An increasing number of people stream as they code. You might wonder why. After all, why would you want to watch someone else code? These code streams often last for hours. Isn't it a slow and ineffective way to improve your programming skills?
You'd be surprised. Watching a programming livestream is a great way to learn something new or improve an existing skill. First, you'll quickly understand that even experienced programmers don't have all the answers. They're no different from you. They have no magic tricks. They google for solutions, just like you do. They forget the semicolon, just like you do. They struggle, just like you do.
Second, watching other people code live will show you the little tips and tricks they use to speed up their programming or improve their code. These are often incredibly valuable things that you would never see in an edited video.
Third, streamers are often very interactive with their audience when they're live. They answer questions, ask questions, and change what they're talking about based on their audience's wishes. That’s fun! If you've never watched a livestream before, we recommend giving it a try. Here are 18 live programming channels worth watching:
Honest Dan is a professional game developer from Wales who streams Unreal Engine content every week. He has been working with Unreal since 2019 and has worked on games like Sea of Thieves.
Traversy Media has hundreds of videos and dozens of video series on a variety of programming topics, from basic web development to MongoDB deployment. His videos walk you through whatever he's building from beginning to end without any edited cuts.
Salma Alam-Naylor is a streamer, software engineer, and developer educator who doesn’t just stream code. She also has blog posts on a wide variety of programming topics and a YouTube channel with edited programming videos. She has been working as a front-end developer since 2014 and, on her streams, she builds weird websites, roasts code that her viewers submit, and chats about the tech industry every week.
Tsoding is an educational coding channel. His tagline “recreational programming” doesn’t do justice to the value he delivers every stream. He’s deeply knowledgeable about whatever programming topic he’s streaming (C, Linux, Assembly) and explains everything clearly as he progresses.
ThePrimeAgen covers Vim, Rust, and TypeScript. He has an extremely popular YouTube channel with over 250,000 subscribers, but he also livestreams long programming sessions on Twitch. Those VODs find their way back to YouTube. He’s also a very entertaining streamer to watch.
Thor is one of the developers behind Heartbound, an adventure RPG published in 2018 to overwhelmingly positive Steam reviews. Thor has been in the games industry for over eighteen years and streams six days a week about all aspects of game development.
For those into ASP.NET Core, .NET Core, Visual Studio, and other Microsoft tools, csharpfritz is the programming streamer to watch. Follow his livestreams on Twitch or, if you missed the livestream, watch the recording on his YouTube archive channel.
As the creator of the critically acclaimed indie games Braid and The Witness, Jonathan Blow is a well-known name in the gaming industry. On his Twitch channel, he streams crank sessions, where he sets a timer for three hours and programs with as much focus as he can muster that day.
CodingAfterWork is the podcast and stream of Jessica and Jimmy Engstrom, both Windows Development MVPs who stream weekly programming sessions on their Twitch channel. They also have guest lectures or sometimes chat about what’s happening in the programming industry.
Rob Muhlestein streams about anything server-side. Think cloud native, DevOps, Linux, VIM, containers, Docker, etc. He streams for about three hours every day and interacts heavily with his audience, answering questions (or asking questions himself) as they go along.
Lana Lux is a game developer who livestreams the process of building STRAIN, an apocalyptic survival game in a neon city. She programs in Unity and uses Autodesk Maya for 3D. Her streams happen every day for many hours. She also has a YouTube channel with shorter, edited videos.
Alh4zr3d is a professional red teamer and pentester who streams about everything related to hacking, InfoSec, and cybersecurity. If you want to learn more about security best practices and/or how your code can be hacker, Alh4zr3d is the streamer for you.
LowLevelLearning wants to teach you everything you need to know to start a career in systems programming. Besides his livestreams, he also has a very popular YouTube channel and an academy with programming courses that encourage you to build things.
Nick Wan is the Director of Analytics for the Cincinnatti Reds who livestreams Python code, particularly about sports analytics, neuroscience (he has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Utah State), and random APIs.
CJ of CodingGarden streams several times a week, both on YouTube and Twitch. He programs in a wide variety of programming languages. You can also browse his GitHub page, where you can find the repositories that he stores his code in while doing his livestreams.
And that's it: 18 live code streamers on Twitch and YouTube. Of course, there are many more. You can discover many great streamers by browsing through the Science & Technology channel on Twitch. For now, however, these 18 streamers should be plenty to keep you busy.