Content creation for developers

Show Notes

Types of Content
  • Tweet
  • Blog Posts / newsletter
  • Live Streaming (Twitch, etc)
  • YouTube & YT Shorts
  • TikTok & Instagram

Full Transcripts

Colin: Welcome to Build and Learn. My name is Colin

CJ: And I'm cj, and today we're talking about content creation for developers. I'm. Realizing that the last time we recorded you had prepped us and told us that you're gonna be at Burning Man. And I saw like a couple pictures on Instagram of all the dust . I heard that there was a dust storm, so I know you probably got Dusty, but what else happened at Burning Man? Also, is Burning Man one of those, what happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man type things or Yeah, like what can you

Colin: A little. Yeah, I mean it's very interesting to see cuz I, this is my eighth year that I've been since 2008. And there's the meme of the okay burner or okay boomer for people who have been before and especially in the earlier years. Because it's definitely changed a lot. It was extremely rough this year. It was so hot. So, I mean, dust storms are par for the course, but like a lot of people who've been before, I think part of it was because Burning Man hadn't happened in a few years. It was like everyone shaking the rest off a little bit and even, you know, if you're having a hard time, you expect like everyone else around you to, might have some of their act together. But let's kind of like everyone getting back into it. I think this year the whole what happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man is taking a different approach, which is that there's a lot more focus on reporting around like the impact of Burning Man, like environmentally and just in general because like, I mean, there's no getting around the fact that like, yes, it's fun, but it's also a pretty big impact to the planet to have this festival and, an event in the desert for a week with so many vehicles. We were fortunate enough to only take like three hours to get home. We left to, At the right time. Some people were stuck in line for like 14 hours to get from Burning Man to back to Reno which is a normally like a two hour drive. So it's been an interesting thing. It's something that I think a lot of burners are struggling with. The idea of like, should we still be going, should we still be doing this? Or like, are we part of the bigger problem? So, there's a lot of fun to be had. There's a lot of amazing art. Just the idea of building something from nothing out there is pretty amazing. But, at the same time, there's a lot of privilege and all of that involved in attending and going and being a part of that, you know, I spent way too much money on building shade structures and, having all the supplies and stuff that we need. We don't rough it by any means, but we're not in an RV either, so it's, very nice tents and shades and stuff like that that we've got set up, so.

CJ: So it sounds like it was harsher conditions, general. Is that what you mean? Like by harder. Okay. So the conditions were just generally harder. I see.

Colin: Yeah, I mean, it was like 105, 110 Fahrenheit almost every day. And then even at night you expected to get cool. And it did eventually, but it was just still hot at nighttime. And yeah, there's just a lot going on there. And it's what you expect when you go to the desert in the middle of August, but it's still, Yeah, it's it felt harder for a lot of people. Maybe we were just outta practice, but. . Yeah. So that was Burning Man came back. It was pretty relaxing for me. Like as much as it was rough and stressful, like it was good to be away from a computer for a week. So I get back into it and get in front of the screen when I come back and kind of think about just some time away, which could have been done on a beach somewhere just as easily. But, you know, choices,

CJ: Yeah, totally. Totally. Yeah. I think I saw people on TikTok too, like posting from burning it. I'm like, So do you. Turn your phone on, make a TikTok, post it, and then turn your phone off? Or are people like just on their phone? I mean, I don't know. Yeah, it felt like

Colin: Reception went away pretty fast. Like the more people showed up, there was like, you'd get maybe a text message. So probably a lot of 'em were maybe recording and then publishing when they got back. But and I think some camps had wifi somehow, like starlink or something. But you know, again, it's the old okay boomer, you know, it's like, okay, it's changed and we've got internet out there. You got people who are hiring private chefs and having their RV brought out for them and all this stuff. So it's definitely a display of capitalism for sure. Even though I think Burning Man wants to say that. It's the opposite of that.

