Geospatially Inspired Podcasts for your Career and your Goals

Off from a long hiatus from blogging, tweeting and social media in general, I've been a little inspired to write. I listen to many podcasts on my train ride to work every day. As far as Geospatial is concerned, there are really two that I listen to all of the time-- The Directions Magazine Podcast, and A Very Spatial Podcast. To be completely honest, in the past few months neither podcast has thoroughly succeeded in really covering topics that have piqued my interest-- until this week. Just a few days ago Very Spatial podcast episode 321's main topic was "Random Thoughts on programming and geospatial." I've never heard Jesse, Sue, and Frank speak about something with such vigor. This was just a great conversation between experts in our field. If you are interested in where to start if you are interested in programming for GIS, you should listen to this podcast.Coincidentally, Directions Mag just published a podcast: "Top Skills Needed to be Successful in a GIS Career". This was also an amazing discussion between two very admired experts in our field who's opinions I trust-- Adena Schutzburg and Joe Francica. They laid out their top five skills that they believed folks needed to be successful in our field. Note: This podcast was a result of the Directions Mag editors' reactions to Joseph Kerski's Esri Education Blog post titled "The Top 5 Skills Needed to be Successful in a GIS Career". Below I'll outline Joseph's, Adena's, and Joe's lists...Joseph KerskiCuriosityAbility to work with data (know how to gather, analyze, and display data)Understanding Geographic Foundations (projections, datums, topology, models, databases)AdaptabilityCommunicationsJoe FrancicaCommunicationProgrammatic SkillsProblem SolvingSpatial ThinkingBecome an Expert in a specific discipline (urban planning, environmental science, geology)Adena SchutzburgCommunicationAbility to teach yourselfWork well in a teamTakes action (point out wrong or missing information)Look to get better all of the timeMy listPassionCommunicationSelf-StarterIngeniousWell-Read1. These are all great insights and opinions. I chose Passion as my number one, because it really dovetails into the other skills. If you are getting into this industry because you gathered from a popular magazine job article that GIS is a growing industry that can provide a paycheck, then you will flounder your potential advancement without having passion.2. Communication is such an important part of this job. Not only must you be good at writing to score and further along a job (think resumes, cover letters, email correspondence), you must really be an astute listener in this field. The best attribute that any cartographer can have is the ability to shut up, grab a pen and paper, and listen to the requirements of the person needing the map. A skilled cartographer will also know what questions to ask a person to further nail down their mapping requirements.3. You have to be a self-starter. This one requires little explanation.4. Inventive, adaptable, clever, resourceful-- all of these are attributes of an ingenious individual. Someone who is passionate and ingenious regarding all things Geospatial is someone that I want to do business with.5. Be well-read. Keep abreast of the technology by reading papers, attending conferences when you can, and networking with your peers in the industry. Staying abreast of the ever-changing conventions and technology is very important. In ClosingI did differ from Joe Francica a little in his last skill set needed. He stated that in order to succeed, you should also have another discipline to be an expert in: such as Geology, Environmental Science, Urban Planning, etc in order to succeed. I respectfully appreciate this opinion, as GIS is truly an interdisciplinary practice. After all, we don't make maps and analyze data just for the sake of doing it-- it's to solve real-world problems that span a myriad of disciplines.However, I would warn that if you have one passion, and that passion is the science of "where things are", regardless of discipline, then be the GIS Expert. Stay within a purely spatial career tract. The chances are that you will pick up conventions, practices, theories, and know-how regarding some of the aforementioned disciplines along the way.Directions Magazine: Top 5 Skills needed to be successful in a GIS CareerA Very Spatial Podcast: Random Thoughts on Programming and GeospatialCheers,Alex