Talks I Love

A list of conference talks I recommend watching.

All of these talks have had a large impact on how I approach problems or understand different aspects of the art of programming. If you have the time, I really recommend going through each and every one of these videos.

If you prefer reading, I’ve got you covered with this post listing my book recommendations.

I’ll start off by listing talks that I think are relevant no matter what problem space you’re working in, and add some more targeted talks to different sections below.

General Programming

Simple Made Easy - Rich Hickey

In this talk, Rich elaborates on the importance of striving for simple solutions over easy ones and presents some tools for doing so. Relevant anywhere, this is one of those talks I watch at least once a year.

Hammock Driven Development - Rich Hickey

Rich is back. This time he elaborates on the process of an individual programmer and in what ways you may be able to do better work.

Making Badass Developers - Kathy Sierra

A bit of a cure to impostor syndrome perhaps. Really great talk outlining a way to learn things faster by breaking concepts into smaller chunks.

F*ck You, Pay Me - Mike Monteiro

Fair warning, language here. This talk is specifically targeting designers and dealing with clients but in my opinion is relevant to almost anyone spanning really any discipline. You should watch this to understand ‘value’ in general. You’ll also get some insight into what running a (smaller) business is like sometimes.

Angelina Fabbro: JavaScript Masterclass

While the title of this talk includes ‘JavaScript,’ the content starts off more focused on soft skills, learning strategies, and some self-worth help. There’s a lot of good points in here about how to go about programming in general that are relevant no matter what language you’re using.

Rise of the JAMstack - Mathias Biillman

Matt is the co-founder of the wildly popular Netlify platform. This talk gives a great overview at how they were able to solve many common web problems with a flat file approach. Doing things this way means you just need to serve files and your app will run - no more babysitting long-running processes to serve simple pages. Ditching servers is pretty attractive, and this is a nice overview.

Microservices + Events + Docker = A Perfect Trio

While this has Docker in the title, this is primarily a very general talk about system architecture. Very good insight into the why and how of Microservices.


What the heck is the event loop anyway? - Philip Roberts

This is essential knowledge for anyone doing JavaScript work, especially if you’re relatively early in your career. The event loop is not terribly complicated, but it’s easy to overlook or assume a lot about. This talk makes it super easy to understand with some nice visualizations.

Learning Functional Programming with JavaScript - Anjana Vakil

If you’re trying to wrap your head around functional programming, map reduce yourself a sandwich. Lots of well communicated examples for the core concepts of functional programming as they can apply to JS.

The Return of ‘Write Less, Do More’ - Rich Harris

Rich has been working away at a new approach to the front end called Svelte that really turns modern (2019) JS development on it’s head. It’s rapidly becoming popular and seems like it may be where JS is going over the next couple of years. Worth watching to see a bit of an overview and understand why this framework was created.


What Have Namespaces Done for You Lately? - Liz Rice

This talk shows you how to build a very basic container and in doing so will give you a lot of insight into the building blocks behind containers as Liz builds one almost from scratch.

Even More Talks

There are tons of great lists like this around the internet. Many of these are really big and comprehensive. You’ll get even more hits searching the ol google for ‘awesome talks’.

Awesome Talks - An entire website just for talks!

Programming Talks List

Awesome Talks List