Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    It took me ten months to write a video course

    A responsive map
    A responsive map

    Last year my Write the Docs talk in Budapest concluded that publishers are the worst. I said they lure suckers in with chump change, then make large profits off their endless toil.

    But just a few weeks later I started a new project with my publisher, Packt. It wasn't a book this time, it was a d3.js video course.

    Why?

    Because why not. I've never made a video course before, but have strong opinions on why they suck. And trying out new media is fun.

    If I can make a course that doesn't need skimming and doesn't make you watch at 1.5x speed, I've won. I basically want to make a course that I would want to watch.

    Well, here we are. Ten months later and the scripts portion is done. Deadlines have long since whooshed by, my editors have given up on keeping a schedule, and I think that officially we are 6 months behind the original estimate.

    They wanted to publish the course in October. It's February and I haven't started recording.

    Oops.

    Maybe I did dawdle. Just over 310 hours have gone into the writing of the scripts. An average of just an hour and a bit a day.

    Such lazy.

    Writing my d3.js book, Data Visualization with d3.js, the overall average ended up the same. But disregard the months of downtime between revisions, I invested three times as much daily effort into the book.

    I mean, let's be real here. Writing this video course I was so lazy and in such creative despair, that one time a higher up editor sent me an email saying "So err, dude, we haven't heard from you in like two months. Are you alive?"

    Yeah. That bad.

    But I got it the fuck done! The scripts are finished. They are 32,000 words long, and they are good. I think.

    As much time has gone just into writing the scripts as it did into the book start to publish. I'll be damned if I get another stinging review like this one:

    the content is weak and looks more like a me too, rushed approach.

    Seriously, screw you guy. That hurt. It was my first book and I slaved over that stupid thing for a year. Cut me some slack here!

    As for the scripts, my editor is encouraging:

    There isn't much feedback, the reviewers like the scripts as is(Can't say that I am surprised, your scripts were brilliant!)

    But there is an estimated 220 minutes of material there. Three and a half hours. They asked for two hours ... oops.

    Now I just hope my video recording and editing skills will be up to snuff. If this comes out as good as it looks in my head, it's going to be awesome.

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on February 5th, 2015 in Budapest, Business, d3js, Packt, Personal, Side Projects, Writing, Writing,

    Learned something new?
    Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production

    I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.

    Subscribe below 👇

    Software Engineering Lessons from Production

    Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.

    "Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join 15,883+ engineers learning lessons from my "raw and honest from the heart" emails.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
    4.5 stars average rating

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Want to brush up on modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️