DX Tips: The DevTools Magazine

DX Tips: The DevTools Magazine

Resource: The Best Company YouTubes

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swyx
·Jul 31, 2022·

9 min read

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Table of contents

  • Defining the Company YouTube problem
  • Generalized YouTube notes
  • Above 100k League
  • 10-100k league
  • YouTube Shorts game
  • Business Oriented
  • Contribute Edits

The DevRel metagame is increasingly turning a hyper-global and hyper-local barbell strategy - either online and massively scalable, or in-person and high bandwidth, relationship-based. This makes sense - anything in-between is just not very good at either goal of content or community.

Given the choice between being 80-20 Very Good Online and Very Good IRL, or 20-80 the other way, it is almost self evident that the bulk of the investment should go to an incredible online presence (beyond the obvious scalability, being Very Good Online does translate to Good IRL, but not vice versa).

Blogging is by far the most scalable form of Very Good Online, but the rise in rich media consumption cannot be ignored, so that is what we are focusing on here.

Defining the Company YouTube problem

  • Of all the major video, audio, and live conferencing platforms, YouTube is far and away the best platform for its install base (2.1b MAU) and social proof (subscribers, viewcount, likes, comments, etc). This is why devtools companies are increasingly investing in YouTube, and therefore asking for model examples from which to take inspiration.
  • However, the best/biggest YouTubes are usually individual creators, from CodingTrain to TechWorld with Nana, and the options for sponsored content are often very limited.
  • Viewer loyalty is very personality centric and these channels often go for a diversity of topics (doing the "Intro to X" or "X Full Course" or "How to get a Job with X" video for as many technologies as possible is the best way to pick up subscribers), both of which are ultimately unsustainable foundations for building a company asset.
  • Misconception: Backend tools are less visual than frontend tools, so it feels harder to do well on video. However there are quite a few counterexamples - tutorials on Kubernetes, APIs and Apache Kafka that get millions of views.

Therefore, a separate Company YouTube playbook must be developed.

I've been keeping a list for the past year, and figured I should publish this as a standalone resource for people. This is a "live resource", so it will be continually updated and you can bookmark this as a reference. Many thanks to Chris Sean for helping with the research on this.

Generalized YouTube notes

  • Titles/Video formats that work
  • Thumbnails
    • Large titles for readability
    • Small face/screenshot
    • Logo of the Tech
    • Play button to prompt the user to hit play? (see Tailwind)
  • Content
    • High quality video
    • Sound quality great
    • Must Entertain - don't just educate
    • Capture attention immediately, but leave open questions to develop over the course of the video - for watch time
    • Special formats

Above 100k League

CompanySubcribersAgeFrequencynotes


Unity

image.png


1.1m12 years1/weekn/a, gaming company

Chrome Developers

image.png

661k9 years2-3/week

playlists

- I/O 2022
- GUI Challenges - Adam Argyle
- Designing in the Browser - Una
- Chrome Dev Summit 2021
- Developer Shows - HTTP 203, Design in the Browser, Made with TensorFlow.js, #AskChrome, Developer Diary
- Speed and Performance
- Progressive Web Apps
- Tooling & Polymer
- UX Design & Accessibility



top videos


- The Top 8 web things to know from Google I/O 2021
6m views, 4mins recap
- What's new in Chrome OS I/O 2022
3m views, 23min recap
- Chrome Dev Summit 2021 Keynote
1m views, 47min keynote
- What's new in Chrome OS
1m views, 12min Keynote
- 10 modern layouts in 1 line of CSS
1m views, 20min talk





IBM Developers

image.png

285k5 years2-3/week

playlists

- Pinned video: most recent update
- Technology Explained: Cloud Fundamentals, K8s Essentials, Hybrid Cloud, API Essentials
- Kubernetes Essentials
- IBM and Red Hat: Innovate Anywhere
- Cloud Security
- DevOps Explained



top videos

- API vs SDK: What's the Difference? 1m views, 9min lightboard
- Kubernetes vs Docker 844k views, 8min lightboard
- What is a REST API? 700k views, 9min lightboard
- Virtualization Explained 471k views, 5min lightboard
- What is OpenShift? 462k views, 7min lightboard


VSCode

image.png


226k5 years1 short/day
2 videos/week

playlists


- Pinned video: Sizzle Reel
- Getting Started with VS Code (3-7 min tutorials)
- VS Code livestreams (30-60min streams with guests)
- VS Code Day 2022 (conf talks - 5-15mins talks)
- Shorts
- VS Code and GitHub (1 min tips)




top videos

- a lot of shorts...
- Getting start with Node.js debugging in VS Code
400k views, 8min tutorial
- VS Code - Debugging
400k views, 6min tutorial
- VS Code - Quick Intro to JavaScript
400k views, 3min "Quick Tour"
- Advanced Code Editing in VS Code
360k views, 6min tutorial


