Introducing Livestream Learn-alongs

A new way to help folks create awesome things.

Ben
Aug 16, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Hi! I’m Ben Greenier — I’m an engineer at Microsoft working to create awesome open source projects with our partners. We get to create software to help solve really tricky problems, and share our stories as we go. This means that as part of my job I get to play with lots of new technologies, learn how to use them, and help other folks do the same.

Over the last month I’ve been working to build a community around live-coding. For me, live-coding has always been really inspiring — being able to share ideas and processes with others in real time is magical. I think that learning and doing things together helps to build really great ideas into really great projects. Since my work both professionally and personally is often open source and therefore very collaborative in it’s nature, I wanted to take the time to give live-coding a try. It’s been a really interesting journey so far, and I’m excited to keep learning and sharing! ✨

I want my stream to be a place for friends to come together, and learn new things, as well as help others create.

With that said — I think it’s time to try something new to me. I want to be able to share some of the skills I’ve learned creating indie games over the last few years, in a way that is more approachable to newcomers. See, I spend a lot of time on stream building on top of skills that I’ve picked up over the years, and have been focusing on creating my own content. However, I’ve realized that this isn’t always approachable. I want my stream to be a place for friends to come together, and learn new things, as well as help others create. That’s why I’m going to start spending Sunday streams creating content to teach folks how to get into game development — I’m calling these segments Learn-alongs.

Game development is a bit different than traditional software development in my opinion because it requires you to think about problems differently. I find it often causes you to think about the relationships between your pieces of code in a very new way. As a result things can get confusing, overwhelming, and spaghetti-ified pretty quickly. Couple that with the burden of learning a whole new set of tools and frameworks designed to help you create games quicker, and it can be a lot.

I hope this can be the start of a new journey together, about building cool things that we can share with our friends, loved-ones, and soon-to-be friends.

We’ll spend Sunday building up the basics to solve problems using common tools (Unity to start with) and work toward creating all the things necessary for a real game. My hope is that we can come together when I’m creating these livestream learn-alongs and answer questions, try different approaches, and make progress as a group. Then, I’ll edit those videos down a bit and share them on Youtube so that they may live on as useful learning resources (and resources that are accessible to those who can’t make it to the streams). I hope this can be the start of a new journey together, about building cool things that we can share with our friends, loved-ones, and soon-to-be friends. If you have questions, drop a comment below. Be sure to tune in on Sundays at 2PM EST to join us for these sessions! 😎

I’ll continue to post about my adventures streaming development, including any new content that makes it’s way into the broadcast. Further, if live streaming development and product design is interesting to you (especially as it pertains to video games), follow me on twitter and on twitch! 📺🚀

Ben

Written by

Ben

I make awesome things | currently @microsoft (@azure) and @coplayfm | sometimes I hang with @msftgarage

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