And with such a diverse team — brought together from literally all around the world — it’s also easy to discover new interests. That’s why we really encourage hobby groups. They can be either in-person meetups, completely async on Slack channels, or somewhere in-between, like the Podcast Club (we do audio calls every other Monday). The range is vast, too — from the general (e.g., cinema/tv/movies) to the very specific (e.g., cuckoo birds). If someone has a passion that isn’t represented by a hobby group, then they can make one.

Everyone is free to be as active or inactive as they want. With the Podcast Club, some members keep notes on every episode and participate wholeheartedly. Others come to the meetings and just listen, and some just lurk on our Slack channel to steal suggestions on what they should cue up next in Spotify. Like pretty much everything else at Reaktor, everyone gets to decide what suits them best.

The way we pick what we listen to in the Podcast Club is quite Reaktorian, too. Anyone who participates in the discussions can make a selection. This round-robin kind of format takes away the “majority rules” approach, and since our company culture is very big on everyone having a voice, it fits in with that nicely. Plus, it exposes all of us to a broader range of topics. And curiosity is one of the most prized attributes at Reaktor.

Do we think you’ll come work for us because of our cool clubs? Doubtful. But it is a nice aspect of the workplace that a lot of us enjoy. And hey, you just got 10 great podcast episodes out of it.

P.S. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention our own podcast, Fork Pull Merge Push. Take a deep dive into current topics developers obsess over.

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