Great programming talks to watch on your lunch break

Looking for a little midday inspiration? Then maybe go ahead and hit the bookmark button on this one.

Here’s a growing collection of inspiring, thought-provoking and just outright interesting/enjoyable talks and discussions from the world of programming — perfect for a little lunchtime viewing.

I’ll be coming back and updating this post somewhat regularly with any other great programming related talks that I find. Also, if you’ve got any suggestions for videos you think other people should see, please do drop me a comment with your recommendations.

Enjoy the videos! 📺

The Value of Values

Rich Hickey — 31 minutes

In this talk from JaxConf 2012, Rich Hickey, the creator of Clojure, touches upon the growing complexities of the IT industry.

Rich discusses place-oriented programming, and concludes that we are now in the era of functional programming.

A talk with broad appeal for anyone working in the programming world.

If you enjoyed this talk, Devin Walters of Changelog has put together a collection of Rich Hickeys ‘greatest hits’ which is also worth checking out.

The Poetry of Programming

Lina Liukas — 12 minutes

In this twelve minute talk Linda Liukes talks about her own introduction to programming, the changing perceptions of coding and technology from one generation to the next, and how we can encourage others to start programming.

“The more approachable we feel technology is the more we play with systems, take them apart, tweak and tinker with them..” — Linda Liukes

Is it really “Complex”? Or did we just make it “Complicated”?

Alan Kay — 1 hour 17 minutes

This lengthy talk (not quite lunch break friendly!) from 2013 covers the process of programming and software systems. Alan argues how complex codebases has come to be something of the norm.

“Code seems large and complicated for what it does”

Growing a Language

Guy Steele — 53 minutes

Filmed at the annual Association for Computing Machinery OOPSLA conference back in 1998.

Here, Guy Steele highlights the importance of building a programming language up so that can be grown and understood by its users.

“A language design can no longer be a thing. It must be a pattern — a pattern for growth — a pattern for growing the pattern for defining the patterns that programmers can use for their real work and their main goal.” — Guy Steele

Guy’s talk is also available as a transcript [PDF].

The Future of Programming

Bret Victor — 32 minutes

Bret Victor takes his audience back in time for this July 2013 talk — donning the uniform of a 1970s IBM systems engineer and using an overhead projector to deliver his talk on the then “future” of programming.

“technology changes quickly, people’s minds change slowly”

Victor talks about how the 60s and 70s represented a ‘fertile time’ for computer science ideas.

The message of his half hour talk? Whether it’s 2017 or 1973:

“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.”

Thanks for taking the time to view this post — I hope you found something interesting to take away from the videos shared.

I’d love to read your suggestions for other talks in the comments below, so I can add them in for others too see. 🙂