3 min read

5 tech talks every developer must watch

The best tech talks I have ever watched that meaningfully impacted my work quality and helped me as a developer and grow into leadership.
5 tech talks every developer must watch

The best tech talks I have ever watched that meaningfully impacted my work quality and helped me as a developer and grow into leadership.

1. Simple made easy

by Rich Hickey

Abstract: Rich Hickey emphasizes simplicity’s virtues over easiness’, showing that while many choose easiness they may end up with complexity, and the better way is to choose easiness along the simplicity path.

About Speaker: Rich Hickey, the author of Clojure, is an independent software designer, consultant and application architect with over 20 years of experience in all facets of software development.

Recordings of the talk - Simple Made Easy by Rich Hickey

Slides are available at : https://www.infoq.com/presentations/Simple-Made-Easy/

2. The future of programming

by Bret Victor

"The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you're doing." Victor took attendees back to the year 1973, donning the uniform of an IBM systems engineer of the times, delivering his presentation on an overhead projector. The '60s and early '70s were a fertile time for CS ideas, reminds Victor, but even more importantly, it was a time of unfettered thinking, unconstrained by programming dogma, authority, and tradition. 'The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you're doing,' explains Victor. 'Because once you think you know what you're doing you stop looking around for other ways of doing things and you stop being able to see other ways of doing things. You become blind.' He concludes, 'I think you have to say: "We don't know what programming is. We don't know what computing is. We don't even know what a computer is." And once you truly understand that, and once you truly believe that, then you're free, and you can think anything.'"

This talk was presented at Dropbox's DBX conference on July 9, 2013. All of the slides are available at: http://worrydream.com/dbx/

Recordings of the talk - The future of programming

There's another talk on the same topic by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob)

3. Personal branding for developers

by Scott Hanselman

Abstract: Personal brand plays a big role in career and opportunities for everyone. As developers, how can we build our personal brand? Scott presents an interactive talk about the mindset and tools that will help you do that.

About Speaker: Scott Hanselman is a former Professor, a remote employee of Microsoft, an open source contributor and blogger. With huge following on his social media(250k+), his podcasts and blog, he's one of the best person to learn about personal branding from.

This talk was presented at Git Commit Show on Jun 26, 2020

Recordings of the talk - Personal branding for developers

4. The art of code

by Dylan Beattie

Abstract: Software and technology has changed every aspect of the world we live in. At one extreme are the ‘mission critical’ applications - the code that runs our banks, our hospitals, our airports and phone networks. Then there’s the code we all use every day to browse the web, watch movies, create spreadsheets… not quite so critical, but still code that solves problems and delivers services. But what about the code that only exists because somebody wanted to write it? Code created just to make people smile, laugh, maybe even dance? Maybe even code that does nothing at all, created just to see if it was possible?

About Speaker: Dylan Beattie - programmer, musician, and creator of the Rockstar programming language - for an entertaining look at the art of code. We’ll look at the origins of programming as an art form, from Conway's Game of Life to the 1970s demoscene and the earliest Obfuscated C competitions. We’ll talk about esoteric languages and quines - how DO you create a program that prints its own source code? We’ll look at quine relays, code golf and generative art, and we’ll explore the phenomenon of live coding as performance - from the pioneers of electronic music to modern algoraves and live coding platforms like Sonic Pi.

Recordings of the talk - The art of code

5. Learning to lead for developers

by Hampton Catlin

Abstract: What leadership means in IT industry? How do you make the transition from being a Software Engineer to a Tech Leader? Hampton shares his wisdom on the topic and answers burning questions that experienced developers usually have when it comes to planning and making this transition.

About Speaker: Hampton is creator of Sass & Haml language and a he created the first version of m.wikipedia.org. In this talk he shares his career journey from developer to VP Engineering role where he leads a team of 100 people.

Recording of the talk - Learning to lead for developers


These were my top 5 picks for the best talks I have ever watched. For more updated list, check out full playlist on YouTube.