It's a new mentorship season at work and new folks are asking how they can step up their game. With winter break coming up, it seems an opportune time to share the top tier technical talks I've watched and re-watched since I started writing software.
Here's the ranked list first:
It's difficult to come up with the perfect ranking. I certainly hope this list changes.
The two stand-out speakers on the list are Rich and Evan, both authors of programming languages. Each of these programming languages pushes boundaries in their own ways.
Three of these talks are just about refactoring:
The newest one is Evan's The Economics of Programming Languages and I'm calling it: it is the best talk of 2023. Evan and Rich (in Speculation) talk a lot about culture, fostering good culture, in open source. Evan's talk here perfectly captures the current rot in open source and how due to monopolistic activities by large tech companies we've entered into a Dark Forest (as in the Three-body Problem sense) development model. It's these pulse check talks that ground so many thoughts that have stirred and are stirring around.
There's a lot to say about why all the talks here have been impactful to me. I definitely think when I found these videos made them more impactful. For example, I was writing Clojure/script while discovering Rich's talks and writing Elm when first finding Evan's talks. Nonetheless, these talks have influenced how and why I write software. I appreciate that the speakers took the time to share these ideas.
Have I missed a talk here? The answer is yes. Please please please let me know.