I started streaming 3 or 4 years ago because I thought it would be a good way to show what I’m working on, and I was interested in the Twitch platform and live streaming. I didn't play video games too often, so I decided to just stream what I'm working on. I started taking it more serious during the pandemic since I had a lot of time while furloughed and wasn't traveling.
Why I started
I chose to start streaming because I thought it would help me be a better communicator and help me talk with other people that are interested in app development. When I started streaming, I was a product support specialist for an entertainment systems manufacturer, which means I was not coding at my day job. I wanted to build apps and code as a profession and part of the job switch meant I would need to talk about certain concepts and explain what I'm doing whether that was in the interview or actually on the job. I had heard of the rubber duck debugging method to try and solve problems, so I thought I could apply that to streaming.
Another reason I started streaming is because I was actually hoping I could find people who could help me be a better developer. Whether it was helping me write code or just give me advice, I was hoping that someone would hop in chat and give me clues. That hope became a reality and over the last few years I've met some really cool people like drag0ndust, MonsieurBee, and Mikaela Caron who come into my chat regularly and help me out from time to time.
What Benefits do I see?
I have seen a few benefits from starting to stream.
- Made connections with other iOS developers
- Developing the skill to explain what I'm working on and why I chose a certain path.
- More fluent in Swift
Making connections with other developers is crucial especially if you don't surround yourself with a lot of developers in the day-to-day. Most of my friends and my wife don't understand or get the development things that I want to talk about or problems that I need to talk out and get advice from, so meeting and talking with other iOS developers is such a big improvement to my life.
Being able to explain what and why is such a crucial skill when developing. Most people can code and figure out what to do, but explaining the why is hard. I make decisions while coding a lot, but I don't think through what those are. If I'm explaining out-loud what I'm doing and then get asked why by someone in chat, then I need to explain it at that point.
The more one works in a certain language or framework, the more one gets more fluent. I stream at least 1-3 times a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. During my streams, I'm only working in Swift. The more I work in Swift, the more comfortable I get and the more I understand how Swift works.
Do I suggest other people do this?
If you have a computer and a headset with a mic, then you can start streaming. I think there are so many more benefits than the three I highlighted earlier that come from it, that I think you should do it.
In my next article, I'm going to explain what is needed to start streaming app development and what I use to stream iOS apps. To get that article directly in your email then make sure to sign up or follow on Twitter.
If you stream anything development related, then tweet at me @maeganwilson_ a link so I can check it out!