It’s a popular practice universally known among bored and broke engineers that as we wait for the next paycheck to arrive, we decline any offer to go out and have fun with friends. So how do we make the weekend more lively? As long as we have a stable internet connection and (less appetizing) food available on our refrigerator, we can always binge watch on our favorite shows. But you know, it never hurts to try out new shows or shows that you haven’t heard of before.
In case you haven’t heard of Silicon Valley, I highly recommend you give this show a try. This HBO show would mostly appeal to any engineer who has thought of starting his own tech startup. If you’re a programmer, too, you should try watching a few episodes of its first season before you entirely dismiss the idea that this could be a fun show for engineers. The show has been on air since 2014 and is currently on its third season. Judging by its critical response (94% fresh for the first season and 100% for the second and third season), it seems like the show has been a funny reflection of what goes on in the tech industry.
Not to give away too much of what the show’s about, it focuses on these brilliant but awkward young men who launched a startup company in Silicon Valley. Richard Hendricks is one of the main characters of the show who has developed an app that has a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Together with his friends, they try to make it big in Silicon Valley with the said app, Pied Piper.
Imagine really smart guys who have an amazing app that could change the tech industry. Now that would have been easy for them to make it big in Silicon Valley, unfortunately they are awkward and they do not know how to handle doing business with billionaires yet. That’s where the fun part is.
With so many companies trying to compete with a small startup, not to mention this multi-billionaire who wants to release a copycat product before Pied Piper could release theirs, see the funny misadventures of one Stanford dropout, one weird entrepreneur, one extremely socially awkward assistant, a Satanic-believing network engineer, and a talented programmer as they navigate the ins and outs of making it big in Silicon Valley.
Don’t expect the show to be the laugh-out-loud comedy just like other nerdy shows. Its humor comes from the wit of the characters and how surprisingly people (especially engineers) can relate to how each character responds to different situations. It even has so many pop culture references that you’d find yourself oddly entertained and maybe even hooked. Its satirical take on billionaires, tech companies and engineers will leave you asking, “Wait, does this really happen in Silicon Valley?”
Of course, not everyone is a fan of the show. When Elon Musk viewed the first episode of the show, he said,
“None of those characters were software engineers. Software engineers are more helpful, thoughtful, and smarter. They’re weird, but not in the same way. I was just having a meeting with my information security team, and they’re great but they’re pretty weird—one used to be a dude, one’s super small, one’s hyper-smart—that’s actually what it is. […] I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley […] If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn’t even get close to what’s in Silicon Valley. The show didn’t have any of that.”
However, other software engineers who watched the show with Musk thought differently. They thought that this show was a reflection of themselves.
How about giving this show a try? It may not be as epic as Game of Thrones but who knows, you might find yourself amazed at how you can easily relate to the show’s story. I sure did when I watched it.