This post has now been updated for 2020 with more channels for you to explore.
An increasing number of people stream as they code and hundreds of people watch their every stream. You might wonder why. After all, why would you want to watch someone else code? These live streams often last for hours. Isn't it a slow and ineffective way to improve your own programming skills?
You'd be surprised. Watching a live stream of someone programming is a great way to learn something new or to improve an existing skill. There are many benefits to it. Firstly, you'll notice that even experienced programmers struggle. They're no different from you. They have no magic tricks. They google for solutions, just like you do. They forget the semicolon, just like you do. They struggle, just like you do.
Secondly, watching other people code will show you the little tips and tricks they use to speed up or improve their code. These are often things you'd never see in an edited video, but that can be incredibly valuable.
Thirdly, streamers are often very interactive with their audience when they're live. They answer questions, ask questions, and change what they're talking about depending on their audience's wishes.
If you've never watched a live stream before, I recommend you give it a try. Here are 10 live programming channels worth watching:
Mattias Petter Johansson is the creator of Fun Fun Function, one of the most popular programming channels on YouTube. FFF has both: plenty of excellent, edited videos for developers and recordings of live streams that show his struggles as he programs.
Traversy Media has hundreds of videos and dozens of video series on a variety of programming topics, from basic web development to MongoDB deployment. His videos walk you through whatever he's building from beginning to end without any edited cuts.
Adam Wathan is a YouTube live streamer who streams his coding projects from start to finish. This is code streaming pur sang: you'll see Wathan struggle, look up things, and interact with his audience as he goes along, all of which make for very educational videos.
Naysayer88 is a Twitch programmer with over 18,000 followers. His live streams almost always have hundreds of viewers. He has videos on compiler programming and game engine programming, as well as more relaxed gaming streams.
For those of you into .NET code, csharpfritz is the Twitch channel for you. You can watch his live streams on Twitch or, if you missed the live stream, watch the recording of it on his YouTube channel.
Radical Fish Games is a game development studio that streams the development of its game CrossCode, a retro-inspired 2D Action RPG set in the distant future. They stream every Saturday at 8 PM CEST. A great channel for those of you looking to learn more about game development.
Syanoks is a Twitch streamer with 15 years of experience programming C. He streams about C, assembly, shell, Python, and OS programming. He doesn't have a regular streaming schedule, although it's usually outside of office hours CET.
Brendan Enrick is the host of DevChatter and a former Microsoft MVP. He mostly streams about web development, but sometimes about Android and Windows development too. There's a useful countdown timer on his Twitch page that tells you when his next stream is. His Twitch recordings are stored on YouTube.
Ferris is a Graphcore developer who streams every Thursday 7 PM CEST, usually about Rust, C, C+, emulator development, and more. You can watch his recorded Twitch streams on his YouTube channel.
Those were ten live code streamers on Twitch and YouTube. Of course, there are many more. You can discover many great streamers by browsing through the Science & Technology channel on Twitch. But what about you? Do you watch live programmers? Who are some of your favorite ones?