CJ: Yeah. That is actually like a pretty good transition because people were, even though they're out in the middle of the desert, they're still finding ways to make content. And this wasn't necessarily content for developers, but they were out there making content and getting those eyeballs. So

Colin: Yeah, I think there was a lot more YouTubers, tickers and things out there this year. Trying to capture highlights so that they can get followers and stuff like that. But yeah, so I think, I mean, content, you know, the hustle I guess never stops with that. And you, you know, how. Goes as far as there's always another week, another video, or another episode of the podcast.

CJ: Yeah, it is. It is definitely a hamster wheel, and I think a lot of people get. Burnt out super quickly and it can be really challenging to find a sustainable pattern and the sustainable set of habits to put out content on a regular basis. And if you want to, grow an actual audience, from what I've seen, you have to put out content for like years. Like it . Like you can't just write 10 blog posts and expect to. a huge audience or whatever. I guess it, it comes down to your goals with the content that you're creating.

Colin: Right. Yeah. What would be some of the other goals that you might have for creating content other than building an.

CJ: I think a lot of folks, one of the reasons that they start out is that they want to write down something that they learned for themselves later. So maybe you figure out some solution to some tricky problem and you write it down so that next time you have that problem in like three or four years from now, you can just look up your old blog post about how you did that thing, and then you have the answer. It seems though like a lot more people now are creating content with the goal of growing an audience and then trying to monetize that audience.

Colin: I think on that first one, you know, I've come across stack overflows of like myself asking a question that I, and it's like, oh, five years ago I asked this question, and today I have the same problem, and whether or not there's an answer. Five years ago, or not, as, irrelevant, but I'm like, Oh, this question's so well worded. And I was like, Oh, shit. I wrote it

CJ: Wow. They use the same exact words that I'm using

Colin: what I would've described the problem as. But I see a lot of people do this too for like, not necessarily a pad, but to create a little bit of a presence for resumes or portfolios. So. You know, a future employer might come across your website and it's not just a link to your GitHub, but it might be a little bit of what you think about programming or how you approach problem solving. So I think, you know, those are all great, I think. I think a lot of people do start it with the intention of building an audience and then they realize how hard it can be. Or like in podcasting, we hear it be referred to as pod fading. So many people start podcasts and so many people don't get past that first.

CJ: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I think that was a, that's an interesting perspective. So we've got kind of like you're writing con or you're making content for your future self. Then you might have. This goal of making content to help you stand out when you're doing a job search. And then finally, you have the goal of creating content to build an audience that you might be able to sell to later. And I think, yeah the latter is like much, much harder. But in, in every single case no matter what kind of content you're gonna create, it takes work, right? You gotta like roll up your sleeves and get down to business. So

Colin: And they all take a little bit of different types of effort, right? So we've got a few types of content here that we can think of. I think probably the lowest lift would be a tweet. So even just. Tweeting regularly interacting with other software developers or other people in your industry? Twitter would be a form of content creation, right? It's the original micro blog was the goal. And I don't know that that's necessarily how people approach it today. It's probably seen more as I'll write a blog post and then tweet a link to it. But some people like to drop their hot takes and their thought leadership on Twitter. Or even answering people's questions like an ad hoc stack overflow as well if in case people are like having issues with something in hot wire or whatever they might be running into that day.

CJ: I think Adam Wa and Steve Sugar, like were super intentional about putting. Really quality tweets very consistently over a course of a, like a long period in order to grow an audience that they could then sell their, like, I think it was to sell refactoring UI or one of their other tailwind things. And that seemed to work really well. And so what I've, I, after kind of like that initial search, that was probably like three, four years ago now I've definitely seen a lot more people using. Purely to share like tips and tricks. And I do think that is like a really effective way to tweet if you're just making a bunch of original content,

Colin: Do you think it works if you have the intention of selling though eventually, or like do you need to kind of go into it? Like even with this show, we are going into it as a fun project. Like Sure, we'd love to see it grow and maybe we do sponsors or something in the future, but like, I think for a lot of podcasts, and I guess for if you're like pulling together like a bunch of tweets or blog posts with the intention of selling, I do worry that it, it might not come across as genuine or like you, you know, developers don't like to be marketed too, right? Or the is a common refrain and there's plenty of books on that. I forgot the one. There's one that recently came out that escapes me, but like UnMarketing for developers or something similar to that. We'll, we'll find it and put it in the show notes, but that, you know, answering questions and building that like community of people who want to be around refactoring UI and Tailwind. Right now, the Tailwind audience almost sells to itself, right? Because it's been built, but it wasn't always that way because. , they needed to build up an audience of who Adam and Steve were as developers first.

