The Six Google Tech Talks Every Developer Should Watch

For years Google has hosted a YouTube channel called Google Tech Talks, a grassroots-style series where great minds in science, programming, and engineering talk about what they know best. Think of it as TED for geeks. Here are six of the best videos.

The Six Google Tech Talks Every Developer Should Watch

How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters

This talk from 2007 is by Joshua Bloch, who at the time was the chief Java architect at Google. Here he talks about how most software engineers at some point in their careers will function as API developers. If the thought of coding an API scares you, you need to check out this video by one of the masters on tips of how to code a good one.


Teaching Kids To Code

It’s becoming evident that coding is the new reading and writing. In the last decade numerous nonprofits have started up that have a dual function: running workshops to teach children how to code and also working to influence government policy so coding becomes part of the school curriculum. In this talk Michael Kölling from the University of Kent, who is also the lead designer of the BlueJ and Greenfoot programming environments, explains how learning to code has become more difficult in the past few years and the urgent need to make it more attractive and easier to learn again.

The Web That Wasn’t

I’m a firm believer that in order to become a master at anything–be it writing, painting, bioengineering, or coding–you must first understand the larger context and history of the work done in the field that you are in. The web is no exception. In this fascinating talk, the chief information architect at the New York Times, Alex Wright, talks about the history not of the Internet as we know it, but of the Internet that never was. Watch this video and see how everything you’ve ever coded could have run on systems designed very differently than what we now assume is just the one and only way to have an interconnected system of computers.

Leaders In Big Data

You know the tipping point of any technology is about to come to pass when you start seeing that tech’s name appear in more and more headlines of publications aimed at consumers and laymen. In the last 12 months, that tech in question has been “Big Data.” Once a term limited to academic journals, it’s now found thrown about in newspaper headlines and magazine articles. But just what is “Big Data?” And how does it differ from other data? Check out this talk as Theo Vassilakis, principal engineer/engineering director at Google; Gustav Horn, senior global consulting engineer at NetApp; and Charles Fan, senior vice president at VMware in strategic R&D, talk about the past, present, and future of the data that will change our lives.

How To Write Clean, Testable Code

Clean code makes everyone’s life easier: yours, your users’, and your other engineers’. But writing the cleanest code isn’t always easy, especially when we have a flash of inspiration and just want to get something up and running so we can see how well it works. In this talk, Miško Hevery, the man who is responsible for coaching other Google engineers on how to write and maintain clean code, talks about the challenges and benefits of getting the cleanest code possible.

What Engineers Don’t Know We Don’t Know About Online Marketing

This is perhaps my favorite talk out of all the videos here. That’s because I know many coders who can only be described as brilliant. The problem is, they don’t understand a thing about marketing. And no matter how great your app is, it’s never going to reach critical adoption unless you can explain to your potential users–many of who are non-techies–why they should use it. Here, coder and entrepreneur Patrick McKenzie explains what all coders should understand about marketing.

[Image: Flickr user Elise Ramsey]