We have often been asked how recording an episode works. First and foremost, there is a rough conceptual outline for each course. It actually just contains a few words per episode. The idea here is to have a common thread over the course of time. Additionally, this helps us to insert ideas for new episodes where it makes sense.
Every episode should be between 30 and 60 minutes, so the first thing to think about is whether the idea for an episode provides enough content for a single episode, and also if it's not too much content for a single episode. Every tenth episode is planned as a real-world example that wraps up what has been learned so far. Their length should be between 60 and 90 minutes.
Recording an episode
The slides themselves are written in Markdown, which makes it incredibly easy to manage them using GitHub. We use a private repository, and whenever one creates the slides for a new episode, a new feature branch is used. As soon as the slides are ready, the speaker sends a pull request, and someone else reviews the slides for correctness, typos, …
Once the branch has been merged into
master, recording may take place. We actually do not use any special studio equipment. Any recording is done using a MacBook Pro, with the built-in microphone [sic!]. We use QuickTime, which is part of macOS, to record the screen as well as the audio. Typically, before recording an episode, we do a short test recording of 30 seconds, to verify whether everything works as expected.
Publishing the video
When the recording has been done, we first upload the
.mov file to Dropbox, to have a backup if anything goes wrong. Then the video is being uploaded to Vimeo. Vimeo then needs a few hours to convert the video to various formats, optimized for phones, tablets and desktop devices.
While we wait we update the tech:lounge website, the tech:lounge section of our company website, and we prepare a blog post for Heise developer, one of the most important IT news websites in the German-speaking market. We then publish everything at once, typically on a Monday. Finally, once the video and all the articles are online, we publish a few tweets (so follow us on Twitter if you want to get notified when new episodes are available).
And that's it.
What about tech:lounge in English, French, …?
But not everyone is as fluent with English as they need to be to understand this content, so we wanted to improve the diversity of languages and to raise inclusion. Hence we decided to publish the videos in German, which is our native language. Currently there are no plans to provide videos in other languages, but let's wait and see…
And, last but not least: Congratulations, tech:lounge, for your first birthday!