CJ: I guess it's possible to go into it with the goal of selling, but I think one of the keys is that you have to be creating value with those tweets and by creating value that's like tweeting stuff that people. Would find useful in their day to day job and that they wouldn't already know. And so there is a rubus who tweets stuff all the time and it is amazing. And I'm gonna try to find her handle. It's like Shino Kouda.

Colin: We'll put that in the show notes as well. What kinds of content do they.

CJ: Almost always it's a screenshot of some code with like tips and tricks about how to use it and it's JavaScript and ruby tips and tricks, and it is solid. Another one is Sebastian from, I think he's at podium. Yeah. So Sebastian is also like making a course, I think, or maybe a book about tips and tricks. But Sebastian also is making tons of tips or sharing tons and tons of tips on Twitter. So yeah, just going back to the original point. It's kind of like, Tweets are a form of content and you can be really intentional about sharing tips and tricks that add value to developers, and that's one of the ways that you can kind of just create content.

Colin: Definitely. Yeah. And I like that it's text and maybe an image, right? It doesn't have to be editing something. It doesn't have to be filming something. So I think it's a really great way to get started and then when you're ready to go and graduate from that, you could. Stand up your own blog, pop up a medium, do a sub stack those kinds of more longer form blog posts. Or I even would put in here newsletter type content for this. I think newsletters are really, really popular right now because you, especially for someone who might want to, you. It's amazing to say that email is still the best way to reach somebody, but you know, today it kind of is. And it's a really portable. Quote unquote audience that you can take with you versus, you know, on TikTok and Instagram, your audience is stuck, you know, inside of those systems and you don't have access to them. So as, as easily, right? You can still promote things in those channels, but there's been a lot of really great developer newsletters and blog posts. That I follow When I was doing our big like integration project, I found an entire blog around like strategies and theories and best practices around integrations. And like I read every single blog post on that blog

CJ: Wow.

Colin: I might as well draw a link to them in here as well. But it's a good example of like, extremely niche is probably doing really well SEO-wise for their agency, right? They're, they're an agency that does custom software development and, and integration. And so thinking about how that might work for you in terms of, if you're a freelancer, it might be a great way to go work. If you're an agency, it also might be great to get work. But again, if you're trying to get a job as a software developer seeing how you think about things is super helpful. But again, it might also just mean like, Hey, I wanted to learn this thing. I wrote some blog posts about it, because for me, learning something, a great way to do that is to teach it to somebody else as well.

CJ: I think also blog posts give you a way to build like a series of content. So you could make several articles in a row that are all like sequentially building up on top of each other, and it almost feels like a way to write. Maybe chapters of a book or like essays of a book, but in chunks so you don't have to figure the entire long form book out in one shot. You can write about a very small, like niche topic. And then eventually you might be able to organize all of those into something like a book. But initially it doesn't have to be. Yeah, it doesn't have to be a book. There's a couple other newsletters too that came to mind. When I think about newsletters too, I think about two different kinds. There is like the kind of newsletter where someone is gonna send you their own take on something, and that is almost like a blog post, sort of top to bottom long form content that they've written themselves. And then there's another form that is like curated content throughout the week or throughout the month that gives you like a digest of things you may have missed. And so I really enjoyed Ruby Radar. That is a weekly newsletter curated by Andrew Mason and Colin, Jill Bear. And they will go through and find videos or tweets or blog posts, and those are the ones that are gonna be the ones that bubbled to the top. And so you don't have to be catching every single blog post or tweet as it comes out throughout the week. Instead, you can subscribe to these newsletters. There's also like Ruby Weekly and this brand new one from Lucian called Short Ruby Newsletters. That will. Links to down in the show notes. But yeah, I think like the curated newsletter has been really handy for me, like just being able to keep a pulse on stuff. But it's also an approach that you could take to build, again, probably to build an audience, right? Even if you're not necessarily creating original content, you're just being a curator of that content. So that's kinda like another approach.

