You can now spend your evenings watching other people code
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It turns out there are coders out there who are streaming their work for public enjoyment. Their projects can range from creating apps to video games, and sites featuring coding content are quickly popping up across the Web. One such site, aptly named WatchPeopleCode.com aggregates coding Twitch streams. Most of these videos feature interactions, chat, discussions and music. Some viewers even suggest solutions to problems hosts are encountering, or possible ways of improving on existing architecture. There's also a subreddit that collects coding video streams.
A somewhat similar site, Livecoding.tv, provides peer-to-peer live-streaming for watching people code products live. The site claims to blend education with entertainment, and works as a platform where users can sharpen their skills, share their code and help solve problems as they're occurring.
So, why is something many people find pretty boring slowing becoming a trend? One major reason can be found in the growing demand of software and app developers and the explosion of mobile devices. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, software developer jobs are projected to increase 22 percent between 2012 and 2022. This jump is higher than that of any other US occupation, and companies are scrambling to find devs in almost every field.
The demand for programming skills has prompted both private and public leaders to step up in their efforts to bring coding into schools. Programs like the Hour of Code encourage both young and old to take up the skill, while tech companies are moving in with heavy financial investments.
Educational and e-learning sites are also moving to fill the skills-gap by providing affordable training. Companies like Code School offer courses and learning paths for all levels of learners. These sites are helping to make coding accessible to many more people by meeting them right where they are; in their homes.
There's also an increase in consumer products like the Sphero, which target both coding enthusiasts and children alike. Learning to control a small toy's movements through simple program instructions can empower children and teach the direct connection between coding and control of one's environment. In short, fun gadgets like Sphero explicitly show that programming actually does something.
Historically, programming departments were mostly present in colleges and universities. Now, learning is becoming more democratized throughout the world. There has also persisted a social perception problem in that most people see programmers as some secret group of nerdish recluses consigned to serve out their work days in dark basements. It's hardly a picture many people would see as flattering or even accessible.
Today, however, this view of the act of coding and programmers, in general, is slowly changing. On top of that, coding sites are making learning to code a much more enticing, fun, and effective experience. Given all this, it's not surprising that more and more people are taking an interest in coding, to the point that watching live-stream coding videos actually sounds exciting.