Best Ted Talks For Developers

Best TED Talks For Web and App Developers

Kyle Claypool Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

TED Talks are an endless source of information. Some of the most influential names in the world have given us priceless information using this platform. There are thousands of videos to sort through. Many of them spark imagination and refuel that go-getter attitude in all of us. In the development community especially, that go-getter attitude tends to fade after constant bug fixes, failed releases, and miscommunication.

If you’re feeling the development blues, these TED Talks are more than likely going to spark your imagination and are perfect for getting web and app developers firing on all cylinders again.

“I could change the world, if only they would give me the source code.”

    1. Sergey Brin: Why Google Glass?

      At this point, most tech professionals see Google Glass as ‘just another smart tech device’ to increase Google’s revenue. You might also believe Glass is a major step for the government in monitoring and controlling our lives. In which case it’s likely that this video won’t change your mind. However, Google’s Sergey Brin elaborates on an entirely different reasoning behind Glass, and it’s much more philosophical than ‘just another smart tech device’.

      In this TED Talk, Sergey talks about how the modern world is turning into a place where people are constantly looking down at their smartphones, and no longer experiencing life. Not only does Sergey want to return people to the real world, he envisions capturing precious moments that we might miss because we’re fumbling with our phones trying to take a picture. The developers at Google realize their power and influence over the future of our world, and are shaping it carefully.

      This TED Talk makes us focus less on product-development, and more on people-development. Improving user experience starts and ends with developers. It’s important to understand your ability to form the future, not just patch the present.

      But don’t take my word for it, watch the video:

    1. Jay Silver: Hack a Banana, Make a Keyboard!

      To further expand on Sergey Brin’s philosophy behind Google Glass, we’ll introduce you to Jay Silver. Jay is inspired to not just change existing products, but to change the world a little bit by thinking outside the box. He encourages you to do the same. His product focuses on giving creative power to consumers.

      “..the way the world works can be changed, and it can be changed by me in these small ways. My relationship to human-made objects which someone else said ‘they work like this’, well I can say they work a different way.”

    1. David Pogue: 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips

      You might be an advanced developer, but do you have your technology license? This TED Talk covers the top 10 time-saving computer tips that he finds essential to mastering computers. Things like pushing the space bar to scroll a page at a time get mentioned here.

      Our favorite time-saving tip is the ‘find’ function; ctl+f. What is your most valuable time saving trick?

    1. Thomas Suarez: A 12-Year-Old App Developer

      Thomas Suarez is an app developer in his teens. Thomas programs in several different languages, including Python, C, Objective-C, and Java. Though his efforts have primarily been focused on the coveted Bustin Jeiber app, he’s got a ton of potential. He’s very inspirational, especially to those that might need a breath of fresh air to get passionate about coding again.

    1. Mitch Resnick: Let’s Teach Kids to Code

      Speaking of teaching kids to code, this next TED Talk explains how to expand programming to those that don’t have the mathematical skills and passion to write code. The website Scratch uses building blocks in place of typical code to easily and creatively teach children the basic concepts of how programs and applications actually work. Teaching children variables and design skills is extremely important and can be executed through basic coding exercises.

    1. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

      We all remember that kid growing up that was constantly being asked by the teacher to put away their books so they could pay attention to the lesson. You might have even been that person. Often times introverts like these are shunned or passed off as strange or problematic.Schools today are migrating towards group-oriented tasks that require every child’s full participation. This proactive ideology stems from our culture’s attractiveness towards extroverted leaders. This TED talk focuses on embracing your introversion if that’s how you feel most comfortable.

      “Steve Wozniak wouldn’t have invented the Apple computer if he wasn’t so introverted to leave the house when he was growing up.”

    1. Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a Better Government

      Have you adopted a fire hydrant in your community? This TED Talk for developers focuses on Code For America as an innovative way for developers to get involved in government. Set your political agenda aside, because “this is about more than politics.” These developers focus on community service apps that are significantly better than the average clunky government website.

    1. George Dyson at the Birth of the Computer

      George Dyson is a legendary scientific writer. He was extremely privileged to be born in a hotbed of science and technology. This classic TED Talk, filmed in 2003, shows exclusive footage and evidence of the birth and evolution of the computer. You’ve read hundreds of articles about the history of computers.

      This TED Talk has computer history from an angle you’ve probably never seen before – the personal notes of early computer engineers. Their quirky remarks and sarcastic tones are still alive and well in the industry!

What about you? Do you have a favorite TED Talk not included in this list? Let us know in the comments below, or let us know on Twitter.