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Erik Guzman
Erik Guzman

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To Keep the Passion Alive, Why I Stream Live Coding

As the year draws to a close I have been doing a lot of self-reflection about 2019 and the past decade. With a new year (and new decade) comes new revitalized opportunities to organize and improve yourself.

I have been reflecting on the past 2+ years I have been doing live coding on Twitch.tv and there is one question that will periodically come up in conversation with friends, co-workers or at a meetup event, "Why do you stream live coding?"

The simple one-liner answer I give is, "To Keep the passion alive"

What do I mean by "To Keep the passion alive"? Personally, it's about being able to sit in front of a keyboard and still enjoy coding regardless of what I am doing. To continue to want to learn more, grow more, work with others and help others.

A couple of times in the past there have been periods in my career where I have been burnt out by work. The constant grind of working on a certain project, in certain types of teams, or with individuals that seem to just zap me of all your creative energy. I didn't realize it was happening, at least for me I didn't. It happened slowly, becoming increasingly more complacent with the standard of work I am doing until I just code at work then shut off my brain at home. Sometimes you might be able to snap out of it by switching teams, the corporate team shuffle or through layoffs. But when I ended up in that passion-less mode, I just end up cruising along.

To give an analogy to this feeling I am going to borrow from an old Chinese story, The frog of the well. But going adapt it a little, let's call it "The developer in the cubicle". I became a developer sitting in my cubicle and my entire world was the current project, codebase, and standards. I had no clue about the great things outside my cubicle and thought where I was at was the best thing in the world. No passion for learning, just doing what you're told and being ok with it, not super great for career development. Now enter in Live Coding, the rope out of the well cubicle.

Live coding helped me rekindle my passion and keep it alive because I am doing coding on my terms. Now I am not saying that live coding is the end all be all of the strategies for keeping your passion alive, we're all different. But for me, it inadvertently provided the framework necessary to keeping MY passion for coding alive. It helped me do the following:

  • Set time aside every week to devote to building and learning, in my case 3 hours 3 times a week.
  • Motivate me to build new things, experiment with new technologies, or just try out some different coding styles, project structure, well anything you cant do at your job.
  • Meet new awesome friends with different ideas or knowledge in an area you don't know enough about.
  • Help others, motivate others, teach others about your experiences.
  • Have fun building stupid stuff
  • Just build whatever the hell you want, how you want, without any corporate/company BS in the way

Ok I know I repeated myself with that last bullet point. But there is just something so damn refreshing about building something you want to build and share it with others. When I have a crummy day (or couple days) at work, coming home I am excited to live stream my work on my projects and share it with others. Since I am excited about working on my projects I am motivated to learn more and do more things. So that fuels my thirst for knowledge to find the next cool thing I might want to add to a project or make a brand new one. Which brings me back to being excited to continue to do things outside of work. Rinse and repeat, which itself continues to fuel the passion tank.

As a side effect to all this, I gained more knowledge to use at work. I was able to introduce new ideas or concepts. Also during my personal time, take deep dives on new tooling, frameworks, and features and bring all the knowledge back to work to share with my colleagues. My continued passion helps me grow and bring it to others.

So "Why do you stream live coding?"

"To Keep the passion alive".. Go find your passion this coming new year.

Feel free to share what keeps you passion alive in the comments.


Drop me a follow on Twitch where you can catch me streaming
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https://twitch.tv/talk2megooseman

Top comments (2)

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michaeljolley profile image
Michael Jolley

I feel seen. Great post Erik!

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adron profile image
Adron Hall

Dug the post and enjoy watching the stream Erik! Keep it up and may your passion always survive thrashing code! ;)

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