Build and Learn

This episode of Build & Learn is all about content creation for developers. We'll discuss various types of content, including tweets, blog posts, newsletters, live streaming, and YouTube videos. We'll also share some resources that developers can use to get started with content creation..

Show Notes

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

Creators & Guests

CJ Avilla
Developer Advocate @StripeDev. Veteran. 📽 Building with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript
Colin Loretz
I like to build software and communities. Building software at @orbitmodel 🪐 Coworking at @renocollective 🎙Sharing software learnings on @buildandlearn_

What is Build and Learn?

A podcast about software development and developing ourselves as software engineers. Hosted by CJ Avilla and Colin Loretz.

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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Like you're not gonna

Colin: It makes you look like a genius.

CJ: 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.


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.


That means that the persons streaming
has to be online at a certain time.


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.


, 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.


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?


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.


So the challenge with YouTube shorts
and TikTok is the video now has to be.


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.


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.


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.