Tech leaders like Google, Netflix, Facebook and Amazon may be dominating the market, but coders are the real Java superheros behind the scenes.
Beyond the lucrative salary and future proofed security of a career in coding, data geeks are so hot right now. So why not reap the benefits and revel in your genius potential with a good ol’ coding movie marathon?
Whether you’re planning to make a career move or already rocking the geek chic benefits of a career in coding, we have some geeky films to watch. So put down the keyboard, turn off the computer - unless you’re streaming the movie - and grab a snack. Here are 6 coding movies that will remind you that your skills could save the world, get the girl/guy or achieve unimaginable powers.
1. The Lawnmower Man: the simplest mind becomes a genius
“Despite the hackneyed sub-Frankenstein plot, the dazzling computer-generated special effects almost carry the film.” Timeout
While this film is pretty dated by our standards, released in 1992, it was the first feature film to explore the possibilities of Virtual Reality. It was originally created as an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story of the same name, but bar one scene, nothing like it. Attempts to combine the original short story with an exploration of virtual reality technology instead led to several bizarre mutations along the way.
In this flick you will witness the heroic evolution of an isolated disabled man with a simple mind, becoming the most intelligent. It’s bizarre, a little creepy in places, but worth the watch for the dated visual effects or if you just want to have a giggle at a young Pierce Brosnan’s virtual fornication with his neighbour in ‘another dimension’.
Dr. Lawrence Angelo: This is all so new.
Jobe Smith: It's not new. I realized that nothing we've been doing is new. We haven't been tapping into new areas of the brain - we've just been awakening the most ancient. This technology is simply a route to powers that conjurers and alchemists used centuries ago. The human race lost that knowledge and now I'm reclaiming it through virtual reality.
This coding movie is for experimental playful coders who love the concept of virtual reality as another dimension and perhaps a heroic tale if you have ever felt underestimated or excluded for having a different perspective on life.
2. Code Hunter aka Stormwatch - identity stealing cyber-terror
“Code Hunter is essentially a Don’t Mess With Mother Nature movie, which always involves a mad scientist ‘playing God’ and trying to manipulate ‘Mother Nature’.” Beyond Hollywood.
If you have a thing for low budget cyberpunk then this is the film for you. If you are way into Hollywood feature film effects it’s best you just jog on to the next one on our list.
Code Hunter is a geeky film that ambitiously delves into the idea of cyber-terror. Based on geek computer hacker Nick, who despite his ban from computers for hacking crime, he becomes the champ of a virtual reality game called Aftershock. His talents then attract attention from unknown forces who steal his identity and blackmail him into stealing a program from a supercomputer built to control the weather. Sound like fun? Not if he induces giant hurricanes to wipe out the east and west coast.
Neville: In a few minutes you and all your friends will die in the storm, unless…
Nick 'Jester' Chase: Unless what?
Neville: Unless you teach me.
Nick 'Jester' Chase: Teach you what?
Neville: About love and hate... about human pain.
If you love reflecting on old-school notions of the future then this is the one for you. It’s a bit like the old crinkled comic book that got forgotten, a little rough around the edges, but worth another look for its nostalgic quality. That and the brief appearances from rappers Coolio and Tone Loc.
3. Revolution OS - get the gOSs on the free software movement
“Everybody loves a David and Goliath story, and this one is told almost entirely from David's point of view.” Stephen Holden, The New York Times.
If you want to get serious and actually learn something about tech than this authoritative documentary about the free software movement, will do the trick. A documentary it may be, but this film still has all the ingredients for compelling viewing. A story of freedom and the little people defeating the villains, which in this case are the greedy folks at Microsoft.
Eric Raymond: I was at Agenda 2000, and one of the people who was there was Craig Mundy, who is some kind of high mucky-muck at Microsoft. I think Vice President of Consumer Products or something like that. And, I hadn't actually met him. I bumped into him in an elevator, and I looked at his badge and said 'I see you work for Microsoft,' and he looked back at me and said 'Oh, yeah, and what do you do?' and I thought he seemed just a tad dismissive. I mean here is the archetypical guy in a suit looking at a scruffy hacker, and so I gave him the thousand yard stare and said 'I'm your worst nightmare.
While it's a bit dated - released in 2001, the film should be required viewing for anyone who cares about open source or is passionate about sticking it to the man. Sit back and witness two decades of computer industry history, if not for the pleasure then the additional info for your next interview, or let’s face it, the next pub quiz.
4. Source Code - conspiracies and altered minds
“Source Code is about conspiracies, altered minds and altered states, far-fetched in the most elegant and Hitchcockian way, and the sheer outrageousness of it all is muscular and streamlined.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.
As Bradshaw puts it, Source Code is absurd, but carries off its absurdity lightly and stylishly. It is a luxuriously enjoyable film. If you are tired of the same old evil government evil plan plot, then this geek movie will be a welcome relief. A glitzy and hi-tech movie that is smart and to the point. An experience that is heightened even more if you watch it after a cyberpunk binge.
Dr. Rutledge: Source Code is not time travel. Rather, Source Code is time re-assignment. It gives us access to a parallel reality.
If you haven’t seen this yet then where have you been? If you have, then here’s your excuse to give it another watch. Get comfy and settle in for a big studio picture with brains that literally runs on rails.
5. The Matrix - the red or the blue pill?
“Technically mind-blowing, style merged perfectly with content and just so damn cool, the usher will have to drag you kicking and screaming back into reality.” Ian Nathan, Empire.
Well, it would just be wrong not to have Matrix on the list. As if we need to tell you, The Matrix is a definite movie to watch if you have a penchant for the dystopian possibilities of evolving technology.
Hacker Neo played by legend Reeves - sigh - is sought out to save the world. First he has to discover that his consciousness is part of a Matrix that keeps human bodies redundant and occupies their minds with a false reality. Is he "The One" to save humanity from destruction?
Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
An undeniably stunning film way ahead of its time, but a great one to watch if you want to revive your passion for a career in coding and unlock your inner Neo. Dig deep enough and we all have a little Keanu Reeves in us - we know, that’s what she said.
Bend your mind around these coding movies
Whether you’re a coding novice, aspirational programmer or computer science genius, these geeky films should help remind you just how important you are. That or give you something to do on a Saturday night.
If you are on a roll and looking for more movie inspiration, you could also make your way through our list of movies for aspiring digital marketers.