Teaching others to code with YouTube video tutorials

By 8th March 2014 No Comments

It may come as a surprise to many but I do have a YouTube channel that I am quite active on! Before I go into the details about it, let us take a look at why I am writing this blog post.

I took to Twitter the other day to post this:

I then got a reply from Rob Miles, one of my lecturers at the University of Hull, saying this:

After I had a good laugh over his Tweet, I actually went to see Rob the next day about my final year project and a hackathon that I am trying to get started in Hull with the aid of him. During that conversation, Rob brought up the Twitter conversation we had and asked about my status on YouTube and what sort of content I was producing. When I told Rob that I had around 300 followers and 120,000 views combined over two channels that I own, he was amazed at how well I was doing.

I originally started my first YouTube channel when I was at school to upload videos for ICT projects and a couple of ‘How to’ videos that were an instant hit. I never really kept it up-to-date until I came to university when I thought I would try my luck at a gaming channel combined with a personal Vlog which didn’t really take off as well as I had hoped. It was generating views and got me some subscribers but it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing with my spare time.

Windows Phone App Studio

Using YouTube to help non-coders to develop Windows Phone apps using App Studio

So, I set up a second channel called ‘JamesDevs’ which you can find here: I’m not claiming that I am the perfect developer who should be teaching others, but I use the JamesDevs account to try and share the knowledge I have with others to help them learn to code in C# for the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms. People will even tell me a better way of doing something or an alternative that they prefer meaning that I get to learn while I’m helping others to learn too so it is a ‘win-win’ situation for me. When I started doing the videos, I knew it was what I wanted to be doing.

One of the most self-satisfying parts about doing the videos isn’t getting the subscribers or views though. It was when I found out that my videos were making a differences and I started receiving emails from people who had developed apps using the Windows Phone App Studio or had taken some of the tutorials I made and used them in their own apps. They even send me the links to the apps in the store so I can take a look and give them some feedback.

For the fear of embarrassment, I have kept my channel quiet although I’m sure some people may have come across it through looking around my website. There are hidden links around here to it if you look hard enough (Hint: it is not that hard to find). I feel that I don’t need to be embarrassed by it though. After speaking with Rob, he was even more impressed that some of the content I do involves speaking in front of the camera! Although, these videos are another take one something that I love and that is technology news. In particular, anything to do with Windows Phone or Windows 8 which often sometimes involve a selfless plug to my own apps on the platforms.

The one thing that Rob seemed to be most proud of me for doing though is getting through problems. It is true that when you try to do something right first time around you will make mistakes or will forget what you were doing. Usually, this ends up with the person stopping the video and just starting again but not me. I don’t usually make a mistake but it isn’t hard to and in those cases, I keep going because as I’m helping others to learn something new, there is always a chance that I can learn something new too.

I’m going to keep on with my development tutorials and review videos to try to reach more people out there who are really interested in starting to develop but don’t know where to start and that is what my YouTube account is all about.

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