Developers job is nothing more than other engineers specialties except one big difference. Technologies we are using are changing very fast and to feel confidence in daily work you have to be up-to-date with latest changes in development world. That's why I usually ask people "How do you seek for knowledge?", "How you sure you up-to-date?". And today I gonna share my primary sources of information.
I've started actively follow blogs several years ago. Followed any blog I met with useful information (usually by googling for some problem and found the answer). I did know nothing about authors, but after much reading I feel like I know them personally and many of them are actually very famous developers :). Through years I filtered out a lot, so now I look closer to:
- http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/default.aspx - Scott Guthrie is a VP of Microsoft, so all major .NET announcements going from there. Scott does share a lot of examples of "how-to-use" some new technology or given very useful links for other resources. Primary source of information for any .NET developer.
- http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ - Scott Hanselman probably one of the most famous .NET guys from Microsoft. He is guru of technology, sharing a lot of interesting stuff in his blog.
- http://haacked.com/ - Phil Haack is Program Manager in Microsoft, in particular responsible for ASP.net MVC framework (that I love really much). He is also managing the project that changed .NET world much - NuGet and currently he describes a lot from this area in his blog. I also like Phil's posts on TDD and Open Source projects.
- http://wekeroad.com/ - Rob Conery is very famous with his latest start-up project Tekpub and a bunch of other open sources projects. He has one of the most interesting blogs I ever follow. I share many ideas Rob has on development and practices.
- http://odetocode.com/Blogs/scott/default.aspx - K. Scott Allen blogging for many years from now, so his blog is full of useful info.
- http://osherove.com/ - Roy Osherove blogs a lot about TDD and Agile software development, he is famous with his book about TDD Art of Unit Testing and his TDD String Calculator kata.
That's a small percentage of all my reading, but I think that is major ones.
I use Google Reader to track my RSS subscriptions, seems best choice as for me. I try to check reader at least 2 times per week, but in reality it could be even rare.
Videos / Screencasts
With better internet channels video became even more better source of knowledge. Learning from videos is much more productive than reading blogs and books, as for me. There are a lot of free videos that could help you to start up with new technology. Advanced videos are typically paid, but price are affordable and price / value ratio is very low.
- http://www.asp.net/ - This actually main source of information of ASP.net developers, tons of videos, blog posts, articles. I reviewed mostly all of ASP.net WebForms then I was learning it.. and some of ASP.net MVC as well. All videos are free that make this recourse priceless :).
- http://tekpub.com/ - Tekpub is great for .NET/Ruby developers. There are free and paid videos. I had a chance to watch both and they are superb.
If you think that social networks are only for schoolgirls or people who had nothing to do.. you are right :). But there some social network that really help professional growth.
- http://stackoverflow.com/ - StackOverflow is best of the best of the best QnA site for developers. It allows you to create account ask questions and help other people with answering questions. It has huge popularity because of rating system, as much correct answers you do, as much rating you have.. such simple and good idea that force other people to provide a quality answers :). I like StackOverflow very much and post my questions that I lost hope of getting answer by trying and googling. In 95% I got very precise answers.
- http://github.com - Best place for hosting open sources projects. Besides hosting the code, it is a true social network. You can use github for social coding. Recently I recieved my first pull request, believe me it is good feeling :). As bonus you can get such looking good CV.
- http://twitter.com/ - I tried to avoid twitter as much as I can, but twitter won :).. Now I really feel power of it. If you follow right people, being polite but not tweeting to much you are on right way. This is probably my main source of information now, RSS slowly moving behind the scene and twitter became main information distribution system. (btw, if you read this line follow me @alexbeletsky :).
I recently opened podcasts power for myself. I spend at least several hours walking dog or driving car with no value :). Podcasts help you to feel that gap. Stuff that I like the most:
- http://pragprog.com/podcasts - Progmatic Podcasts. http://pragprog.com is itself very useful recourse.. podcasts are free and extremely interesting. Highly recommended.
- http://www.dotnetrocks.com/ - .NET Rocks, is greatest .NET technology stack podcast.
- http://herdingcode.com/ - Herding Code, very different topics, very great guests. Best for geeks.
- http://thisdeveloperslife.com/ - This Developers Life is run by Rob Conery and Scott Hanselman is less technical, more philosophical podcast that's nice to listen just to relax and understand what developers from other side of planet think.
Picking a little bit from every source of information make you more comfortable in our fast changing world :).. If you know some great resources that you like, please share as comments.