Colin: I subscribe to a few different language ones just because I can't keep my brain in the node community, in the ruby community, in the rust community. So it's, it's good to have that and appreciate people like Andrew and Colin curating that so that we all don't have to do it on a daily basis too. We might as well use this time to amplify other creators. But Cassie I'm blanking on where she's moved to, cause I don't know if she's at Netlify anymore, but, her newsletter is great cuz it's got like a little challenge in it. It's got a bunch of the Roundup stuff in it and then it's just like something she learned this week. And so it's always something I look forward to when I get it. I think a lot of these I can kind of become blinds to the, like this week. What happened in Ruby, unless I'm like really paying attention to it, but it's yeah. We'll put that one in there as well. We'll just, I think our show notes for this week are gonna just be like us shouting out so many awesome rubus and, and programmers who are creating content, but yeah, that's a blog post newsletter.

CJ: Let's talk about podcasting for developers. I mean, being a software engineer in software development in general. Is so text oriented that it's kind of surprising that there are so many podcasts about tech because you can't, It's really challenging to explain anything about programming over audio , but

Colin: Yeah.

CJ: it turns out there's like a lot of concepts that are around programming that don't actually require you to explain the code.

Colin: Yeah, I think this is an area that we would love feedback on too. We've gotten a little bit of it with our show just as we're trying to figure out how we be more conversational? Do we wanna teach? We had a notion when we first started this, of like, what do we call it? What do we want to talk about? Like, how do we just, how do we not just do what's already being done out there with our show? Because there's already gonna be a show out there, so why, Why put the effort into it? Because like you said, I think everyone starts this with an intention. I, I've tried doing blogs before and I'll write one blog post and then I don't come back to it until a year. And with this show, we've really tried to create a schedule for ourselves. So we release our show every other week, but we re try to record every week. And so that gives us a catalog of back episodes that we can pull from when I'm on vacation, when you're having a meeting, whatever that might happen in the week. So that we don't fall off the wagon here on, on podcasting, but this is definitely gonna require more work than the other two options. Right. What does, what does our process look like to get the show out right now?

CJ: We have a scheduled weekly call. We have a giant notion doc with tons of ideas that we might want to talk about. We've got. And a template that we use for some show notes that we're kind of using to keep us on track. And we sit down, we record. After we record, there's like an editing process and we've like talked to other external editors about maybe paying someone to edit or should we edit ourselves and then. You know, for the first couple episodes we experimented with different recording software and different editing software, and then ultimately you gotta like host it somewhere. So yeah, there, there it's a little bit more involved for sure. If you write a single blog post and it's. Useful for you and you go back and you can read that. Cool. If it's useful for a few other people, great for podcasting. Like I think it's, it's much more challenging because you have to be consistent and you have to constantly put out content. Otherwise, like it just becomes stale, you know? And I think people are much less likely to pick up and listen to some podcast that they see hasn't put out an episode in six months or something.

Colin: Definitely. Yeah. I mean, like the blog post is gonna show up in Google. Most podcasts don't, so that's something to consider, even if you have amazing show notes and transcripts like. It's a format that personally, if I, unless I see an episode title that's really compelling, podcast discovery is not great either. Like I can't easily search for like all podcasts about integrations because that word means a lot of different things on the internet. And you know, I've kind of found them in like the podcast or. Change log, things like that. So we'll link some, some good podcasts. There's actually, I think Planet Argon just released a, a top 10 software. I don't know if it was software or rail specific podcasts that were like identified by the Ruby on Rails community as just like their favorites. If the show's not consistently coming out or if every episode is vastly different, which is another thing that we are trying to consider too. Like this episode is a little bit of a departure from you know, we're not teaching you or talking about codes specifically. We're talking about these meta topics around like your profession and how you publish and think about things. But you know, I look for like, when does the episodes come out and have they had one?

