Ever since I first saw someone actually live code (which was probably only a month ago) and finish a project from scratch, I've had this huge desire to try it myself. Although I really wanted to, there were a few things that held me back (or so I thought). A large majority of these thoughts ended up being myths that have even been broken down by some streamers when interviewed on podcasts or even openly explained live. So here's a few thoughts that I had prior:
Of course before diving in, I would have to prep myself with notes and all, right? Well no not true; in fact there's a fair amount of streamers (awesome examples are Daniel Shiffman and Suz Hinton) who simply go live and dive in without the full plan and blueprints. So how do they go about planning? They plan live, which turns out to be a lot of fun too!
I'll need to make a good plan so I don't embarrass myself making a mistake. Although good plans make good starts, they're not perfect. In fact, an absolutely awesome plan doesn't prevent little errors that get missed in logic or syntax. The best part of it all is that all developers end up hitting stops so making a mistake is totally fine.
I don't think the equipment I have is right though, and no one wants a low quality stream. Although quality is always nice, code isn't exactly a 4K demand. In fact, I streamed from my mid-2012 MacBook and used the mic! If it's your first time streaming (and this was also advice given by streamers), you won't have any idea if you'll even like it enough to buy high-end equipment. Use what you have (or buy the cheapest at that) and try it out.
Well I don't know what I want to stream, or if it's something people would want to see! Chances are, not knowing what to stream is partly a lie. The thought of what can be done live may not have been thought through entirely, but just enough to know that there is consideration for it. That's a good start, you know you want to do something live, but what? Maybe a project you've done before; or a project you've been wanting to do; or maybe it's a finish project that you want to test and clean up. As for something people want to see, yes it's great to do things people enjoy, but streaming is almost like a side project. You don't make side projects for others, you make it for yourself. You want to improve or learn or have fun on your own whim.
Now I'm no expert by any means, in fact I just had my first stream a few days ago. But do I know that it's easy to not dive in because of a few little thoughts and doubts about the experience. Reality is, there is no "I'll do it when I'm ready" because it's virtually impossible to know when you're ready. Take the dive and if you hit a stop, take a breath and work through it. I hope this helped anyone who was/is considering streaming jump right in!
If you're curious about what I did make on stream, I played it simple and made a Jupyter notebook of a theme parks' annual pass, available here:
and if you want to see me stream (which I'm hoping to strike a consistent schedule for Friday nights but that's still in the works) then you can find me here: