James Governor's Monkchips

What Is/How To? Introducing a new RedMonk video format

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What is What is How To?

A concise video format for learning about tech trends and technologies.

7 minutes learning the How To of an issue, with a 7 minute demo showing you How To do something.

Well, in theory anyway. RedMonk has made “moderated screencasts” for years. Coté invented the format – the idea being that a video demo is a great way of introducing a piece of software, but sometimes it makes sense to have a third party interlocutor to ask questions. To ask, as Bryan Cantrill might say:

“But can you do this?”

A while ago we realised that a more powerful, searchable, findable, shareable format would be What is/How to. People want to know

What is Cross Site Scripting?

What is CI/CD

What is Serverless?

Then they want to know

How to get started

How to Create a Hello World app

How to use a CLI to manage a specific task.

How to make a What is How to

Our core idea is a tightly structured, opinionated format that is all the more compelling for being standardised. We record using GoToMeeting, which is least worst software we’ve found for cross platform. Two people, with a well bounded idea, and a punchy demo. It would be great if audio, video and networks could all be relied on, but in 2017 they are much still an issue. Also trying to keep things short is really really hard. But that’s OK. We’ll get there.

A seven minute introduction to an issue, with a few slides, followed by a seven minute demo.

It turns out that a simple idea can be very very hard to realise. Some people will try and do their normal 45 minute demo in 7 minutes. Some will think they can’t explain the concept in 7 minutes. Some won’t realise the benefits of an opinionated format. But we’ll get there. The medium is the message. We’ll get better at explaining the format and the strength of its limitations to the good folks we work with. Our goal is to create a library of videos, taking advantage of our extensive network of friends, clients and experts. As the sharp eyes among you will quickly realise, we’re very much groping towards this being a slick package. Its an MVP.  Some videos are a bit long, some the demo isn’t quite right. But we’ll get there. Let us know what you think of the idea.

We’ll start with a video about what is CI/CD for database, with an interview with Robert Reeves from Datical.

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