Launching a Podcast
An exciting new venture me over the past month or so has been creating and launching a podcast with my friend, Kevin Galang. The Dev Advice Podcast is intended to be the podcast I wish I had when I was growing in my career as a software engineer. The podcast is a place for a couple passionate software engineers to come together and chat, give each other advice, and share some of the things they’ve learned through experience.
During a morning walk with my dog a month and a half ago it struck me. I’ve been having some great conversations with other developers in the last few years that have really helped me to better define my personal and professional goals and who it is I want to be, both for myself and the world. Those conversations and what has come from them has really given me clarity of purpose and a renewed excitement in the work that I do and the ways I contribute to the community. I wanted a platform to begin sharing some of that with other developers some I’ve never met and might not ever meet. A podcast seemed like a great place to start.
I’m a podcast junkie! I regularly scroll through about 100 different podcasts daily as I go for walks, drives, or do stuff around the house. I listen to a lot of tech podcasts, but also entertainment, financial, and related to my hobbies. Why not create something that I already consume a large amount of myself.
As soon as the idea popped into my head I immediately stopped right there on the sidewalk, pulled out my phone, paused the podcast I was currently listening to and began taking notes in the Notes app. I wrote down at least 15 different ideas for podcast episodes right then. All of the ideas I could remember how they impacted my career and some of the conversations and thoughts I had around the topic. That was a huge moment of clarity for me, something that was foreign given these current pandemic times.
After I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about who might benefit from the conversations and how I should get started. It wasn’t an “if” but a “when”. I sent the idea and some of the topics over to Kevin for his feedback. Kevin and I have been working together for a while and have had a sort of mentor/mentee relationship, though I consider him a friend and confidant much more. Kevin was immediately on board with the idea. From there we had something we could both get get started working on.
That afternoon I bought the domain devadvicepodcast.com and got started figuring out what it takes to start and launch a podcast.
About 10 days after the idea came to me on a walk, Kevin and I pressed record for the first time. Something happened with the record, so we had to press it again (ahh technology), but anyway. We decided to record the first three episodes before officially “launching” the Dev Advice Podcast. To remove friction and avoid over engineering and never launching we picked a podcast host that made uploading and hosting the audio files easy. Then we got to work with writing basic show notes, editing the audio, finding intro/outro music, and recording new episodes.
I consider the launch a success so far, all of our episodes have double digit number of downloads and we’ve received a lot of great encouragement from friends and colleagues that have listened so far.
We knew that the flow, audio quality, and even content were not going to be amazing out of the gate. We also knew that we just had to start. We can iterate from where we started based on what we learn, but we need that opportunity to learn first.
So far we’ve worked through most of the audio issues we’ve encountered, missing audio, audio too low/ or too high, background noise, etc. There’s a lot we can do there, but we don’t want to optimize too early here. We’ve really enjoyed just paying for and using a podcast hosting platform. As engineers we could build out a system that scales as our download counts group but the time we could spend just wouldn’t be worth the few dollars we might save each month.
I’ve also learned (again) just how supportive and open the tech community can be. I’ve really enjoyed interacting with the community recently and hope that will continue as the podcast continues to produce new episodes. It’s been a lot of fun to just put something out there, no matter how terrible it might seem, to start the learning process.
Looking forward to what’s to come