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Why computer engineering is like standup comedy: Wayne Cotter at TEDxRainier


Computer engineer-turned standup comic Wayne Cotter shares his background as a means to discuss the ways in which assumptions and stereotypes affect how we see ourselves and others. Hilarity ensues.

Comedian Wayne Cotter appeared dozens of times with both David Letterman and Jay Leno and became a fixture on the national comedy scene. He went on to become a recurring cast member on The Tonight Show and to host “Comic Strip Live” for many years on the Fox network.. Although he had studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and begun a career with a New Jersey computer company, before long Wayne started moonlighting as a Philadelphia comedian. He continued this double life for some time, and ultimately came to the visionary conclusion that the computer industry was going nowhere and left town to pursue show business full time.

For the last ten years he has been entertaining and emceeing at corporate events, which has kept him surprisingly/uncomfortably/predictably/happily close to the earlier career that he never quite left behind.

This talk was given November 9, 2013 in Seattle at TEDxRainier, a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Source: https://blogema.org
Read more all post Computer Technology : https://blogema.org/computer/
  1. Thulsa Doom says

    he is still "engineer" funny….not real comedian funny

  2. Nihlm says

    They are very alike in the sense that 90% of the time you did it wrong

  3. crazyhorse says

    I wrote code that worked but it took 75 lines, the 3 smart programmers did the same thing with 20 lines of code !!!!

  4. Ramadhani Imam says


  5. Daniel Herrera says

    This guy is the parallel persona of william shatner.

  6. Just Having Fun says

    Bill Gates is the sexiest man alive

  7. Truth Sets Us Free says

    1011 0011 Burp

  8. Marta Xiaoping says

    "Being good at math was a masculine quality". That was the reason why girls were not studying it. His conclusion: "wow but girls at high school didnt like me T.T" How funny… hope that he was a better programmer.

  9. Parody Business says

    i think i have to join these two things . and make something crazy !
    i mean programming and comedian !

  10. Jack Carver says

    I got an idea for his routine – he should show his code.

  11. Ed Garazaky says

    i didn't know peter griffin was into computer engineering

  12. FijneWIET says

    3:16 muhahaha :')

  13. Abhijit Kashyap says

    I would love to have this guy for my Mathematics' teacher. The probability of my scoring good grades would certainly be high I am sure.

  14. srikanth d says

    wow amazed by his insights

  15. Katie Kat says

    He acts like he was famous. I've never seen or heard of him. I thought he was funny for an engineer but I don't think he's funny for a comedian. Corny.

  16. saultube44 says

    What he said at the end, so true, looking all the possibilities and what naturally emerges from them, that's the human potential solving problem capability and a realistic perspective over reality

  17. TransparentLabyrinth says

    Surprisingly insightful and yet simple. I can better see now why I have an inclination both for programming and comedy.

  18. tim cook says

    am i the only one who immediately checked whether a dictionary contains numbers??

  19. anon ymous says

    yup comedians and computer engineers are very alike. people laugh at a comedian's jokes and a tester laughs at a developer's codes

  20. Rohit Khanna says


  21. Allagí says

    As a guy who some would say is pretty smart, although I have my sincere doubts, Comedy is greater for me than any scientific achievement I could ever hope to achieve. If I was Einstein I certainly would know it by now. If I can make humans connect and understand through a good joke, well friend I'd much rather do that. I hope you all understand.

  22. Pets Supplies & Care says

    Hey guys !! Here is my NEW Computer Science Question-answer app under the name of CS quiz pro!!
    Hope who ever plays enjoys !! Don't forgot to give me a feedback about it 🙂 !!

  23. David Fox says

    I see this a lot in the science world. Although Neil Degrasse Tyson skipped comedian and went straight from scientist to being a joke.

  24. Sartaj Hanspal says

    8:01 "mastered intergalactic hyperdimensional space travel, AND, communicate by corn"

  25. Jess Stuart says

    Pigeon-holing people into professional categories is a heuristic people use to quickly "size-up" others and decide how to interact with them. The individual ego plays a big role in this. It is human nature to compare oneself with others. When someone comes along who is more knowledgeable and successful in one area, they automatically assume they must be deficient in other areas. This is the ego defense mechanism that allows people to avoid feeling inferior and attempts to belittle or find fault with others to minimize the apparent difference in "life success". The fact is, human abilities and "life success" fall along a spectrum (bell curve). There are people out in the world that are superior to you in almost all areas of life. Some egos cannot deal with that reality and seek to hurt or belittle others in order to bring them down to their level.

  26. Matt Miller says

    1776 likes vote Donald trump

  27. Nishka Arora says

    Sorry, well i always thought 50 was 70 minus 20. I think you need to check your facts.

  28. Russo Pollar says

    M A L A K O I M E N T E

  29. igrewold says

    is this guy an INTP according to MBTI ?

  30. h p says


  31. Parth Thakur says

    So I checked my Dictionary after you talked about fifty, and it said, "Ten less than sixty."

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