Pile of Turtles Archive

The Best Movies for Programmers


If you’ve done even a little programming then you’re also good at finding ways to waste time watching things vaguely related to it.  Admit it, you’ve spent at least a few hours watching videos about Android’s latest features or Chrome’s Internals even though you’ll never write a single line of code for either.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to list a bunch of technical talks.  We’re talking entertainment for after the work day.  The following movies are stimulating to watch for those with a programming oriented mind.  And you know what that means, softcore porn!

Welcome to Macintosh

Apple documentary that does a great job tracking the reasons for its successes and failures. I wasn’t sure I’d like the movie after reading the description on Netflix, but once the interview with a grumpy and inebriated ex-Apple Engineer started I was sold.  Just gets better from there.

The IT Crowd

Let's face it, if you’ve done any programming at all then you’re also the go to IT person for your entire extended family.  Over Thanksgiving I’m sure everyone one of you spent at least a few hours exercising the Tech Support Cheat Sheet.  The main focus of this show quickly diverges from IT, but each episode still includes references to nerd popculture.

We Live in Public

I can’t believe I had never heard of Pseudo.  If you haven’t, then make this the first movie you watch off this list.  You’ll be shocked that something like this existed in the late 90’s.  Also a bit of nudity sprinkled throughout, just for fun.

The Social Network

I’ll leave this description up to the awesome blogger, Mike Rundle:

“The Social Network was fucking awesome. Do not see it if you have an idea in your head because it’ll make you want to work on it 24/7.”


I had to include it, this one is sentimental for me.  It was the first movie I had seen that showed computer nerds in an enviable light and not as pariahs being put in lockers.  The brief sensual scene with Angelina Jolie made this a childhood favorite.

Pirates of Silicon Valley

You can watch it on YouTube.  

Yea I can’t believe that’s still around either. I’ll admit it, I’m too young to have actually been paying attention when the events of this movie were actually taking place, it gives a nice synopsis of how Microsoft and Apple ended up where they were in the late 90’s.

Revolution OS

Some nerd cred if you ever wind up trapped in the same room as an old Cobol sysadmin.

Office Space

This one is last because I’d be really freaking surprised if you haven’t seen it.  It will help you better understand why that creep guy in your office covets his red stapler.

That’s it!  Please let me know if you have any other favorites that I did not list in the comments below.  I’ll watch them, and if I get enough suggestions I’ll post a second list in the future.

Category: Programming
Tags: movies
by @mutewinter