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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Instant Mates, just add bytes!

I work alone day in and day out. I wouldn't trade it for a cubicle and co-workers for ANY amount of dough but there are certain things I miss. For example, I miss the constant infusion of new information from other techie minds. I fondly recall the times that I've worked on web development teams on site as the creative director over the years. It was usually just me, the only woman, and anywhere from 2 to 5 male geeks, shut up in a windowless room, fed pizza and soda, and cranking on code 10 hours a day (yup, I said "fondly.") Each of us hovered over our keyboards, working away on something really cool that was going to make a difference somewhere to somebody, chattering away about technology, dishing about software, plotting the future of hardware, picking each others brains. You can't get this same sort of exposure just anywhere with any teammates though - geeks have a particular sense of humor and flavor that is hard to explain but Whoo! It was exhilarating!

Well, today I found a way to almost get that same experience. It's a podcast called This Week in Tech - or TWIT. Basically a bunch of smarty pants geek guys shooting the breeze, bouncing from topic to topic, yanking each others chains, and filing the cutting edge. So while I'm working, I'm listening to them blab and it struck me just how much I miss this sort of stuff! I'm only wishing I was sitting quietly in the middle of it interjecting my two cents now and then.

I don't imagine this particular podcast will appeal to the majority of my audience - they do get pretty technical at times. But if you work alone all day, you might want to think about checking out some podcasts on the topics that interest you. Not all podcasts are created equal - some are downright lousy while others are extremely interesting, so you'll have to dig around. All you need though is speakers and usually some sort of MP3 player on your computer and you, too, will feel less alone at home :)