Joshua Fluke: The YouTuber Who Gets "Real" About the Software Engineering World

The controversial views of the Youtube star with more than 430k subscribers.

Rising social media star Joshua Fluke gives advice to people seeking jobs in the computer science field. He’s most known for his blunt, entertaining rants about Silicon Valley and tech culture. With 430k YouTube subscribers and a popular Github account, Fluke has a lot of fans. His comment section is often filled with subscribers thanking him for producing helpful content and for being “real” with them.

At the same time, however, Fluke is a much scrutinized figure in the SWE community. There are multiple Reddit threads, often authored by self proclaimed software engineers, dedicated to criticizing his view of the industry.

Humble Beginnings

Fluke is very open about the path to his current stature, describing his journey through videos and articles he's published. He took seven years to complete his college education, moving between community college, engineering college, and university in Finland with many majors in between.

After a long stretch of applications and rejections, Fluke secured a job as an equipment engineer in Utah, where he’d aspired to live after returning to the U.S. As excited as he was to have received a position, Fluke didn’t find much enjoyment in the role as time went on. When the chance to start a web page for the company arose, Fluke jumped at the opportunity and dove into the new project, beginning his love of the craft.

On his medium page, Fluke says of discovering his passion for web development,

“I like to solve problems and create content. I am an engineer at heart, but solving mechanical devices and making machines work didn’t produce a user experience that was satisfying enough for me. There was no feeling of creativity, just point A to point B as optimized as possible. How can you make a machine have fun? With web development I get the satisfaction of seeing my creations used to help people or make an experience more enjoyable, or improve a process. At the end of the day my creation is out there living.”

After realizing how much he enjoyed front-end development work, Fluke set out to find a full time role in the field. Due to logistics, he ended up taking a part-time developer job on his days off from his engineering role. Eventually, Fluke quit his engineering job and became a software developer full-time, going on to hold various web development roles at startups and larger corporations.

Current Entrepreneurial Role

On July 13, 2019, Joshua Fluke released a video titled, “Why I won't work a developer job anymore | #grindreel #entrepreneurship”. In this personal and heartfelt video, Fluke shares how his father was laid off from a company he’d worked at for twenty five years, and then was sued by them when tried to start his own business. The elder Fluke lost all of his savings and had to sell their family home. This experience had an obvious impact on Joshua. In the video he states, 

“There is no company loyalty. You might be loyal to them, but they’re never loyal to you.”

Fluke tried to get his father a job at the engineering company he was working for at the time. They treated his father poorly during the hiring process, which began his decline in trust in corporations. He goes on to describe the ways he felt like an object at the companies he worked at following his first engineering job. Fluke shares that he consistently felt a lack of connection and investment from his bosses and teammates. Of his current role as an entrepreneur in computer science, Fluke says,

“I control my life. I will not work under you, I will not work for you. I will only be your equal. Man to man, CEO to CEO, entrepreneur to entrepreneur. If we sit at a table and you have a business doing billions in revenue, I have a business doing a few thousand, great, but on an entrepreneurial level, we are equal. I am not under you.”

However, many online posters on forums like Reddit or devRant don’t respect Fluke’s way of talking about companies, and call him unprofessional. Currently, Fluke appears to be doing freelance work and using his YouTube channel as his main source of income.

YouTube Channel

Fluke’s channel is comprised of various video types. As this channel is primarily for individuals interested in computer science, Fluke’s videos touch on coding, interviewing, his personal “hustle”, or the flaws in companies and corporate culture.

He has multiple videos of calls with recruiters to showcase what interviewing for SWE jobs is like. The channel is also full of vlogs where Fluke discusses hiring practices or important coding skills. He has videos devoted to basics and interview questions around languages like Javascript, html, and more. While he doesn't have videos for every language or program type, those interested in iOS, api, or any other commonly used software will be able to generalize his content for their uses. He also has a tutorial on how to make a Github portfolio, and a popular series of reviewing subscriber githubs.

Some of his more recent videos have veered from his computer science vlog roots, and showcase general criticisms of corporations or personal stories. His most popular video, with 1.7 million views, is titled, “I wasted my 20s. #grindreel”. This video is trailed by “What a REAL web developer interview is like”. Most of Fluke’s videos have hundreds of thousands of views.

Style and Beliefs

Most of Fluke's videos are filmed with him sitting at the same black chair with his monitors visible in the background. Within these straightforward videos, he covers a lot of ground. Joshua Fluke is a big advocate for self education and “hustle” in finding a job. One of the biggest pushes Fluke makes is for code bootcamps like LambdaSchool, which he has multiple videos about. When he jumped into web development for the first time, code bootcamps were essential to his success and are where he acquired many of his coding skills. 

He’s very critical of the way most companies work and uses the expression “corporate cringe” often. According to Fluke, this phrase encompasses the inefficient way corporations use their employee time (for example, by holding them in meetings instead of sending informative emails and letting people do their work). He also partners with other YouTubers like mikaelabehsera to produce content. Fluke recently announced that he is dating a woman that often appears in his videos to give her HR expertise.

Joshua Fluke has certainly made a name for himself in the computer science YouTube world. His videos have reached millions of viewers and will continue to inform new generations of web developers. While some might criticize his professionalism, his advice has helped many people secure jobs and develop their software engineering skills. You can find him on YouTube at this link and Github at this one.

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