Somewhat embarrassingly, I picked up a YouTube-while-working habit in 2017. What I’ve learned is this, watching other people code makes all the difference in improving your development skills. Especially if you’re a lone developer or work from home with few chances to pair program.

The Coding Train

The Coding Train with Daniel Shiffman is amazing. His joy for coding is infectous and his ability to break down complex topics into plain English is unparalleled. For a lot of his demos he uses p5.js, a JS implementation of Processing, that draws to <canvas>. Shiffman’s ability to draw amazing visualizations with relatively few lines of code is uncanny. I watch the same old videos on Perlin Noise and 3D Terrain Generators over and over again. I revel in the opportunity to watch Daniel’s brain work.

Fun Fun Function

Fun Fun Function with Mattias Petter Johansson (MPJ) is like a weekly jolt of caffeine. It’s the most amped up way possible to learn web development. There’s energy, characters, Gollum-like interpersonal dialog, hats, and more. Truth be told I skipped over this when the series first started because my mood didn’t match Mattias’ energy, but now I’m 100% here for it. It’s a great show and an entertaining way to learn or familiarize yourself with various development concepts.

Google Chrome Developers

Google Chrome Develpers getting into the video game has been great for my career. I’ll regularly cite things I’ve learned and picked up from this channel. There are lots of different shows that can suite your flavor of web development: Supercharged, HTTP203, A11Y Casts, Totally Tooling Tips, and various Chrome-related summits. My favorite show might be the 2min long “What’s new in Chrome Dev Tools.”


GDC (Game Developers Conference) is a little out of the web development wheelhouse but a lot of the learning still applies and is inspirational. So many of these skills required to create a video game apply to building modern digital products as well, and game designers are maybe a lot further ahead than web in terms of things like 3D, animation, and storytelling.

Talks on the YouTube channel are broken up into Programming, Design, Art, and Narrative and cover everything from enemy AI to sprite animations. But overall, it’s great to hear developer/designer war stories, take inspiration, and learn how products I love come together.

BONUS: Two Minute Papers

Two Minute Papers with Károly Zsolnai-Fehér (KZF) bills itself as “Awesome Research for Everyone”. Every week they create two visual demonstrations of some of the latest technology appearing in academic research papers. Per the current hype, it centers a lot around the capabilities of AI and Machine Learning. While that’s a bit of a departure from Web Development, it’s interesting to see what’s on the horizon. A favorite recent episode (above) is about how Disney made cloud rendering and ambient light occlusion orders of magnitude more performant with Machine Learning.


Be sure to click that Like button and subscribe for more updates! If I missed anything or there are some channels I need to check out, let me know in the comments down below. Peace.