GitHub

image.png

218k9 years3-5/week

playlists


- Featured - keynotes, explainers, conf talks
- The Download - weekly news show with Christina Warren
- Conferences - GitHub Universe, Constellation, InFocus, Maintainer Summit
- GitHub Checkout - PMs and Engineers sharing their work
- GitHub Changelog - latest changes
- 30 minutes to Merge - 30min guest interviews
- Demo Days - 30-45min Guest speakers/talks
- GitHub Community - Guest livestreams
- Open Source Friday - featuring major open source projects




top videos


- What is GitHub?
1.6m views, 3 minute explainer, motion graphics
- GitHub Arctic Code Vault
950k views, 2min announcement, cinematic film
- Introducing Atom 1.0
500k views, 2min, sketch/edited skit
- The new GitHub Issues
465k views, 1min product announcement

To add: GCP YouTube - 870k subs

10-100k league

CompanySubcribersAgeFrequencynotes


Twilio

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71k13 years20-30/year

playlists

- Pinned video - Twilio Engage product intro - 50second stinger, 11k views
- 2021 Conference videos - good thumbnails
- Learn with Nathaniel - person-driven 8-12min tutorials
- Twilio Quickstarts - "how to X" - 4 minutes each, 40-60k views



top videos

- Introducing Twilio Studio (37 seconds, 7m views)
- What is Twilio? 2mins, 5m views
- Navigate Messaging Compliance with Twilio 90secs, 2.7m views
- Some ads for Twilio SIGNAL


Tailwind Labs


image.png

60k1 yearused to be 2/month

playlists
- What's New in Tailwind CSS
- Tailwind CSS v2.0 - full course in 10-20min segments
- Tailwind Talk - livestreams with guests




top videos
- What's New in Tailwind 3.0? - 26min overview, 158k views
- Introducing Tailwind CSS v3.0 - 55sec ad, 138k views
- Just in Time: The Next Generation of Tailwind CSS - 13min, 132k views


Confluent

image.png

40k4 years~4/week

playlists

- Pinned video: Why Instacart Chose Confluent
- For Technical Leaders & Executives
- Kafka Summit videos
- Kafka 101 Tutorials
- Confluent Customers & Use Cases
- ksqlDB Videos




top videos

- Intro to Streams - Apache Kafka Streams API - 356k views, 10min tutorial
- What is Apache Kafka + ksqlDB? 271k views, 12min lightboard
- What is Apache Kafka? 237k views, 10min lightboard
- Apache Kafka Fundamentals 186k views, 24min talk with slides
- Creating a Streams Application 156k views, 10min tutorial


Recall by Dataiku

image.png

40k9 months2/month- Hired top dev youtubers to produce beginner/introductory focused content
- Promoting their twitter/insta in description
- Uncertain company ROI

Vercel

image.png

23k3 years40/year (incl conf)YouTube channel features individual developer advocate youtubes.



playlists

- Pinned Video: The Future of React & Next.js – The Web’s SDK - 74k views, 27min keynote
- Next.js Conf 2021
- Next.js Conf - Special Edition
- Next.js Conf 2020


Remix

image.png

10k~1 year50/year (incl conf)Significant promotion on Twitter.



top videos

- Remix Tutorial with Kent - 6 hour livestream with 61k views
- Remix v1 Beta Launch - 90min livestream with 29k views
- CDN Caching, Static Site Generation, and Server Side Rendering - 43min talk with 25k views
- Introducing Remix - 48sec stinger with 20k views


YouTube Shorts game

Who else?

Misc YouTubes to explore

  • Honeypot Highly produced documentaries on Kubernetes, Vue.js, GraphQL, and others
    • Same producer left for OfferZen to do Laravel and Svelte
  • Roboflow - has some >100k views videos despite being a small channel
  • Altinity
  • Clickhouse
  • Prismic (doing ok, just surprisingly low compared to production quality)
  • Temporal swyx worked on this from 2021-2022

Business Oriented

  • Hubspot Marketing - 215k subs, ~8 years old, 3-4x videos a week
  • Webflow - 135k subs, 6 years old, ~4 videos a month
  • TK Kader - 30k subscribers, 3 years old, 1 video a week
    • Bright yellow thumbnail, very consistent format
    • Great background to help you feel you can trust their content
    • video quality is amazing
    • straight to the point
    • intro helps pull viewer in by telling them why they need to watch the video
  • Todo:

    Contribute Edits

    This list is open source and hosted on GitHub: github.com/sw-yx/company-youtubes

    We will periodically sync it back to DX.Tips over time. PRs and discussions welcome!

     
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