So, I’ve done it - I’ve gone and joined the legion of those who are live-streaming. Yes, yes, I know. Everyone is doing it, it’s the hip and cool thing right now, why are you jumping on the bandwagon? You’re not young, conventionally attractive, and playing video games. So what gives?
Well, I’ll tell you: I think for me, right now, streaming meets some important personal and professional needs.
- It allows me to practice teaching and explaining technical things.
- At this point in my career, I’m a senior engineer/developer, and a necessary part of most senior technical roles is contributing to skills development for the teams I’m a part of. Whether it’s mentoring more junior developers, supporting (or even supervising) interns, or sharing what I know with other equally senior peers, teams grow best when we’re learning from one another. For that reason, being able to do complex technical tasks isn’t enough — you also have to be able to explain them to others. While my stream is more like an extended pair programming session than a class lecture, it’s still a chance for me to not just write code and build things, but to practice explaining what I’m doing and the thought process behind it as I’m doing it.
- It forces me to keep my making projects moving.
- Let’s face it: We all have personal projects that we start, get excited about, maybe even make some headway on, and then allow to languish and die. We get busy. The demands of “real life” interfere. And our personal projects are often the first casualty of that busy-ness. Needing to actually show up on stream and do stuff is a way of imposing some external accountability on myself to not let my maker projects get stalled when life gets hectic.
- It encourages me to learn more and grow my own skills.
- If someone’s giving up their time to come watch me build and code, I’d like the experience to be interesting for them. Streaming is great in that it allows us to connect with our fellow human beings in a way that’s so dreadfully hard, especially in this pandemic-influenced world where everyone is “remote” and “virtual”. But you still want that connection to be rewarding and interesting. This gives me an incentive to come up with interesting projects to work on, and is an opportunity to push and flex and grow my own making and coding skills.
- It’s fun!
- That thing I just mentioned about connections with our fellow humans? Yeah, that. So much that.
Streaming is also a chance to put into practice some of the things I learned as a broadcast communication major lo those many (too many!) years ago. And a chance to marvel at the pace of technology and the fact that what took a crew of people and a a million dollar television studio back when I was in college can now be accomplished by one person with a MacBook and an HDMI interface. It’s wild!
What are you going to be talking about?
It really depends. My primary areas of focus are going to be electronics, coding, CircuitPython and maker culture. But along the way, there’s going to be a lot of off-topic chatting, irreverent humor, and “Tammy climbs up on the soapbox and editorializes about tech topics” conversation.
But really, I want to cover the kind of stuff you’re interested in hearing about! So why not drop me a note and let me know what that is?