You may know him from the hit HBO comedy series Silicon Valley as Dinesh, the talented coder with a dry sense of humor who you can often find bickering with Pied Piper co-worker Gilfoyle. But the fact that comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani plays an endearingly nerdy programmer on TV isn’t the only reason why we’re thrilled to have him join us as a keynote speaker at FutureStack16 this year.

In addition to guest appearances on shows like Portlandia, Veep, and Broad City, Nanjiani is a gaming and pop culture podcaster, he’s an X-Files super fan—and he’s even got some real-life coding cred. Here are three reasons why we can’t wait to see Nanjiani’s fireside chat at FutureStack16 come November 17.

1. He makes us laugh (hard)

If you still haven’t seen Silicon Valley, you really need to watch it. Created by Mike Judge (of Office Space, King of the Hill, and Beavis and Butt-Head fame), the show follows the lives of six programmers who are trying to make it in the startup world. It’s a hilarious and (sometimes painfully) accurate portrayal of the real Silicon Valley.

Nanjiani also has a recurring role on the animated TV series Adventure Time—he does the voice for Prismo. And, among other film and TV roles, you can find him doing what he does best on Comedy Central stand-up shows like Beta Male and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which is currently airing its third season.

2. He’s living the nerd life

When Nanjiani isn’t playing a nerd on TV, he’s still representing the nerd life in real life. For example, he’s leveraged his love of the X-Files by creating a podcast series called The X-File Files to reminisce about his favorite episodes. (Being a fanboy paid off: When the sci-fi series got a reboot earlier this year, Nanjiani was cast in one of the episodes!)

In addition to The X-File Files, Nanjiani co-hosted a video game podcast called The Indoor Kids with his wife Emily V. Gordon. And one other fun fact: Nanjiani says he’s watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy at least 10 times.

3. He knows (or at least knew) how to code

It’s true. Nanjiani earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and while he didn’t end up pursuing a career in tech, he’s no stranger to Java, C++, and JavaScript; he used to make websites and hand code in HTML.

“That’s what I went to school for,” said Nanjiani in an interview with The Ride. “But I feel like I missed a class one day, and then I never caught up. The first year I kind of had a handle on things, and then suddenly stuff just stopped making sense.”

Of course, that all worked in everyone’s favor—especially for FutureStack16 attendees!

Register today

If you don’t have a ticket yet, hurry up and register now before space runs out. With keynotes from Nanjiani and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver; talks from tech leaders at AWS, Airbnb, GE, Gannett, and Concur; an amazing party at the Regency Ballroom; and so much more, you definitely don’t want to miss it!

Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter @NewRelic #FS16SF.


Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice.

Asami Novak is director of content strategy and development at New Relic. Prior to joining the New Relic team, she wrote marketing and ad copy for a variety of B2B and B2C companies. Her editorial writing has appeared in WIRED and Dwell, among other publications. View posts by .

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