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What I read to stay up-to-date

Tomas Pustelnik
I'm frontend developer currently building React at Ataccama. Founder of Qjub. Fan of great and clever design, tooling addict and neverending learner.
Originally published at pustelto.com on ・6 min read

Some time ago I have published a post about tools I use in front-end development, and it had a bigger response than I expected (in a positive manner 😊). And quite a few people ask me how do I stay up-to-date with modern web dev. So I decided to share another list. This time it’s about blogs and other resources I watch and read to keep myself up-to-date with ever-evolving web development.

What is my workflow #

I use Feedly to aggregate RSS feeds from the blogs listed below. Many people seem surprised by the fact I use RSS, but honestly, it’s a great way how to keep an eye on many resources without losing time and valuable stuff. Of course, I don’t read every article published on the sites listed below. If I did, I would be reading 24/7, not exactly what I want. So I’m quite picky what to read (but still have a huge buffer).

I usually keep interesting articles unread and dismiss the articles I don’t found relevant to me. Then from time to time, I open a bunch of articles and either read them if I have the time or save them to Pocket and read them later. I usually read them offline when I’m commuting to work. Feedly and Pocket are a great combo and work very well for me and save me a lot of time.

So without any more talking, here is the list of web sites and other resources I keep an eye on (in no particular order):

Blogs #

  • CSS-Tricks - great resource for a front-end related stuff. Often with links to other interesting resources. I would say the main focus is on CSS/HTML related stuff (no surprises), animations, SVGs, etc. But you can found articles on static-site generators, React, Vue, and much more.
  • Smashing Magazine - a great site full of in-depth articles on design, UX/UI, front-end, and accessibility. I found especially the mix of design and development articles very valuable since I think front-end developers should have some knowledge of design principles as well.
  • Scotch.io - tutorial site focusing on all web dev (frontend and backend). I think it’s great for junior developers. I don’t personally read their articles too often these days, but I still found it valuable to keep it in my RSS.
  • SitePoint - another tutorial site, similar to Scotch.io. Covers backend as well. It has a wide range of topics covered and some interesting authors. You can often found articles focusing on best practices. Introductions to new technologies etc.
  • Codrops - I keep an eye on this site mainly for their Collective section. It is a basically web-based newsletter with the newest and coolest development and design stuff from around the internet. Aside from the Collective, they also post a lot of cool demos. Mainly focusing on high-quality animations and transitions. So if you looking for something fancy on your new page, this is the place to go.

Personal sites #

  • CSS Wizardry - personal website of Harry Roberts. He publishes irregularly about web performance and CSS. His posts are always high quality and go really deep. So if you are into the WebPerf this is one of the resources I suggest to follow.
  • Addy Osmani - Addy is Engineering Manager at Google working on Chrome. As such he mostly writes about WebPerf, often with relation to Chrome Browser.
  • Adrian Roselli - Adrian writes about accessibility (a11y) and has plenty of great articles about this topic. Definitely worth following if you are interested in this topic (and you should as a front-end dev).
  • Amelia Wattenberger - Amelia writes mostly about D3 and data visualization, but you can found articles about SVG, CSS, and React. What makes Amelia’s blog stand out is the high quality and interactivity of her articles. Each of them is like an interactive microsite with a lot of examples to help you understand the given topic.
  • Sara Soueidan - Sara has a large collection of articels about SVG, CSS and a11y.
  • Tim Kadlec - Tim is well known for is focus on WebPerf, so you can found lots of articles about this topic on his blog.
  • Josh Comeau - Josh writes about various subjects related to front-end development, like React, Gatsby, CSS and animations, JavaScript.
  • Philip Walton - Phil is an engineer at Google, and his articles focus a lot on web performance (mainly fast loading of the website) and JavaScript, but you can found articles about other topics as well.
  • Phil Hawksworth - Phil works at Netlify in the Developer experience team, so expect his articles to focus mainly on JAMstack.
  • Bits of Code - Ire Aderinokun’s blog about front-end development. Some topics covered on the blog: CSS, JS, HTML and DOM, Puppeteer, etc.

Other #

Recently I started to follow the blogs of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and WHATWG (The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) to keep an overview of specification updates for HTML and CSS.

Newsletters #

Aside from following many websites and blogs, I have also signup for plenty of newsletters (more than I like actually 😅). I have already unsubscribed from some I don’t read and I send the rest to a special folder in Gmail which I check from time to time. Below you can found a list of newsletters I still receive and check regularly. Again I do not read all the articles listed inside, but only a few which seem relevant or interested to me. My flow for newsletters is similar to the one I use for blog articles.

  • Kent C. Dodds - Kent writes blog mostly about React and testing. I have subscribed to his newsletter to get the blog post updates sooner and to get info about his new projects or courses.
  • JavaScript Weekly - news from JS world, upcoming additions to JS, cool projects and tools. Tutorials and community articles.
  • StackShare Weekly - since I’m a bit a tooling geek, I have an account on StackShare and get their newsletter. It contains a list of new interesting tools and case studies about scaling infrastructure. Not extra relevant for a front-end dev, but if you are into DevOps, this may be an interesting option for you.
  • Jason Lengstorf newsletter - Jason mostly writes about motivation and productivity. Apart from articles on his blog, he also sent extra stuff in the newsletter. Since I’m running my own blog and working on Qjub in my free time, these topics are quite relevant to me (combining day job with two little kids, blog/side-project and to have some free time for me and my wife is pretty difficult).
  • Tiny React - 3 links about React each week. Short and simple (I like those).
  • ES.next news - latest news from JS world, what is coming to spec. New tools etc. Similar to JavaScript Weekly mentioned above. Some info is the same in both (like new spec and releases), but not all.
  • Calibre’s performance newsletter - a newsletter about web performance and how to improve it.

Twitter #

I also follow a bunch of smart and amazing people on Twitter, so I get some gems and new ideas from here as well. But because of Twitter’s nature and my attempt to limit my time there, it’s not an extra reliable source to keep up to date with front-end dev. Never the less if you want to who I follow, check my Twitter profile (I mostly follow people whos blog I read).

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