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AlwaysDeveloping.show is now on YouTube

The Always Developing podcast is dead, long live AlwaysDeveloping.show!

As heavily hinted in my 4th goal for 2021, I've decided that the Always Developing podcast was not working out. So instead I am "live coding" on YouTube.

I'll let the blurb from the about page explain what it's all about...

Live coding an app with SvelteJS, Go, CockroachDB, and Juju Charms in Python. Sometimes Linux desktop app or WordPress plugin development too.

Before starting every work day, I do half an hour of noodling on side projects, making sure to keep them moving forward, albeit slowly.

Working on these side projects is how I learn new programming languages, frameworks and technologies.

Chances are I'll fail miserably each and every day, so at the very least you can take comfort in seeing a so-called senior developer fumbling through some development with little success.

Because live streaming sounds like an absolute nightmare for concentration, and the goal is to lean and keep progressing my side projects, it's recorded coding sessions. However, I am recording them "live" with OBS, and not editing them except for editing out any sensitive data (once so far), or should there be some sort of interruption (none yet 🎉️).

And true to the description on YouTube, there has already been plenty of opportunities to learn from my mistakes in the 10 episodes I've recorded so far (11 if you include the short follow-up episode 9.1).

The idea of doing half an hour of development every day was inspired by one of Andreas Kling's Car talk episodes. In Car talk: My technique for discipline he was answering a question on how he is able to be so disciplined. His answer was basically that he's not disciplined, he just has a routine that works well for him. He also mentioned that even if you could do half an hour of something every day, it would add up nicely over a year.

Given that I work approx 46 weeks in a year, that's 115 hours worth of half hours before work. That amounts to about 15 professional days for me (I do 7.5 hours per day). 3 weeks of pure coding days (which never ever happens in a real job) should produce something of worth, and at the very least I will learn a lot.

I'm doing the coding before work for a couple of reasons:

  1. The first and most important is that it's easy for me to slot in half an hour as part of my pre-work routine, just after having breakfast while catching up on that there internet thing. If I tried to schedule something in the evening I would forever be skipping the session for some reason or another as evenings are much less structured for me. There's always the problem of motivation in the evenings too, YouTube isn't going to watch itself you know, someone's got to do it. 😜️

  2. The second is that I have a daily 10am stand-up meeting with my team mate Erik which forces a hard stop, giving me a sense of time scarcity to concentrate my mind and reason to step away and come back with fresh eyes.

And so far it's worked out well. My very first attempt on April 1st 2021 didn't go so well though, and has been trashed. In that joke of a recording session I was trying to also code at my standing desk, which I never do, and it just didn't work at all. I struggled to use the keyboard properly, and what with trying to code and talk at the same time too, it was a fool's errand. I should have known given the date.

Since then I've been sitting at my desk, so am way more comfortable, and haven't been trying so hard to explain absolutely everything that's gong on. I haven't really properly introduced what I'm working on either, as each session needs to stand on it's own feet.

It's still very very early days and I've a lot to learn about live coding and recording etc, let alone learn all the development technologies I'm working with, but I'm enjoying it and making progress.

So head on over to YouTube and start watching me fumble my way through learning some stuff!