Streaming on Twitch has become very popular. What once was a hobby for only a few people has transformed into a big industry with countless full-time streamers.
If I think about streamers and Twitch, I think about entertainment and gaming, most likely eSports. What started as a gaming platform has transformed into other fields, including programming.
There are more and more programming channels where software developers develop, test, and deploy software live in front of their community. Some developers involve their community and ask them for contributions. There are even game developers streaming on Twitch.
While researching for this article about 500-3000 people were watching one of the programming channels. Sure, Fortnite, Dota or Counter-Strike have a more extensive fan base, but depending on the time and weekday 1200 people are not that bad at all.
Twitch organized their channels in different categories. A streamer has to choose a category that fits his content. For gamers, it’s usually the game title their playing for example Fortnite. For technology related channels, there are two dedicated categories available. There is the Science & Technology category, and there’s the Basic Programming category.
People like watching other people doing things online. It’s the main reason why people watch streamers like Ninja or Shroud playing video games. They want to be entertained – they want to watch a show.
Most streamers are online for several hours, which means the show is much longer than any regular tv series. People can be entertained for an extended period.
Some people also want to learn from other gamers. Shroud, for example, is known for his outstanding aiming capabilities and his short reaction times. People think that if they watch a better player play the same game the play, they can learn something.
I watch professional Counter-Strike players streaming on Twitch to find out lucrative spots on different maps and how to react to certain events during a match.
One of the most exciting thing about streaming is that the community can interact with the streamer. If you enter a channel, you can take part in the discussion in the chat. Moderators keep the chat clean and remove people who do not respect the rules of a chat room. You can also ask a question which might get answered by the streamer.
You can donate money or subscribe to a channel for 5 dollars per month which both supports the streamer. Some streamers earn enough money through subscriptions that they can do it full-time.
People return to their favorite streamers because they can see the person making progress. It’s interesting to see how other people play a game that you don’t have the time or money to play yourself. It’s also interesting to see how a player solves a level that you’re not able to do it yourself. You get tips for your next gaming session.
It’s very interesting to see people creating software on Twitch. You can take part in a project and see how something gets built from the ground up.
The most significant difference between videos on platforms like YouTube or Pluralsight is that not everything works as expected. Videos on those platforms are cut and errors removed from the final video.
Usually, YouTube videos are too perfect. When I watch a video, everything works, and I feel like I am the only person who does not get all things right the first time.
Watching a person live coding is an entirely different experience. You get to see all the errors, mistakes, and thoughts needed to create some piece of software. You also have the opportunity to ask questions while the person is doing something.
You can also comment on videos or video courses, but the time it takes to get an answer is usually much longer compared to a question asked in the Twitch chat while the other person is working on the project.
If you are a software developer and want to get involved in Twitch, I would suggest to go to Twitch.tv and browse through the available channels. I also included a list of streamers that are popular or that I can personally recommend at the end of this article.
Maybe you want to take it a step further and want to live stream yourself? Great! I’d say that the programming community is still underrepresented on Twitch and that it’s possible to build a community yourself if you’re passionate about building software in the open.
Try it and see if you like it.
In my opinion, any good article about programming on Twitch should include a few recommended channels.
The following list contains programming channels that I either watch myself or that have a good reputation listed in no particular order.
- Shmellyorc Game development, C#, Full stack development
- HardlyDifficult C# & Unitiy game development, C# development, Cryptocurrency
- Jeff Fritz C# .NET, .NET Core, Visual Studio
- Lana Lux Game development in Unity using C#
- Mike Jolley VS Code theming, VS Code extension development, C++, PowerShell
- David Ortinau User experience, Xamarin.Forms, MVVM, Native Mobile development
- Tim Beaudet C++, Python, TurtleBrains game development
- James Montemagno Xamarin.Forms, SignalR
- DevChatter C#, ASP.NET Core, web development
- Ardalis ASP.NET Core, Azure
- RamblingGeek C#, Azure, Docker, bot development
If you’re a streamer yourself, reach out to me, and I will add you to the list.
In addition to this list, there is a popular article on Medium which features many more popular and exciting programming channels.
What do you think about programming on Twitch? Let me know in the comments below.
This article was originally published on claudiobernasconi.ch on May 29th, 2019.