One way to get good at something is to watch others do it. This applies to building your communication skills as well. And there is no better place to learn from people who speak for a living (= make money by speaking) than YouTube.
YouTube videos are accessible and easy to commit to. If you’re a developer or a software engineer, there are a ton of channels that cater to (= provide services for) the needs of tech professionals and tech students.
There is one issue though.
If you go on Google and look for “Best YouTube channels for developers”, you will most likely come across channels that do coding tutorials. While they are great in their own right, this is not the type of content to watch if you want to improve your communication skills.
In this article, we will share the top 10 YouTube channels you should subscribe to that will help you upgrade your tech vocabulary and improve your overall speaking fluency.
These channels feature people in tech from all walks of life (= from all backgrounds) who speak on a variety of topics including news in tech, career growth, effective communication, and the creator’s personal tech career journey.
Let’s dive in!
Fireship is the perfect channel for busy software developers who want to stay up on every new tool and technology. Most videos on this channel pick apart (= analyze) a tech topic in a fast-paced, information-packed way that will challenge your listening comprehension skills.
The videos are usually short, rarely exceeding 5 minutes.
Check out this video along with a few useful expressions that can be taken away from it:
The tables have started to turn — The situation has started to change completely.
(although the video says “The turns have started to table” — this is a humorous wordplay).
I’ve decided to ditch TypeScript — I’ve decided to abandon TypeScript.
It’s an absolute dumpster fire — It’s an absolute mess.
2. Garry Tan
Garry Tan is a popular investor and founder in tech. His channel focuses on tech from a business perspective and career growth strategies.
As an English learner, you will get to learn a lot of advanced modern business and tech vocabulary. Here are just a few cool phrases you can learn from watching this video:
It’s a question playing out in AI today — It’s a question happening in AI today.
Figure out how it ties back to user value — figure out how it connects to user value.
It worked off the shelf for 90% of what we needed — it worked without any customization for 90% of what we needed.
3. English For IT
A channel by yours truly. English For IT makes YouTube videos targeting English and communication skills for people in tech and anyone trying to break into tech.
You will find interviews with industry experts, career tips, videos on grammar and vocabulary, and more.
Speaking of vocabulary, here are a few useful expressions we teach in our video on how to talk about problems and solutions.
I can’t get (something) to work
Encounter (a problem)
I got it working!
Watch the full video for a detailed explanation and check out other videos on the channel while you’re at it!
4. Justin Kan
Justin Kan is the co-founder of the Twitch streaming platform who also happens to have a YouTube channel where he shares his new startup ventures and interviews other influential tech industry figures.
Justin’s videos are usually upbeat and informal featuring a lot of modern business vocabulary.
For example, here are a few phrases you can learn from this video:
I’m going back to my bread and butter — “Bread and butter” is a job or task that someone does for a living.
It’s just absolutely bonkers — It’s absolutely crazy.
The whole space is booming lightning-fast — The whole industry is developing really quickly.
5. Jeff Su
Jeff Su is the go-to channel for top-notch tips on career growth, productivity, and communication expertise. Far from your generic communication advice, his videos contain actionable tips with real-life examples.
Do you want to see just how actionable these videos are? Check out this video on how to write better emails at work.
6. Ben Awad
Ben Awad is a tech entrepreneur who vlogs about his experience of building tech startups. The overall style of the channel is laid-back (= relaxed) with a lot of humor thrown into the mix. Just check out a few expressions you can use from this video, for instance:
I’m not too shabby when it comes to programming — I’m pretty good at programming.
Sit it on meetings all day — be present in meetings without actively participating in them.
I saw FAANG as a stepping stone to get where I wanted to go — something that allows you to make progress toward your goals.
8. Mental Outlaw
If you like delving into the social impact of technology and how modern tech is shaping the future, this channel is right up your alley. Naturally, you can also learn a ton of cool expressions from every video. Check out these phrases from the video on how Twitter plans to fight bots.
Elong floated the idea… — Elon suggested the idea.
Nefarious users — Malicious users.
Lucrative scams — Scams that make a lot of money.
9. Sebastian Lague
This is a really cool channel for everyone passionate about technology. The videos show the behind-the-scenes of building exciting tech projects from chess bots to 3D games. It’s really worth checking out so why don’t you start with this video right here?
10. AI Explained
As the name suggests, this channel focuses on highlighting recent developments in the AI field. Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate English learners will appreciate the slow and clear delivery which makes the videos much easier to understand.
As usual, there is a lot of topical vocabulary to be learned. Here is an example from the video on Bad AI predictions:
The breakneck pace of AI — The very fast pace of AI.
Fly in the face of what was predicted only a couple of years ago — Go against what was predicted.
PaLM2 outperforms Google Translate — PaLM2 performs better than Google Translate.
English For IT wishes you an enjoyable viewing experience!