I enjoy watching conference talks as they do not require a lot of focus and attention that programming demands. It's a nice way to be productive while feeling lazy (I usually watch talks from my tablet on my bed). Talks are an insight into the experiences and interests of other people in the community. There are many moments of "Wow, that was really cool, I should check that out sometime" or "I didn't know that is how it worked. TIL.". My curiosity and excitement about programming are piqued, especially at times when I've been stuck working on a long project.
My main source of talks are from Confreaks. They upload recorded videos of talks from most of the popular conferences and I'm extremely grateful and appreciate of their work. Whenever they upload videos of a recent conference, I try to make time to watch most of them or at least the ones with catchy titles. After doing this for some time, I realize that sometimes there are talks that I really enjoyed but I forget what the speaker talked about several weeks later. By compiling a list of my favorite talks with a quick summary, I hope this will serve as a helpful bookmark for my future self. This list is highly subjected and is based on my interests and background. It might be that I'm already familiar with the topic so the talk didn't make my list. If you by any chance share similar tastes with me, hopefully this list is a good recommendation of what you should watch!
Gilding the Rose: Refactoring Legacy Code - A refactoring talk of the Gilded Rose. Sandi Metz did a similar refactoring talk on this kata. Randy Coulman walks through how he firsts mechanically restructures the code and then uses small steps to improve.
Building an ORM with AReL: Walking up the (AS)Tree - A quick introduction to how an ORM is coded. There are concepts like adapters, types, builder, column, attributes, attribute set, etc... Vipul Amler basically does a walkthrough of TORM - Tiny implementation of ORM on top of ARel.
Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Floats, Dates, and Names - I remember watching this talk from some other conference. Regardless, this is a funny and interesting look at the weird edge cases of floats, dates, and names when we make bad assumptions. John Feminella has made a repo for exploring Ruby's Float internals here.
The Short and Happy Lives of TCP and HTTP Requests - Starr Horne talks about the protocol of the Web and how we can optimize it. A lot of this stuff is above my head but this is a reminder to read High Performance Browser Networking.
Refactoring Ruby with Monads - One of the best talks I've ever seen. Tom Stuart introduces the concept of monads and it's really mind blowing because I never thought about things (he has 3 real world examples) like that before. I like the way he presented and his understandable explanations. I need to check out his other works!
console.log gem - In one of the lightning talks, Conrad Irwin talks about the console.log gem that spits any object in the console of the browser. Looks very cool and I need to check it out!