CJ: When you're thinking about, again, the goals for the content that you're creating, like. Is your goal with a podcast to grow an audience that you can ultimately sell to? Or do you want to, you know, sell ads for the podcast and try to like, you know, get sponsors? Is it to basically like generate leads for your other courses or content. And so I think for us, or at least for me, doing this podcast is just about like having fun and kinda like hanging out and chatting about whatever. And so we're definitely trying to figure out like the best way to go about it in the most entertaining way. And so if you have feedback, we would love to hear that. So hit us up on Twitter. But yeah, again, like in terms of types of content, podcasting is gonna be more investment than a blog post or a newsletter. Also, more more than a podcast, Well, podcast is just audio. So if we step up to include video , then I think the next, the next step up is, I don't know, what do you think streaming, like live streaming or prerecorded content is more challeng.

Colin: I wasn't sure which one to put first. I think live streaming, there's a little bit of a learning curve. , but you don't have to edit afterwards. So I take that to be easier to put out into the world. Like you don't have to have overlays and all this crazy stuff to get going. Obviously you can grow into that. So I would say live stream's a little bit easier because. YouTube. I mean, I guess you don't have to edit. You could also just record and throw it over the fence too. But the better content is going to be edited just like a podcast might be. I'm curious when we get to YouTube to talk about. What you find with like episode length and things like that. Cuz in podcasting we try to aim for like 35 to 40 minutes. There are some shows that I listen to that are like three hours long and that works for me, but it doesn't work for everybody. Right? And then you have on the other end of the spectrum ticks, you know, or Instagrams or YouTube shorts that are super incredibly short. And so with live streaming you get video. You might have screen sharing, you might have other guests. So I think it's pretty compelling. And as we've like kind of graduated from written word to podcasting and live streaming, I think the benefit is that you really get to feel like you know the people that you've been listening to for a really long time. You know, it's a one directional. Mode of communication unless you send us your feedback, or engage with us on Twitter and all those other places, you start to like get to know people. Like there are people who I've made at a conference and I'm like, I feel like I already know them because I've been listening to their show or their livestream for so many years. And it's a weird kind of thing because it's like I have to remember like, they don't know who I am, so don't be weird

CJ: So live streaming, definitely no editing at the end. I think some people are more intimidated by live streaming because if they make a mistake, They don't want people to see their mistakes. Right. And if they haven't practiced something a bunch of times before, they go and stream and they're sharing their screen and they're trying to implement something, and then they fumble, they're intimidated by people judging them about not being able to figure out the problem. I think that's actually one of the huge benefits of live streaming is being able to share your thought process about how you solve problems. And so when you encounter errors, you can actually like go through the, your like step by step. Process to track down where the error is and how to fix it versus when you're in a medium that's pre-recorded, like YouTube, you might do like 10 takes or something and like have zero errors and you, there's a lot of folks on YouTube that will go through and edit out everything so that it comes out flawlessly, which I think presents an unrealistic view of what software development is. Right. Like you're not gonna

Colin: It makes you look like a genius.

CJ: exactly. Exactly. I have done a little bit of live streaming, probably like, I don't know, 25, 30 live streams and I, I think they're, yeah, they're great because you don't have to edit, but they also are, Much longer because you're usually figuring things out as you go. And they do have the added benefit of you're gonna run into errors and people will see that when it comes to YouTube and prerecord. I prefer that like format better because there are, Okay, my like my preference is to record. And then include or like keep the errors in the end result. But if, if it takes me like 10 minutes to figure out what's going on, then I will like speed it up so that someone doesn't have to sit there and watch me like Google around for 10 minutes to figure out what, what went wrong. Yeah. It also allows you to kind of like. Gather your thoughts, say something, maybe say something a couple different ways or a couple different times, and then take the best version of that so that you come out with a much more polished video. I think a great example of this is the fire ship io, like learn X in a hundred seconds. Those videos are so tight and so polished and they're like so high quality, but they're also, I'm sure insanely high effort to produce. I think that if you're just starting out video content, I would say try both. Like try live streaming and try pre-recording. And you don't necessarily have to go to Twitch for live streaming. If you wanna just start with YouTube, you can stream to YouTube and you can do a pre-records on YouTube. So that's yeah, I dunno, that's kind of like where I would start.

