There’s never enough time to learn everything you want. And it always seems like there’s too much other stuff taking up the time you do have. This makes it hard to keep up with your Ruby knowledge.

Books and screencasts are great, but they take time and focus. And doing the dishes, commuting to work, and walking the dog can get boring. It’s nice to have those moments to think or relax. But most of the time, I want to take advantage of those minutes of boredom and learn something!

For this, there’s nothing better than podcasts. Instead of playing iOS games or checking my email for the dozenth time, I can learn something new about my favorite language.

Ruby news podcasts like Ruby5 (and the sadly abandoned The Ruby Show) are great for keeping up with new gem releases and good blog posts. But the podcasts that go in depth on a single topic are even better. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ruby Rogues

I’ve listened to the Ruby Rogues Podcast since the first episode. (I mean, with panelists like Aaron Patterson, David Brady, James Edward Gray II, and Peter Cooper, how could I not?)

They cover a lot, and I’m not interested in every episode. But listening to this podcast taught me so much. Practical stuff, too. Things I learned from the Square episode, for example, really influnced our Service Oriented Architecture. The time you spend listening will pay off.

The regular panelists are some of the Rubyists I admire most, the picks are awesome, there are transcripts of each episode (which makes looking things up later really easy), and Parley is one of the best-kept secrets in the Ruby community. It’s just a great, well-put-together show.

The Ruby on Rails Podcast

The first Rails podcast I ever listened to was just relaunched (after almost 5 years!), and it’s off to a strong start.

So far, it’s been full of great guests and interesting stories, and it’s been a lot of fun. I just started listening to it, and I’m really interested in seeing how it grows from here.

So, two good podcasts. But that’s not all the knowledge you can squeeze out of the time you have.

Another way to get your Ruby knowledge fill

There’s so much good stuff locked away in conference talks, and not enough time to watch all the videos. But it turns out that a lot of conference talks don’t actually need video! And with the right tools, you can treat conference videos like a podcast, too.

To listen to conference talks, I use an iOS app called Swift Player. With Swift, I can download, speed up, and listen to these talks while I commute to and from work. These talks have taught me a lot, so I recommend trying this (or something like it)!

If you don’t want to use a dedicated app for this, you can download the videos, extract the audio track and play it using your phone’s music player. But that’s a little too much work for me.

Give them a listen!

Now you have a few ways to learn a little Ruby during a few of the spare minutes you can scrape together. So, which ones sound interesting to you? And which of your favorites did I miss?

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