> Watching Myself Code
> One incredibly useful exercise I’ve found is to watch myself program. Throughout the week, I have a program running in the background that records my screen. At the end of the week, I’ll watch a few segments from the previous week. Usually I will watch the times that felt like it took a lot longer to complete some task than it should have. While watching them, I’ll pay attention to specifically where the time went and figure out what I could have done better. When I first did this, I was really surprised at where all of my time was going.
> For example, previously when writing code, I would write all my code for a new feature up front and then test all of the code collectively. When testing code this way, I would have to isolate which function the bug was in and then debug that individual function. After watching a recording of myself writing code, I realized I was spending about a quarter of the total time implementing the feature tracking down which functions the bugs were in! This was completely non-obvious to me and I wouldn’t have found it out without recording myself. Now that I’m aware that I spent so much time isolating which function a bugs are in, I now test each function as I write it to make sure they work. This allows me to write code a lot faster as it dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes to debug my code.
The main benefit comes from review. If you review the slow parts then you notice the patterns that slowed you down.
Even private videos on YouTube can still be accessed by their engineers and might get exposed to the public in case of a bug.
Especially as a developer you most likely have access to confidential things, whether it's code (that could reveal internals of the business you're working for, or a very efficient algorithm that can be considered a trade secret and the company would want to protect it) or secrets (API keys, etc) that might be temporarily displayed on the screen while you're copy/pasting them around.
Also, saving the work methods of people certainly has value for later analysis, but I'm not sure how much it breaks workers' intellectual properties.
Another option is to just detect when I'm not speaking, or typing.
Pretty ridiculous especially with private videos. I would definitely shop the upload to YouTube part if I tried this.
Thanks for sharing, this is the stuff I browse HN for.
It also forces me to think out loud which I found it useful because it helps me improve the way I would communicate my thought process to someone else.