Given that my recent review of the Polymorphic Podcast was based mostly on vague memories amends have been made and I listened to six recent episodes since. The original ‘review’ is repeated later, but be assured that the new text is still honest sans-hype. Always covering positive and negatives is something of a trademark; it even got me fired once! After dumping the ‘difficult guy’ the project limped on using the same architecture for two more years, it cost millions more in taxpayers money before the Government agency finally caught onto their game. After three years the only product was a stack of high-dollar invoices! The moral? Save millions of dollars by hiring (and listening to) honest developers. In my thirteen years of IT consulting people playing politics has never helped a project. We were getting close to an enjoyable rant there, but let's get back to the review:

Polymorphic Podcast (.Net specific)

Craig Shoemaker has made great progress with this podcast which he clearly puts a lot of effort into. Craig appears to be a full time .Net developer and produces semi-scripted well planned introductions to .Net technologies spliced with interviews of .Net luminaries.

Much like DNR the interviews depend on who is being interviewed and Craig makes a pretty good Larry King extracting the most from his guests. I would be slapping the guests around for technical accuracy, but that is a one good reason I do not have a podcast! Talking of technical accuracy; not once did I hear Craig give out inaccurate information. He obviously researches before pressing record.

Audio quality is often a bug-bear of niche podcasts. In true ‘my laptop has a built-in-mike and I want to podcast now’ style the audio was initially terrible; I think Craig did it on one those ‘plastic-cup-tied-to-a-piece-of-wet-sting that ran to his neighbor’s house’ type device we all played with a kids. He was probably underwater at the time too, speaking through his nose… I could go on <g> Download his first podcast and take a trip back to podcasts in early 2005.

Seriously like many other podcasts from early to mid 2004 the audio was bad, but it is now high quality well put together audio and it was wonderful to hear a podcast hero Scott Fletcher give a professional intro and exit piece (I love Scott’s podcast on podcasting and hope he does not fade).

Advertisements/ sponsors: Many podcasters are attempting to monetize their shows, and considering the effort involved who can blame them? Given the number of ad-free podcasts still available the Slashdot review is only show where I put up with advertisements, because the content is worth it. Fortunately Craig’s advertisements are pretty unobtrusive with none disturbing a show's main content; evidently he thought hard about how to advertise.

In summary this is a must try for mid-level .Net developers. .Net newbies will be lost because unlike DNR Craig makes some assumptions of the listener's knowledge. Sadly book-consuming, blog-devouring seniors devs will not hear anything new. For the senior guys interesting in podcasting, this is still a good example of how an amateur can produce a professional sounding show.


So was my first review really ‘that’ bad? Here it is unaltered:

From memory the audio quality used to really bad, but I caught some of the recent Atlas show and it has improved massively.

While typing this I am playing an episode in the background which activated a few neurons. This show has a format somewhat similar to .Net Rocks and has obviously taken ideas from Mr. Curry et-al. I am pretty sure the technical content is somewhat mid-level with a reasonable amount of non-technical content (like the '.Net Praise emails' etc). Non-tech content is great when delivered with Rory Blythe's humor, but as I subscribe to 20+ podcast feeds this 'time-filler' is why I skipped the shows quickly. Still I am sure many people enjoy this show.

In summary I have may have rated this show unfairly. Please flame me publicly below or email and I'll amend this entry