Swyx Faves: Software Engineering Daily
“How to become a 10x engineer: listen to @software_daily everyday.” - Amjad Masad
I am an intense fan of Jeff Meyerson and Erika Hokanson’s SE Daily. I even guest hosted once 😅.
SE Daily is a tech infovore’s wet dream. It is a general podcast on software engineering, but a few things set it apart:
- It is an hour long, daily Q&A podcast
- It covers everything from data eng to crypto to container stuff to React to GDPR to devops to IPOs
- Guests are extremely senior: recent guests include billionaires (Ben Horowitz), hot CEOs (Alexandr Wang, Vlad Magdalin, Ellen Chisa), senior ex FB engs (Nick Shrock, Pete Hunt)
- In recent 12-18 months, Jeff has started adding lengthy intros setting context for the interview, which helps situate people unfamiliar with the domain. This briefing is already worth more than the price of admission ($0).
- Jeff himself displays a high degree of engagement and research in his questions
- Jeff has a policy of starting generally (often the first question is a point-blank “What is ___”?) and then going into specifics over the hour, with the design that the first third or so is more relevant to generalists, who may then jump off to the next thing
A non exhaustive list of their greatest hits:
- FB sr. engs: TomO, Dan Abramov, Nick Schrock, Max Stoiber (not FB but close enough), Keith Adams, Jon Kleinberg
- Google sr. engs: Ciera Jaspan on Monorepos, Eric Brewer, John Looney, Adrian Cockcroft
- AWS sr. engs: Deepak Singh, Danilo Poccia, Nader Dabit, Lee Atchison
- Microsoft: Chad Fowler
- Uber: Rob Skillington, Evan Klitzke
- Airbnb: Surabhi Gupta, Gabriel Peal
- Cryptocurrency: Gavin Wood, Erik Voorhees
- Stripe: Julia Evans
- Founders: ListenNotes, Serverless, SampleFocus, Mastodon, Darklang, Cruise, Diffbot, Airtable, Gitlab, Parse founders: Ilya and Charity, Netlify, Zeit, Mesosphere, Comma.ai (geohotz), Auren Hoffman, Justin Kan, Brendan Eich, CSAllen (and again), Joshua Browder, Dev.to, Ruby on Rails, Triplebyte, Erlang, FreeCodeCamp, Repl.it
- VCs: Ben Horowitz, Brian Singerman, Tomasz Tunguz, Ryan Hoover, Martin Casado, Frank Chen , Chris Dixon, Peter Levine
- Crypto: Jackson Palmer, Andreas Antonopoulous
- Machine Learning/NLP: Word2Vec
- Other Podcasters: Lex Fridman, Russ Roberts, Scott Hanselman, Sonal Chokshi
- Haseeb Qureshi is his own category on Salary Negotiation and on Bubbles and on Debugging, and on career transition from Poker
- Misc: Scala at Duolingo, Matt Klein (on scaling Lyft too), Sheng Liang, Management with Will Larson, Notebooks at Netflix, Serverless with Yan Cui, SEO with Danny Sullivan, Data Breaches with Troy Hunt, Jeff Atwood, Jessica Kerr
- Articles: Why Airbnb is Moving off of React Native, Recommendation Systems, React and GraphQL at the NY Times
- Talks: Jeff’s You are Not a Commodity talk
While SEDaily has primarily been a podcast, there is also a Slack community (I’m not active), a news site, a mobile app, and some meetups. I think more could be done here to build community.
I was recently surprised to learn that Jeff doesn’t view SE Daily as something that will last forever. It felt like the intense commitment needed to run a daily in depth podcast isn’t something you bet on halfway. But Jeff is absolutely hedging (c.f. his indiehackers and changelog interviews). Having been through some life trauma myself, I can’t blame him.