Simple Programmer Top 5 Videos

I watch a lot of John Sonmez’s video on his Simple Programmer YouTube channel.

I thought it would be interesting to create a list of the top five videos that I like the most. There is a lot of great content in these videos.

In any case, these videos which were produced for software developers also apply to people in other occupations. You do not need to know any programming languages so click on the video name to view the video if the title looks interesting.

Top 5 Simple Programmer Videos

1. Can You Really Learn Anything In 3 Months?

@13:00 – The normal is to be mediocre at your job

Notice that John talks about actually writing programs, not just reading how to write programs. If you want to code, you need to write programs and solve difficult programs. Reading books on how to code will not do it.

From my own experience, you can skip all the foreign language books that use translations and grammar. Just use Lingua Latina per se Illustrata to learn Latin or Cortina’s series that teaches English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.  As a bonus, Cortina uses the same text for each language. Once you go through one book, the next language is exactly the same story with the names and places changed fit the language.

These books teach languages by using the language. Traditional books teach language grammar not the language itself. Unfortunately, this approach does not work very well.

2. Why Not To Give MONEY To Friends & Family

James Burke did a TV series called Connections in the 1970’s.  John’s video is definitely a Connections video. What does entrepreneur John Sonmez living in California have in common with the philosopher who lives in the great white north of Canada?

In this video, @2:00 John talks about how when you give a friend or a relative money you are giving them your time that you spent working in the the past. They had their fun times in the past that cannot be transferred to you.

Now listen to the podcast Shuck the Poor @18:00 recorded over ten years earlier.

The philosopher points out that you certainly can take away the money earned by people in the past by using force.

See the connection?

3. Persuasion & Arguing

The following statement is the one of the most important that John has made or will ever make. It also has a connection to the same philosopher again.

When dealing with people, nothing is more important than understanding this statement made by John.

@1:40 Human beings are not rational. That’s why rational arguments do not work. They (humans) are emotional.

To defeat virtually any argument that advocates the use of force, you need an emotional argument. Logic will not work. For an argument that works with almost any subject, see this video @ 19:00 Ron Paul Part 3: Politics versus Personal Liberty, the Against Me argument.

4. John, You’re Not Qualified

John’s rant against people who tell other people that they are not qualified. I like it when John gets mad!

When there is a boring job to be done, when has anyone every hesitated to give you the job? Did your qualifications matter when there was a job that nobody wanted to do?

I cannot come close to listing the number jobs that I was not qualified for but still managed to do without being fired. Were you qualified to do all the jobs that you started? Probably not.

One of the biggest projects I worked on required experience with a proprietary messaging system that no one, including myself, had used before. When I was offered the opportunity to lead the new project, I agreed since I had nothing to lose.

I think I received two days of training with the messaging product and help from a vendor consultant to get started. Eventually, I ended up leading a team of developers. About a year later, we delivered an import application which the company relies on in it’s day-to-day operations.

The application would have been late or maybe never built if the company had waited for someone who met the text book definition of qualified.

If you can do the job, you are qualified. Stop listening and believing the nonsense coming out of the recruiter’s mouth. If the recruiter is still not interested as you press forward, move on to the next prospect. You might need to quit your job but you might need to do that to move forward.

5. Focus On Being Crappy In Order To Become Great

I like the part where John challenges blog writers to write ten crappy blogs, deliberately! Sounds counter intuitive but quantity equals practice and practice makes perfect.

There is a parallel idea in language learning that you should consume massive quantities of the foreign language that you are learning. After reading over thirty chapters of Latin with no English translations, I can say that technique works. You read a chapter and fail to understand the text. You read the same chapter fives times and pick up almost all the new words. The problem words usually become understandable as you move to the next chapters.

Eventually all of the the early chapters become super easy to read. Mission accomplished.


That’s my selection of the top five videos. This list might change as I find better videos. Keep following this blog as I intend to expand the list to ten videos in a future post

If you have a comment, please leave a message below. For computer science videos, please subscribe to my Translation Data YouTube channel.  You can follow me on twitter @HaroldAlmon or @TranslationData.