Colin: With live streaming, I found, I mean, there was a while that I was just going on Twitch and looking for, Like people that I would like to watch and like you mentioned, like some of them can be a little bit like they're putting on like a live show and whatever they're doing, there's, they've got crazy triggers and emos and, and hype trains and all that stuff going on because they have such an audience. But two of the ones that I found that were really interesting, especially during Covid and now as I think they're. Like a permanent fixture was Mastermind io and Coding Garden. These are two channels where they literally run like true boot camps fully, like for free, live streamed. And there's like GitHubs and co like Google Docs and all sorts of documentation for you to fall along. And I think like you can't just jump in anywhere. I think you're supposed to like start with the cohort and fall along, but they're like scheduled. Obviously. That means that the persons streaming has to be online at a certain time. Right. And versus YouTube, you don't have to be like, Oh, I gotta go live stream. But something's happening in my life that doesn't let me do that. Like with podcasting, we can move this around with YouTube, we can move around the editing and the shooting. With live stream, you are live, right? That's a big thing that we have to think about. But you also get live feedback. So when they're doing the bootcamp, people are asking them questions and other students or the instructor can answer live. Even some podcasts I listen to now live stream, the recording of it, and then they're taking live questions, right? Like having people ask us questions right now probably would throw us off a little bit, but it could make a more interesting show too. So it, it starts to create more of a conversation as we get into these more challenging to create content. Is that you start to get this like back and forth, that podcasting doesn't have. We are listed in a podcasting player that has comments, but I went through and I was hard pressed to find any comments left by anyone else on any other podcast that I listen to. So that feels like a build it and they will come situation where it's like, Maybe if Apple did that in Apple Podcasts or if Overcast did it, maybe enough people would do it. But trying to get everyone to move over to a different podcast player just to leave comments is, is a challenge. Whereas YouTube has comments, Twitch has comments and like you mentioned, you can live stream on YouTube just as easily as, as on Twitch too, depending on what audience you're trying to reach.

CJ: Yeah, totally. When you were learning how to code, did you use video at all? And like, do you use video now to learn how to do certain things?

Colin: I do still. Yeah, so I would say when I was learning, that's actually a good question, but definitely like day to day I will still go look for a video like I. Really love, like there's also other ways you can make content as video for things like similar to like Go Rails and Egghead. I think you can become a contract like content creator on Egghead. And then I used to use Plural Site a lot too. And so just being able to find, like, I think for Pluralsight, there was one thing when I was doing a node a few years ago, it was like, I need to do Jot token authentication with Node, and it's like, okay, there's a video specifically for that. I've wasted two hours doing this. I'm gonna just pay for Pluralsight and use this video that some creator is getting paid from Pluralsight for making, which is another way to think of it, right? These don't have to be all private or public videos. They could be, pay walled. As a part of something like Pluralsight or, Chris has done a really great job with Go Rails and you see some, I think like Ruby Katas and some of those other things that have existed in the past.

CJ: For me, I think it was in college, I had this realization that that I could learn things way better from video than from reading. And so everyone has different learning styles or whatever. For me, I was really struggling in this linear algebra class and I found some MIT open courseware video series about linear algebra, and I was like, Holy mo. This makes way more sense than trying to like learn it from the book. And I feel like the teacher probably wasn't giving very good lectures or whatever. And so that for me was like the beginning. And then when I deployed To Afghanistan and I was like doing all this networking stuff. I found these things called C B T Nuggets, which were like C B T stands for like computer based training, like really old school stuff. But this guy, Jeremy Chira made these C B T nuggets about all this Cisco networking stuff and I would just, Devour it like tons and tons and tons of videos and hours and hours and hours of videos. And I like absolutely love learning from video. And so for me that is like the number one learning style. And as a result I feel like super passionate about creating video content. And so Yeah, I think having talked to some devs, a lot of them say, Oh, I never learned anything from video. I can, I can't like pick up these concepts from video. Instead, I have to like have written texts like from a book or from a blog or whatever. But I think if you, if you look at the data, a lot of people are, especially people who are early career right now coming into tech, they're learning from video. And so if you want. Help those people come up to speed. If you again, want to create content for yourself later to go back and refer to it, then creating videos is a great way to do that. Just the other day I was making something. I was like, Oh shoot, how do I do this? I totally forget. Oh, I made a video about it. Nice. , and then went back. I was like, Okay, nice. Let's like watch

