Hello and welcome!
My name is Pachi. I work as a Developer Relations Engineer at New Relic and I am passionate about Live Coding (nope, not the interview style ones, those scare me LOL).
For the purposes of this post, we will be talking mainly about live Coding on Twitch. While there are other platforms, this is the one I use.
Now, you may know Twitch as a gamer streaming thing, or don’t know Twitch at all, so here is the short:
Twitch is a streaming platform where you can go so stream yourself
doing something live.
This platform is full of gamers, but Hidden on the Science and Technology category you can find us… The Live Coder streamers.
What exactly we stream varies, but it usually involves us learning, teaching or building something with code, while our viewers interact with us through the chat.
There was I, just one more developer that had been talking about coding herself a new portfolio for months but never really getting started. I had been very active on Twitter and 2 developers I follow were doing this living coding thing on Twitch, so I decided that was how I was going to get the motivation to code said portfolio and that was how somewhere around March 2020 I started streaming live coding on Twitch 2020.
I am an introverted person (INFP anyone?) who was terrified about the idea of any form of public speaking of any form (in school I often got sick on days I had to present things, coincidence? I think not) and while I loved going to conferences pre-COVID I usually was alone the whole event. Plus I have ADHD so my brain is a racing car which makes me talk too fast.
Did it all change and know I am an extrovert who loves talking to strangers and talking in public? Heck not! But it got better.
When you start live coding, unless you already have an audience somewhere else, you probably won’t have anyone watching. Then you may convince a cousin and your best friend to be there for you. Your viewers number tends to organically grow if you are doing it often and you may get a new follower or two each time.
So one day you are talking by yourself, the other you are speaking to one person and next week maybe 5.
This slow but steady viewers growth made me get comfortable. Ok, I can talk to one person so 3 is not bad. Now 3 is totally fine, 6 cannot be much different can it?
And now, 9 months or so later, I have a following of almost 3000 and a viewer average of 30, though some days it goes to 60 and on one special occasion I had over 200. And I did great they said haha.
There is also the fact that you don’t see anyone’s faces, so you can ignore the numbers if you want, and pretend everyone typing on the chat are your childhood friends and you can relax.
That comfort helped me relax and speak better, and the growing viewers number and chat interaction gives me more confidence in my communication skills everyday.
Note that I am still an introvert and we have wait the world to reopen to see how I improved I am for Tech Conferences, but overall I feel more confident and even enjoy speaking to small audiences especially about the things I am passionate about.
As a developer I do not have tons of experience. With my older brother as my mentor and the internet as my school, I started learning how to code around October 2018, so a little over 2 years.
Coding in front of people when you are not even sure how to get things done is scary yes, but is also exciting.
As a live coder I started building a healthy community around my stream, and the people around me are very helpful. Whenever I am stuck on a problem or not sure where I should go next, I can ask them for advice and guidance and I will get it.
Some people come to the stream solely because of community, they have no interest in front-end development or are way more experienced in programming than me, but they show up to chat and make friends with other people in tech and that makes for a very diverse community that can be helpful solving problems and getting new ideas.
This all made me a better developer because it exposes me to a variety of people with different problem solving skills and technologies backgrounds. It motivates me to learn new things, start different projects and gives me a change to teach people what I know, and as you may have heard before, the best way to learn is teaching.
Have you ever read some of those motivational quotes that go something like: Be a bit better everyday, or act like the person you wanna be ? Well, streaming helped me find out more about myself.
What I like, what I dislike and what I want to be. Now I know I love to teach and help people, that being part of a community is important to me and that I am actually quite charismatic.
The people watching me inspire and motivate me to do a little better everyday because I Know they will be watching, literally haha. I want to be a good example and influence for them. I want to help my community and make a difference anyway I can.
And now that I know all that and got started, I can’t stop. And I don’t want to.
Now you know it: Live Coding is awesome! Though it may not be for everyone, it literally has changed my life, making it better.
Some people have no interest in streaming, but I have several friends that love to watch and interact with the streamers, so they can be active community members without the streaming part. Whichever you thing you would enjoy, give it a try!
If you want to know more about it, come watch us!
You can find me at www.twitch.tv/pachicodes!
Come join us to learn, teach and make friends.
Thanks for reading,