It’s the end of 2018, and I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on my accomplishments, on-going projects, and missed opportunities. I always struggle when it comes time to reflect on what I have accomplished, especially when it comes time for year-end reviews with HR-like folks. I want to get better at that, so I’ll blog a bit more here to review some of the cool things from the last 12 months
Twitch Coding and Learning
In November, I completed my first year of streaming on Twitch. What started as, “Just watch me code for an hour or two” has turned into more of an educational experience both for me and for my viewers. I learn so much from our interactions together, and refer to viewers as ‘pair-programmers’ because of all the great feedback I get as I write code.
Let’s take a look at some of the stream statistics from 2018:
- 162 ‘normal’ 2-hour shows
- 4 live-coding workshops ranging from 6-12 hours in duration
- Planned, recruited, and delivered a 32 hour live stream with guests from 6 of the 7 continents for .NET Conf from Channel 9 studios
- Planned, set technical requirements, and hosted the Connect 2018 live-coding sessions
Looking at JUST those 162 normal shows that feature me in my home office writing code with you or a guest, I normally broadcast for 2 hours at 3500kbps. That’s more than 3.8 terabytes of live video broadcast in 2018 from my home office… That’s the same amount of video as 86 dual-layer Blu-ray discs.
According to YouTube, more than 1.4 million minutes of my stream recordings were watched. Assuming not everyone is watching at full-HD, and taking an average bitrate of 2500kbps, that calculates out to 195.6 terabytes of video watched.
Average live viewership more than tripled from January through December 2018, and I know there’s a lot that I stopped doing in the last 3 months that COULD improve that. For example, I know my viewership goes up when I have guests. In 2018, I had 40 different guests join us to pair-program and chat with viewers. At one point, I had a guest on each week, and I would like to get back to that pace. It takes a bit more work to setup and plan a stream with a guest, and I am ready to put in that extra work to make the stream more interesting and engaging for our community.
I already have a few guests lined up for January, and will publish a full schedule in the next week.
I ran my first holiday show on Halloween 2018, and had a bit of fun writing code, promoting some sponsors and raffling a few prizes to our viewers. This show was a lot of fun, and I’d like to do more themed holiday shows in the future
Workshops and Long Form Events
Easily my most successful and well-viewed streams were longer form events with multiple guests teaching a complete concept throughout the day. In 2018 I ran three of these events on my channel, one on the VisualStudio channel, and two events for my employer on the VisualStudio channel.
The most popular events from 2018 were my ASP.NET Core workshop and my architecture workshop. I would like to update and run those workshops again but bigger, better, and with more speakers in 2019.
I want to try hosting a hackathon in 2019… and think I have an interesting idea to get things started. For Martin Luther King Jr. day here in the States, we observe this as a day of service. I am actively recruiting folks to help build a resource management application for Sebastian Riding Associates, a ranch and provider of equine therapy. The project for this hackathon has been allocated on GitHub and more details will be shared on requirements and how you can get involved later this week.
Project Progress in 2018
We started the year working on a simple Visual Studio extension, Epic Build Music, that would play music while Visual Studio 2017 is compiling. The extension is complete and available for your to download from the releases page.
We started work on the StreamTools project, an ASP.NET Core application that shares data about the current state of the stream. We added a bot called FritzBot to the project and gave it a collection of features no other bots on Twitch have, including the ability to answer questions directly from the chat room.
The CoreWiki project was born in March with Shayne Boyer on stage at the DevIntersection conference in Orlando. This content management system was designed initially to be a simple project that we could demonstrate new technologies and techniques with, while building out functionality. We adapted it to the CQRS architecture and implemented MediatR over the August and September timeframe. The project is still in progress and a version is deployed at corewiki.info.
We returned to the StreamTools project in November and added a command to the bot that would allow viewers to send code directly to my Visual Studio instance. This is the basis for a new live-coding stream experience that I want to fully-engage in 2019… where you can edit my code directly on Twitch and send it to me while the stream is presented. We’re almost done this feature… and I look forward to completing it in the next week or two with you.
Finally, we introduced the OilTankVision project with our streamer friend Suz Hinton, live on stage at the DevIntersection conference in Las Vegas. We connected a camera to a Raspberry Pi with a scheduled process to take pictures of my oil-tank gauge and upload them to Azure. On Azure, a process analyzes those photos and generates a ‘real’ volume of oil left in my home heating oil tank. I successfully deployed the pi, camera, and updated the project over the last week. I’ll share a wrap-up of the initial deployment on my first stream of 2019.
Events Events Events
In 2018, I took on more of a leadership role at Microsoft with the production of events for .NET developers. I planned the .NET / Visual Studio content for MVP Summit in March, the .NET content for Build 2018, all of the content for .NET Conf in September, and the technical aspects of the Connect 2018 live streaming event. Each of these events is special in its own way, and I’m looking forward to more event planning in 2019.
I continue to help with the content planning for the DevIntersection events, as they request my assistance to place Microsoft speakers from the Visual Studio / .NET organization at their two annual events. I’m thrilled with the response from attendees to our content at these two events. I’m always happy to help folks place Microsoft folks for speaking at their events, and I’m thrilled that I can help educate developers by assisting in bringing content to them.
In 2018, my personal speaking engagements looked like the following:
- Microsoft MVP Summit
- DevIntersection Orlando
- April – CodeStock in Knoxville, TN
- June – Keynote at DeveloperWeek Germany
- .NET Conf
- Microsoft Ignite 2018
- Keynote at TechBash 2018
- AngularMix 2018
- November – NopCommerce Conference
- DevIntersection Las Vegas
I received tremendous feedback on my keynotes and sessions at Ignite. Of particular note, the workshops at Ignite were a terrible mess due to network availability and placement of the workshop venue BUT my breakout at Ignite about updating a project from ASP.NET MVC to ASP.NET Core was a top rated session.
I already have four events planned for 2019:
- ConnectAha in Omaha, NE talking about Live Streaming and Teaching on Twitch.
- Microsoft MVP Summit
- CodeStock in Knoxville, TN
- DevIntersection Orlando 2019 (where I’m listed on the top line of speakers. Who knew??)
I’ve got a lot that I want to accomplish and drive towards my goals of making software developer education simple to access and with premium content available for those that want an in-person experience. I think we’re just at the beginning of more interactive sessions at in-person conferences, like the DevIntersection video above with Suz Hunton. I’m already planning MORE of these types of experiences in 2019 and will share those schedules once they are confirmed.
I want to blog more and give you more complementary resources for my Twitch channel. I think there’s a lot more to the learning experience than just watching folks on video write code. I’ll share my thoughts and investments in that space as they are available for you to use.
Thank you so much for your support in 2018, and I hope you and your families and friends have a tremendous 2019.