These movies and documentaries show engineers as the heroes that they are. Who says long division can't be a fight for all that is right in the world! There are precious few movies that do this. Let me know if I missed any good ones (@MisterMorrill).
Jimmy Stewart plays an engineer researching the stress failure of a plane's tail section. In the midst of investigating, he finds himself aboard a plane he's convinced will crash if the plane is not immediately turned around. The movie dramatizes his effort to convince the rest of the world of his theory.
Pixar has created some of the most popular and inspirational films of the past 20 years. This all access documentary takes you inside the team that built the company. It includes a great interview with Ed Catmull, the genius behind a lot of Pixar's early software and leadership.
This was recommended by a friend when I showed them this list. I watched it on their tip and was blown away. You kind of know the ending right away, but you're still completely caught up in what's going on with the characters. It's also the first time I've seen Jimmy Stewart play a role where you're almost rooting against him. Highly recommend this!
I love the first half of the movie, because it shows a lot of what a real startup is like. It's incredible how they did the overlapping dialog to show the fast pace of thought. One of the best time travel movies since Back to the Future. Pay close attention once things get going, because much things get complicated fast.
Not just engineer as hero, but lone nerd as hero. This documentary shows the behind the scenes ups and downs of building indie games. You can't help but see yourself in some of these guys, and be left wondering whether you have similar heights to climb to.
I didn't pay much attention to the space shuttle missions, and I regret it now that they're gone. There are so many incredible details that go into making everything work just right, and the stakes are life and death. It makes you appreciate the ability we have in the startup world to absorb mistakes and move on.
Matt Damon plays a young mathematician struggling how to be intellectual while staying connected to his emotions. The movies takes on a new light when you realize Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote it together and broke into Hollywood with the script.
This was recommended by someone on Hacker News. A Netflix reviewer exlains, "I loved wathching the development of the characters, as well as the many ways math was used to help fight crime. Sure, at times it was a little far-fetched to the point of almost a fantasy, but who cares?" Looks cool, because it's actually a long running series. Can't wait to check it out.
Steve Jobs wasn't just a marketing genius, he got started programming in the 70s and never looked back. This rediscovered interview with Robert Cringley has some great insights on how he managed engineering teams.
Having worked as a project manager, this was the first documentary I saw that I felt captured the drama involved. Working with lots of people to accomplish big audacious goals is under celebrated in Hollywood, but this documentary delivers.
Robert Cringley tells the incredible story of how the PC industry took off in the late 70s all the way through to 1995. It's an incredible story, and all the key players are front and center on display. You'll get to see Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Larry Ellison all in their prime.