Sharpening “the edge” through blogs

Tonight I had a talk with a classmate from ITU, and that conversation left me with a thought. Although I struck up the conversation on a rather positive note, about the fact that it has now been quite some time since he pinged me with a programming problem, which could only mean that he had in fact gotten much better, he still had some worries about being a little inadequate.

As I said, this left me with a thought. Web 2.0 gave the world blogs, and thus the ability for everyone to share their experiences, knowledge, ideas and opinions. That’s a good thing. However, that’s also a bad thing. Information overload anyone?

So you’re a fledgling developer, eager to learn, to consume knowledge. There are some good books which should probably be in every developers bookshelf, but I am left wondering, although blogs probably have a shorter expiration date, could it be that there are some blogs that every developer should read as well? I think so. Certainly not to blindly follow their every word as law, but to get different points of view, opinions or the rare “aha” moment.

With the plethora of blogs now available, how would a beginner know where to begin, what to take to heart and what to ignore? I am NOT claiming any seniority on what to read or anything, but it seems that some of my classmates respect my skills, and most, if not all of them I have acquired through reading, so it would stand to reason that what I read could be interesting to others as well. Likewise, it would certainly be interesting to know what other people read as well *hint hint*.

Without further delay, the blogs I routinely read:

Joel on Software – Although some of the posts which end up in the rss feed are short and some of them are more PR-oriented, every now and again he posts some real pearls. I can’t say I agree with everything he writes, but different opinions and views are a good thing for the mind.

Coding Horror – The blog with the highest post frequency. Again, I don’t agree with Jeff, the author, in everything he writes, but his posts are enlightening nonetheless.

Basildon Coder – I started following this read because of just one post. It probably has the lowest post frequency in this list, but most posts are insightful and worth the read.

Object Mentor Blog – A collection of authors blogging “under the same roof”. It makes for varying subjects and insights, which can be a mixed blessing, but I have yet to regret adding that feed to my rss-reader.

Last on my list is The B-List – This is a blog oriented mainly around Django, a (and in my opinion THE) Python web-framework. Much more narrow scope than the other blogs on this list, so might not fit all.

The disclaimer: There is no inherent order of the list, no ranking or any of the sort. It would have been just as likely that the list would have come out reversed or in another random combination.

Now I have just one little request, I would really like to look more into TDD/BDD and also Haskell, so if anyone knows a blog which was helpful to them in gaining some better understanding in either topic, please share :)


Naturally I forgot to mention what I believe to be one of the most important points about blogs, namely that however good a blogpost is, the real gold is most often found in the comments. This is not always true, and in a popular blog you have to wade through a rather large flood of crappy comments, but wading through it pays off most of the time.

[Edit 2]

Changed an url to point at the actual blog post, instead of pointing to the post through an aggregator.

Tags: , , ,

3 Responses to “Sharpening “the edge” through blogs”

  1. lbe says:

    Any PHP recommendations?

  2. Patrik says:

    Although I have stumbled across several blogs with “the top ten PHP hacks/optimizations/pitfalls” type of posts, there has never been any one blog oriented around PHP that ever really caught my eye. Back in the day when I was actively hacking PHP for fun (php4) I used to hang around I don’t know what they’re like today though. I’ll dig around a little and see what I come up with.

  3. Patrik says:

    As promised, I have dug around a bit, and found some resources I would probably look into closer if I was about to do some heavy-duty PHP coding:
    Smarty and this post

    Hope it helps