Oliver Dunk

Java & Web Developer, Age 18

Programming livestreams have a discoverability problem

I've always loved the programming community. Sites like Stack Overflow help us all, and while they can sometimes get fierce, the shear number of discussions on Twitter show how we all feel connected to the platforms, languages and communities we associate with. When I look for programming livestreams, however, I find myself unable to find developers working on interesting projects. And they must be out there...

Discovery

Development streams are too hard to find. I certainly have my favourite's, but when I look to expand my horizons, it's hard to know where to look.

Twitch's Programming community used to the best we had in a bad situation. This has sadly been removed. A comment on Reddit suggested some steps have been taken to lessen the damage, but I still think damage has been done.

LiveEdu (formally Livecoding.tv) was a great leap when released, recognising the importance of filtering by language and project. Sadly, however, this has also become less useful over time. It now appears more commerically focused, and it's a lot harder to see the distinction between livestreams and videos.

The Streams Themselves

I don't claim to be the best livestreamer. I do feel qualified, though, to mention a few choices that I think make for a bad stream:

  • Only communicating with viewers through chat. While perhaps better than no stream, hearing an answer in voice feels much more interactive.
  • Loud music that makes the voice hard to hear. I don't mind something to fill the silence, but something quiet leaves me to free to either ignore it or play something else on top.
  • Picking an overly complicated project that doesn't suit the format. Being deep in some assembly code and not explaining what you're doing makes it hard for newcomers to feel involved.

Why do I mention all of this? Part of the reason is simply because I hope someone will read this post and try to avoid some of these pitfalls. I want more good streams! The other part is to emphasise the first point - with such a big community, and everyone wanting certain qualities from a stream, it's easy to give up searching when there are so many poor streams for the good ones to be lost in.

The Solution

Time to wrap up with the big finale and a perfect solution! I don't have one yet, but I'm writing this because I've been feeling this way for a while, and I'm really open to change. I've considered making a stream directory type site, and I'd love to hear in the comments below if you're interested. No promises, of course, and it would be great if a bigger platform could fill in the gap before me.