Weekly Dev Tips

Listen Faster

Episode Summary

If you can do it without getting left behind, listen or watch educational content at a higher speed.

Episode Notes

Listen (and learn) Faster

If you can do it without getting left behind, listen or watch educational content at a higher speed.

Show Notes / Transcript

I've always been interested in speed reading. As a child, it seemed like a super-power, since it would dramatically increase how quickly I could consume information, giving me more time to do other things. On a related note, I often have wished for a nice substitute for sleep that didn't have nasty side effects. But I digress...

Listening faster

If you're listening to this episode on a phone or mobile device, the app you're using most likely has an option to change the speed. I try to record these at a fairly measured pace, even if I'm otherwise animated or excited by the topic, because I want to make sure they're understandable even to those of you for whom English is not your first language. However, for those of you who can manage it, I encourage you to listen faster by adjusting the play speed to 1.25 or 1.5x, or even faster if you can manage it. If you're not sure how to configure a particular player, I cover a few options in an article on my blog about listening faster. Look for it in the show notes.

If you're in a web browser on the show's site, there should be a little 1x icon on the right side of the player. Clicking it will cycle you through different speeds. Give it a shot and pick one that's comfortable for you.

Watching faster

Of course, there's also a lot of great content online. Whether it's YouTube, DevIQ, or Pluralsight, you can learn a lot about programming and your career in software development from video content. Here, too, you can usually adjust the playback speed. By adjusting the speed from 1x to 1.5x, you can consume a 30 minute presentation in just 20 minutes. Over time, these gains really add up and can make the difference between you falling behind and you passing by others as you compete to be the best you can be.


There are those who disagree, and feel that listening to content at 1.5x (or whatever speed you prefer) messes up the artistic intent of the author. A fairly recent article on The Verge is titled simply Stop listening to podcasts at 1.5x speed. I mention this mainly to disagree with it and to give you my permission, as the author and "artist" involved in this podcast, to listen faster.

There may be instances where some subtlety is lost, especially when you're talking about a heavily produced and edited show with multiple speakers involved. I'm going to strive not to be that subtle. My goal for these shows is that they provide you with small, useful, concrete nuggets that you can immediately apply to your work. If you can't consume this information at a faster speed because I'm using too much nuance and subtlety (and not because perhaps English isn't your first language), then I'm failing.

Once I've produced one of these podcasts, I'm done with it. My only goal is that a significant number of developers find it, listen to it, and find it useful. The more content you're able to consume, hopefully the more value you're able to get from it. To that end, I encourage you to listen at a speed that works well for you.

Show Resources and Links