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8 Impactful Tech Talks That Can Change Your Career

tdmoor profile image Thomas De Moor Originally published at on ・3 min read

One of the best ways to understand something better or to look at something from a different perspective is to watch a tech talk. The Internet (although mostly YouTube) is a treasure trove when it comes to impactful tech talks that can genuinely change the course of your career with the insights they deliver.

We've made a list of the 8 tech talks that X-Teamers said impacted their careers in a meaningful way. What you'll notice about many of these talks is that they're often language-agnostic, entertaining, and useful to become a more versatile developer. Enjoy!

Juice It or Lose It

A 15-minute talk by Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho about the concept of juice in games. It explains the importance of progressively adding juice to your apps instead of thinking too big from the start or, arguably worse, never improving the UX at all.

Post Hype Microservices

Bryan Cantrill was voted a top innovator under the age of 35 for his development of DTrace, and he's an excellent speaker too. In this talk, he talks about the realities of microservices and how to mitigate some of the risks that come with moving to microservices.

Surviving Death by Complexity

Mattias Petter Johannson (MPJ) is the well-known creator of the Fun Fun Function YouTube channel. So it should come as no surprise that his talk at BrazilJS 2019 was well-received. MPJ makes the case that adding functionality means adding code complexity, which needs to be managed properly. Starts at 3:57:45.

Simple Made Easy

A well-liked talk from Rich Hickey, the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) of Clojure. He talks about the importance of simplicity and makes the case that easy isn't the same as simple; easy might actually increase code complexity. Hickey is a good speaker and many of his talks are worth watching.

Linus Torvalds on Git

This is a classic. Linus Torvalds visits Google to share his thoughts on Git, the source control management system he'd created only a few years ago (the talk is from 2007). Despite starting the talk by saying he doesn't like doing talks, he delivers a funny, visionary message about Git.

Designing IT to Make Healthcare Safer

Even if you're not in healthcare, this talk is worth your time. Professor Harold Thimbleby talks about computer and IT systems in hospitals, including mobile devices, what's wrong with them, and how they can be improved to ultimately save lives.

Inventing on Principle

Bret Victor is an interface designer who's given many great talks. This talk in particular is inspirational. It explains how you can choose a principle to figure out how to lead your life (instead of following a passion). He talks about the principle he follows and other people's principles.

The Myth of the Genius Programmer

A relevant talk after the recent "10x engineer" flareup. A 2009 Google I/O talk by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman. Both speakers have amazing chemistry and deliver an entertaining and erudite (ironically) talk about the trap of wanting to be seen as a genius.

I hope these talks have inspired you or changed the way you think about programming at some level! Now it's your turn. Which tech talks have made a significant impact on your career? Let us know in the comments 👇.

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