I’m wondering if anyone is interested in joining me on Twitch for some live pair/mob programming sessions. I’d like to start a regularly recurring stream that will serve as a place for members of the Julia community to come together, learn together, code together, fail together, and simply hang out!
One thing that I dislike about watching typical tutorials is that what you are really seeing is the final iteration of a process rather than the actual process of writing code. What I mean is that writing code is always iterative and I believe that it’s very helpful to see the things that didn’t work and then to see what changes were made to ultimately achieve the desired result.
The basic format that I’m envisioning is a one-hour stream with the first 10 - 15 minutes consisting of small talk and discussion of the session’s goal. The remaining time would consist of us pair programming (with the help of the eventual audience) a solution to whatever it is we set out to do. I embrace the idea of failing together and, as such, I think it’s actually okay to not achieve the session’s goal - we can always try again in another stream!
The goals should be realistic given the time so I’m thinking about fairly simple things like: how to call an API and then visualize the returned data, how to perform simple linear regression analysis with Julia, how to use any of the popular Julia packages, etc.
I am a relative novice with Julia and so the theme of the stream would be to simply show what it’s like solving problems with Julia from the standpoint of an average person and to hopefully allow all viewers to learn this wonderful new language together. I’m thinking about scheduling the streams on a biweekly or monthly basis for now, depending on how difficult it ends up being getting folks to join me.
I did a (really terrible) solo stream already showing how to bring in some Census data via their API that will allow you to better grasp the vision that I have for this project. Guests would join me via Skype (or maybe some other medium) and we would use the Live Share extension in VS Code to be able to simultaneously edit the code.
Please contact me here on discourse or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in participating in this!
Come on, don’t be shy! How about those of you that liked the post? Now is the time to try it out, there is no audience so we can do a horrible job and no one will know!!
I’m thinking it might be good to contact some package authors as I think it makes sense to do some live streams where we walk through the package, how to use it, etc., and they can kind of see what it’s like for someone to interact with their package for the first time (assuming it’s one I’ve not used before).
YMMV, but it is possible that people may not consider this to be a good use of their time. A lot of packages are well-documented, have introductory sessions in the form of IJulia notebooks, and some prominent ones even have videos from JuliaCon; recording a video of guiding you through a package may be redundant. (Personally, I never understood why some people would prefer a video recording to written documentation, but I guess preferences are heterogeneous about this.)
Similarly, pair programming is not universally popular, especially in open source where people are frequently not at the same location and have other obligations which make scheduling difficult, so I am not surprised you found no takers (yet). Asynchronous forms collaboration, like someone making a PR and then others reviewing it, is rather efficient and less disruptive.
I think in addition to the educational value for some viewers, the real value in something like this is in networking. There are several popular live programming streams (with other programming languages) that I’ve followed over the past year or so and what I’ve noticed there is that most viewers come just to socialize (via the chat). It often leads to great networking opportunities and oftentimes there are discussions going on that are totally unrelated to whatever is being streamed and people are helping one another with code. I think the pair programming format is nice because it allows viewers to get to know different people in the Julia community and I think it also leads to better content.
I just did another stream (very spontaneously)…check it out and contact me so that we can do some pair programming together!!
@mthelm85 This is perfect for me. This is what I was looking for. I am all in for this. Let me know when we could start on this.