Taylor Barnett

Why I want to explore streaming

by Taylor Barnett

[In the sense of "digital gardening" this blog post is a work in progress. It might not even turn into a blog post but take a different form. Until then, here are my thoughts as follows. Be kind.]

The Year is 2021

The year is 2021 and I want to explore streaming on Twitch. Some may say that 2020 was the year I was supposed to come to this realization, but it just took me all of 2020 to realize it.

The year started out pretty normal. I had conference talks accepted to a few different conferences. And then the pandemic started. My first virtual conference talk in April went great! I felt connected to the audience, got great validation, and I was ready to give more. As the year went on and I gave a few more virtual talks, I began feeling more and more like I couldn't keep doing this. While not all conferences are created equal, even the best of events left me feeling unfulfilled. Also, for reasons I won't really get into, I don't work with a large range of technical users at the moment.

By the end of 2020, I was questioning how many talks I wanted to give in 2021. But what else would I do to exchange ideas and meet new folks?

Why streaming?

Towards the end of 2020, I was watching two people live coding an integration of one of their services with the other's project. It is something that has happened at dozens of times on Twitch, but I just happened to be watching it live for the first time. And I realized two things in that moment:

  1. Live coding probably isn't as scary as I make it out in my head.

  2. There is a real possibility that it could help fulfill a gap I currently have!

Even when they were debugging something, I was like, I miss this! I miss bringing together two systems that would otherwise be incompatible and integrating them together while playing wack-a-mole with any challenges that come up. This is something I often do internally in my role, but not as often externally.

Where do I go from here?

So I made a tweet:

I had the best/worst idea: live streaming writing documentation

And after getting a lot of positive feedback back both publicly and privately about it, I'm going to try to make it happen in late March/April. I have a large set of documentation that I want to work on a work, so I have a lot of things I could write.

I'm thinking part lo-fi beats/part educational/part just coworking with me. I have no idea if it will be a snooze fest or just okay, but we will see! I already have a few people who would want to be guests on the show too.

But before that, I am going to try to stream a little personal website development. Over the holiday break it was fun to work on, so I think it is a perfect candidate for something I want to get better at in my personal time while having a little fun and getting to learn about streaming on Twitch. We'll see how it goes!

Note: I am going to keep updating this blog post as I explore this idea.