Colin: That's some time travel right there. You just watched your past self, he, your future self. And I mean that, I think that would be a big difference too, between livestream, right? I is that you, you could pause livestream, you can re-watch the recap, but like you said, it's unscripted. It's not gonna be super tight like, When we did the bootcamp, I mentioned this, like we inverted the courses. We started out with lectures in person and then sent everyone home to do the the project, and everyone had the same questions, so we inverted it and did videos as the lectures so they can stop, rewind, go two X if they need to. and then we'll just answer questions in class and actually work together because then they can watch it as many times as they want. And they're not like, Oh, like they don't feel bad asking the same question over and over again. Because like with your linear algebra example, sometimes the lecturer might be explaining it, right? But you might need to hear it from a different perspective or you know, just a different approach. And so I might go find multiple content creators and listen to each of their perspectives, cuz someone might. Do it the hard way. So it might do it the middle way, and then it's like, Oh, there's actually an easy way to do this. And you kind of get like a full world built around that.

CJ: Totally. And I think that's a great point of encouragement for anyone who's worried about creating content that has already been created by someone else. Like the video you said about using jaw tokens with node right. There's per, you can probably have 20 people make videos about how to use jaw tokens with Node, and they're all gonna be a little bit different. And so don't be intimidated about creating content that someone else has already made a video about. Just Make it your own. Do your own take on it. Obviously, don't copy exactly what they did, but make your own take on it and people will find that useful. And you'll find an audience that resonates with your style.

Colin: I would say that, that most of the content that I do find tends to be like, build a blog in five minutes or make your first API in rails. Right? And then there's tends to be. A very fast fall off on content after that. Like how do I secure the api? How do I make it so that I can do oau? How do I make the API perform it? Right? So if you wanna be one of these people making content, like the well is deep. And you know, usually you gotta go off from video into back into blog posts and text and docs land to just figure out these more complicated concepts. And I think you guys at Stripe do a really good job of this, and a part of your content and video creation is the immense number of videos around very specific things, right? Like, this is how you do cust, like special, like checkout, right? In this situation or with. You know how to use payment intents for this reason. And so there's all these very specific things that, sure, I could go read the docs and then like try to reason around it myself, but sometimes it's just better to see like, Oh, this is possible and now I know I can go and do it. Versus, you know, a lot of times I might have a ticket assigned to me and I have to go check the docs to see if it's even possible before we build it. But if I can go watch a video and see like, well, CJ just did it, so yes, this is how. Long we think it's gonna take us to build. Obviously a lot of these videos are short, you know, a bridge version. So it's not gonna be like, Oh, the video's five minutes, it's only gonna take us five minutes. But you know, famous less words, but yeah, I think you guys do a really good job of that. And is video your primary content that you create these days?

CJ: we're trying to experiment with more stuff recently. We're writing some more articles, so we've published like series on Dev dot two slash Stripe. I've also written. Over the years, I've written like a handful of blog posts that I put on my website, but I'm also super interested right now INTS and YouTube shorts. So maybe we can like transition into that. Yeah. So the challenge with YouTube shorts and TikTok is the video now has to be. Vertical. And that is not how most people look at their monitor when they're writing code. But there is definitely a trend, especially if you go on TikTok and you look for the hashtag dev talk. Or if you, yeah, go on YouTube and search for developer content inside of the shorts, you'll find there's a lot of people making content for devs in this vertical format. YouTube shorts, there is like a really hard requirement that it is one minute or less for TikTok. You can go up to 10 minutes, which most of my YouTube videos are under 10 minutes anyways, and so I, yeah, I've been experimenting a lot with like, how can I take this video that I already made for YouTube and edit it into a vertical format and make it useful for TikTok? and it definitely needs to be much tighter on TikTok. Like people's attention span is shorter. They're already in that, quickly scrolling through stuff and getting all those dopamine hits, and so you've gotta like, provide value in the first three words or something, And if not, like people are gonna

Colin: and you need so many jump cuts. Jump cuts and, and music.

