A little while back, I was asked to guest-host an episode of Software Engineering Daily. I had never been a guest on a podcast or hosted one and the idea of hosting a technical podcast was making my imposter syndrome go wild, but in an effort to get over my insecurities in a hurry, I just said yes. In an alternate universe, my first attempt at podcast hosting would be heard by a dozen friends and family, but this trial by fire was on an established technical podcast listened to by thousands.
Software Engineering Daily listeners have high expectations about the discussions on the show and I felt great pressure to meet them. What if I have some huge technical blindspot that will be embarrassingly exposed during the interview? Not to mention having to hear the sound of my own voice once it is all put together.
Despite all my fears, recording the podcast was awesome and I learned a lot in the hour of recording. My guest was Juan Buritica, VP of engineering at Ride, and the whole discussion was great. There was a lot I could have done better. I may have strayed too far from some of the technical issues because I was very interested in some of the management choices Juan makes on a daily basis, but so much of software engineering is about the people and the interactions so I felt personally that this direction provided a lot of value.
I truly learned a ton during the interview about how Juan organizes his engineering team at Ride and why they made some of the technical decisions they made. Juan's team is distributed across the USA and Latin America, as Juan, who is Colombian, has been able to take advantage of his network to assemble a very talented and diverse distributed team. The episode went out today and here it is.
If you want to host a technical podcast, here is my advice:
- Do it, it will be easier than you think.
- Do not spend too much time joking around or making small talk. Get to the meat.
- Ask questions in order to genuinely learn something. Chances are others will benefit from this as well.