back to article CODING PEEP SHOW offers chance to hire devs as they program

Software development streaming outfit has just done something rather interesting to the profession of software development by turning it into a just-in-time resource. bills itself as an "educational livestreaming platform where people code products live." The site's founded on the …

  1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Watching paint dry

    The type of coding I do, and have done over the years would be mind-blowingly boring to watch. A bit like a sculptor starting to carve a block that's going to end up as (hopefully) some fantastic statue. The problem is that the programmer who looks as if he/she is making loads of progress might be concentrating on User Interface elements which look really good, but don't have much bearing on the underlying job. A good example would be Windows copying files from one place to another. The animation might look really snazzy, but actually coding the gubbins that does the copying is just a load of gobbledeygook to the on-looker.

    1. Mike Bell

      Re: Watching paint dry

      Agreed. It's ridiculous.

      Any idiot can bash out a foreach loop on automatic and make a visual treat of it. As to thinking that is usually required to overcome difficult tasks, that doesn't make good TV. I spend way way more time thinking than typing.

      1. Tom Wood

        Re: Watching paint dry

        "Any idiot can bash out a foreach loop on automatic"

        Based on some of the apparently experienced developers I've given technical interviews to, that statement is sadly false.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Watching paint dry

      "The problem is that the programmer who looks as if he/she is making loads of progress might be concentrating on User Interface elements which look really good"

      How very prescient! I just took a look at the site, and the front page had someone writing CSS code.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Watching paint dry

      Agreed. And even when a developer is actually making things happen on screen - editing source code or what have you - a lot of it looks very repetitive, even when it isn't.

      A few years back I was working on an academic project, and one of the team members wanted to make a short video about the project. He recorded interviews with each of the developers, and a bunch of B-roll footage for showing during voice-overs, and screen recordings of the project being used, etc.

      We talked about the development process a bit, because the audience were non-programmers, and so I thought it'd be nice to have a little footage of actual code development.

      So I recorded my entire screen for about 45 minutes while I was working on the project. Then I edited that down into a sort of "highlight reel" to be used in the film. It was about 10 seconds long. There simply wasn't any point in showing more than a couple of new source lines being entered, or a couple being edited, or a couple of trial runs, or what have you.

      To non-experts it all looks the same. And even for experts, just watching it is going to be pretty boring. (You want interaction, so you can browbeat the poor sap at the keyboard.)

  2. zebm

    Script kiddie

    Can script kiddies script some really good coding to fool the hirer?

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: Script kiddie

      If they capture themselves coding the script, might even be worth hiring them. (head explodes from too much meta)

    2. petur

      Re: Script kiddie

      you mean like

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I really doubt this will work

    As it's not Office, HR wouldn't know what they're looking at. The people who do have the technical skill to understand what's going on don't have time to watch people's desktops all day.

  4. phil 27

    Would you work like this? Not me...

    Either a client trusts I have the skillset and intent to deliver, or they don't. If they don't its not going to be much of a working relationship is it?

    Every time I've felt the hot breath of oversight focusing on me, I know its time to move on.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a way to keep developer salaries down.

  6. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

    stupid idea. boring to watch . rushed code .

    deadline arrived before you start

    I'd give it a try though - better than what im doing now

  7. SecretSonOfHG

    Completely mistaken idea of what coding is

    From the part of whoever set up that site. If you think that you can equate an essentially intellectual activity with an industrial labour task, you've never, ever coded anything.

    And those that hire coders and find any comfort in being able to peek at their screens... well, they'll get what they deserve: the equivalent of workers in an assembly line. Good luck with the results.

  8. boltar

    Coding isn't done in an editor

    Its done in your head. Typing the code is just putting down what you've already thought of.

    This is about as useful as learning to write a novel by watching an author type out a book.

  9. dotdavid

    You may as well cast the Matrix screensaver for all the insight this would give HR types into programmers' abilities.

  10. pdebarra

    Daft. I spend only a small portion of my time actually coding - and a good bit of that is deleting what I wrote half an hour ago and starting again. Add all the time I spend filling in spreadsheets, and reading El Reg while code is compiling and publishing, and it's going to be pretty damn dull. And utterly useless.

    Imagine: "Oh, look, he's typed 'fro'! Oh, no, he's deleting it! Nailbiting stuff here! That's an 'f'. And an 'o'. And an 'r'. 'FOR'! He's written 'for'!"


    1. d3vy

      Oh... He's started the unit tests and gone for a dump!!!

    2. TheresaJayne

      all i can think of is this

  11. d3vy

    80% of development isn't writing code.

    Sites like this and people per hour let clients think they will get a working system with the whole spec "something like ebay but with social built in" and expect a working site within a week...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coding cams...

    Watching people online type stuff has about as much to do with real software development as watching ladies online taking their clothes off and making funny noises has to do with real sex.

    Anonymous because, err, I know which I'd prefer to watch!

  13. Chicken Marengo

    What The Flash?

    Followed the link, first thing I see on the homepage:

    You don't have Adobe Flash, please download it.

    Good job I was only morbidly curious anyway.

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Calling Andy Warhol

    Yesterday after work, I put in an hour and half painting a bathroom at home. It strikes me that one could in fact learn a fair bit about my painting skills* by watching the paint dry. A skilled painter will have shorter drying times, as having applied just the right amount of paint, and adjacent sections of wall will be at about the same stage of drying. Watching the paint dry would be about as exciting as watching me code.

    I await massive investments. : Get in on the ground floor!

    * Not that great.

  15. AndyDent

    Which screen?

    I typically have 3-4 screens going at once with 2 computers, with multiple web browser windows going, a text editor into which I'm writing comments as I work, Evernote for occasional references and other side notes and 2-3 IDEs running with multiple tabs open in each. How is anyone live streaming going to make sense of that?

    1. TheresaJayne
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Which screen?

      what if you are working on proprietry code as well as maybe a private git repo with say your AWS password hard coded in......

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using it wrong?

    The site is set up to be more useful as an education tool, and to allow some collaboration. Lets say some ambitious sprout is trying to code a linkage to AD to pull contacts out using LDAP. They may be able to get help in stack exchange, but if someone could reply and work with them in real time, so much the better. And if that sprout wants to pay to have their temporary mentor contribute more code, then the Hire button has some value.

    That said I am not going to sit around coding all day hoping that some HR or recruiter will throw freelance work at me. I will leave that lifestyle to bored camgirls. I AM willing to help other people getting started, just like other old timers helped me back in the day. This is just another tool as far I am concerned.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


    When I was a member of a programming team methodologies were all the rage. I've still got books on Michael Jackson's structured programming techniques, as well as SSADM and a tenth generation photocopy of coding using Nassi Schneiderman charts (where it was very difficult to NOT practice desirable structured techniques). In those days everything was designed on paper and signed-off before coding commenced.

    Mind you, because the systems we were coding were real-time in nature, much of the code didn't look very logical on paper due to the need to deal with the critical-path first, and only if something anomalous happened (analogous to the infamous "Invalid Page Fault" message in older versions of Windows) then we'd go hunting for the reason - instead of crashing (which was Microsoft's solution to the problem). Being real-time meant that we had to recover gracefully from any catastrophe that could happen.

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