I’ve been doing live coding on YouTube recently. It’s mostly about working on pet projects or exploring programming languages. So far I’m enjoying this activity, mainly because having someone watching you gives me more motivation to make a good progress on the task and explaining the problem out loud helps structuring my thoughts during the work.
It was uncomfortable at first, especially when no one is watching the stream (fortunately most of the time there was one or two), but in general it’s getting much better when you start talking about your thoughts and actions. I always found it interesting to follow someone’s flow of thinking. It might reveal interesting approaches to problem solving and help understanding how author himself looks at the problem.
So here’s what I think makes live coding interesting: the topic itself, it should be something specific, but not necessarily hard or unknown; always speaking about the problem and elaborating on non obvious parts.
I’m not really trying to pick a topic that would be interesting for wide audience, but rather I stream when there’s something interesting for myself, so I can sit down and work on it for 2 or 3 hours without interruptions. Live coding is also a kind of pair programming, where a bunch of people watching you work and suggest next steps. Especially useful when you are stuck on a problem. Other than that it’s fun to talk, answer questions, share experience, etc.
I think I’ll continue doing that whenever I need to work on something in spare time.