CJ: I've probably only posted like 30 TikTok tos, but it's, it's definitely something that I'm experimenting with because I, I do think that especially people who are just kind of curious about tech. Are who are on TikTok already and they're, maybe they're learning about how to cut an onion and they're learning about how to , you know, I don't know how to train their dog or something. Then they might also land on this stuff. And so providing really beginner ruby content, like what is, how do you do a hello world? How do you loop over things? How do you, you know, Work with array, that kind of content seems to do better on TikTok. And then, you know, people, I, my hope is to push people from TikTok over to YouTube for the longer form content. But yeah, if you are, you know, TikTok, native and you don't want to go with the YouTube, then I think a lot of people are having a lot of success just popping open their phone and talking to their phone and giving their tips and tricks directly into their phone and then posting that. So,

Colin: Nice. So you are seeing people talking about, and maybe even trying to teach like snippets, tips and tricks. Kind of like Twitter on TikTok cuz I've only seen both on TikTok and Instagram and I, I'm not TikTok native, so I'm like, I see Usuallys through Instagram or they get sent to me. But like day in the life of a programmer type like lifestyle things. make it like the edited YouTube videos. They're like, Oh, look at how perfect my life is. And it's like, this is not how a day in the life of a programmer goes every day. Right? It's like, sure, you get to, if you're lucky enough to be a remote worker or whatever. It's like usually more of like a lifestyle vlogger type content. So are you are seeing more tips and tricks in addition to that type of

CJ: Yeah, so there's definitely that style content where it's tips and tricks about, you know, the soft skills. There's also a lot of content that is around, like, how can you be really great at Excel? Or like, you know, once you do this, This trick inside of air table, your boss is gonna love you forever or whatever, and then they like show you that trick. Or one person will just like go through and solve leak code problems on TikTok and like, that's kind of interesting to watch. So I don't know, there, there's a bunch of different ways you could go with it, but yeah, I think the easiest and the lowest barrier to entry is just to pop open your phone and give tips and tricks. But if you wanna do screen recording and kind of edit it up and post it, then that's also I think, pretty successful.

Colin: awesome. I think if you are thinking about doing content creation, I hope that this was helpful. I would definitely encourage it. Again, we're podcasting about tech themes and there are many people who have done it before us, so don't let that stop you. Coming up with an, a unique angle is, is probably a good idea. But don't let that stop you from starting. And then I would say probably. Things that we've learned is like, put it in the calendar. I think you, you have a little bit of a schedule. Can you share that real quick before we wrap up in terms of like how you think about your week and, and how you create content?

CJ: Yeah, so I generally try to pack all of my meetings for work into Mondays and Tuesdays, and then I spend all of Wednesday recording video, most of Thursday recording videos, some of it writing, and then Fridays we're recording podcasts. I'm like doing Twitter spaces. We didn't even talk about Twitter spaces, but you know, polishing up, editing, getting, getting all that out the.

Colin: Awesome. Live, live stream podcasts, right? Or with, with audience participation. But yeah, definitely get out there. We'd love if you are doing a show, if you have a YouTube or a live stream or a podcast, definitely send it our way. We're gonna be putting a bunch of links to some of our favorite podcasts, Live streams, YouTubes TikTok, Instagramers, all those things. So you can check them out. And thanks for tuning in to another episode of Build and Learn. If you're keen to learn a little bit more, it's kind of a different type of content speaking at conferences, then tune in Next time we'll be talking about writing call for proposals and submitting talks to conferences and how that whole process works. If you are keen to get up on.

CJ: And as always, you can head over to Build and to check out all these links and resources. That's all for this episode. Thanks again. See you next time.

Colin: See ya.