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Discussion on: Why I FAILED at live-coding!! 🤔💻❌

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hellokyyt profile image
Kyle Harrison

I streamed webdev to an audience for 0 for a few months. Turns out you cant just hit "Go Live" and expect passers by to give a shit unless you give them something to look at. I didn't even have a cam, that's how visually uninteresting my stream was.

This year, January 2nd in fact, my new years resolution was to do some game dev and crack out at least a couple game jams this year. I thought it'd be interesting to let people see what it's like for someone to be learning Unity on the fly.

Turns out I was wrong there too. My stream for my first game jam resulted in a Max of 2 concurrent viewers for 5 solid minutes and that's as good as it got.

BUT here's the thing that I found out: when I sling code just for me, I tend to piss around a lot with other stuff. Be it youtube or Netflix, chatting with friends, etc. When I was on stream? Even with 0 viewership, I treated it as if I had an audience of several. And so therefore I got the same feeling as pair programming: someone's watching over your shoulders. For me, this helped me keep focus.

So i continued doing it. I'd pop up with my "Watch me Fail at Unity" streams a couple times a week, and I got me a nice high powered webcam.

That last piece, turns out, was super important. Once I got webcam, I started pulling in consistent viewership. Still low numbers, 1-3, but the interaction I received made a huge difference in my attitude.

One day, while I was fixing a particularly hairy problem with syncing a countdown timer over a networked connection, I received my first raid which popped my viewership over 15 if im remembering right.

Man, the endorphins. I immediately felt addicted to the feeling I got from that.

But retention wasn't amazing. Turns out nobody is super into watching a dude read documentation lol

Recently Ive been in a rut volley of switching out libraries and technology and even engines now and it's just been hours upon hours of RTFM'ing and incremental experimentation so I've pumped the breaks on streaming overall.

But it was a fun experience while it latest. I'll probably do it again once I feel moderately proficient in it.

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lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Ahhhhh I forgot to mention this.

I treated it as if I had an audience of several. And so therefore I got the same feeling as pair programming: someone's watching over your shoulders. For me, this helped me keep focus.

this is so true, you hit the nail on the head. This was one of my biggest motivations for streaming, I knew that I would be getting shit done. Rather than: playing games, watching youtube videos, scrolling twitter, etc.