Friday, April 11, 2008

Development-Related Uses For Screencasts

I’ve started using a program called Jing recently. It can record a video of what's currently on your screen.

Possible uses:

  1. Show managers or project sponsors the current state of your in-progress application without giving them access to the version on your machine (that you might accidentally break since you're still working on it).
  2. When a new feature is created, developers could create a video that shows the QA team what the new feature is supposed to do.
  3. When the new feature doesn't work, the QA team can show the developers the steps necessary to reproduce the problem. (Most of the time, a simple text description isn't enough.)
  4. I have a friend who wants to show his users in Asia how to use certain features of his application.
  5. I have another friend who wants to record the repetitive (yet somewhat complicated) tasks he’s currently doing, so he can show someone else how to do those tasks.
  6. Project sponsors could keep customers (internal and external) abreast of new changes to an application via a blog and show off those changes with an embedded screencast.

If you want to get really fancy, you could even create tutorial videos like the kind you see on, but I think a program like Camtasia Studio would probably be better suited to that, as Jing has a 5 minute limit on any videos created, and there is no way to edit the videos it creates.

Also, because I don't want to divulge any company secrets, I'm not sharing my videos to, Jing's default video destination. I set it up to save a file on my hard drive, so that I can attach it to an email or TFS work item.

Jing is free and extremely easy to use.

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