What are the Must Follow Resources for Developers?
Brian Rinaldi Jan 23
This is a topic that I have revisited from time, but the list tends to change regularly as sites and newsletters come and go or they change in ways that make them more or less useful (to me). Today I will focus specifically on two types of developers resources:
I have organized these into the resources that I, personally, always check/read (i.e. daily for sites or every issue for newsletters), frequently do (i.e. weekly or about every other issue), occasionally (i.e. less than once a week for sites or less than once a month for newsletters) and rarely (i.e. I still check it or subscribe but only read infrequently).
Don't Get Insulted
Some things I should note before anyone gets upset.
First, this is my personal preference. It depends heavily on what I do for a living. So, for instance, I don't do a lot of design or CSS for example, so even if I do still subscribe or check a site, a design-focused site will tend to be lower on my own list in terms of its usefulness.
Second (and this is especially relevant to newsletters), if I really find a site or newsletter not useful at all - I don't even bother checking it - ever. This means it won't make the list. And if I found a newsletter useless, I unsubscribe. The sites and newsletters I've included (even in the "rarely" section) are there because you may find them useful in your work or interests.
Personally, I still rely on RSS for much of my reading, but even then aggregation sites can be a useful tool to keep up with sources that I may not be aware of.
Collective by CoDrops
Unlike the above sites, Collective is a twice-weekly post that is manually curated. It does include some sponsored content, but these are generally on-topic and clearly indicated. The links tend to lean more towards web design, but cover a wide-range of topics including programming, design, work culture and more.
Lobsters is like Hacker News if it were specific to programming. Lobsters tends to surface up very deep technical articles. You must be invited to join the community and, in my experience, it can be a little harsh and unwelcoming at times.
I probably don't even need to explain Hacker News to you. You know what it is and that it can be a bit overwhelming in terms of the pace of content, the broad range of topics and the comments thread, which has well-deserved infamy.
This site functions in a similar fashion to most of the other aggregators, but the voting and commenting from the community seems rare.
The usual features (posting recommendations, commenting and voting), though the posts are not automatic but manually curated. It is, as the name implies, much more web design rather than web development focused - thus why I don't visit as often.
Anyone can sign up to submit a feed to be monitored or post a URL, though there is no commenting or voting and the activity seems light.
Yes, DZone allows links but they seem to be more focused on their own content rather than serving as a useful aggregator (which is fine, just not what I'm looking for - plus, they tend to be ad-heavy).
Personally, I find the Reddit community to be unwelcoming to the point of being unhelpful. Sorry for you Reddit fans.
Want your content pushed to you rather than having to go look for it? Well, the good news is that there are tons of useful newsletters. The bad news is that there are so many nowadays, you could inundate your inbox.
The most popular of the newsletters listed here is still, in my opinion, the best. The Cooper Press crew knows how to curate a newsletter (I mean, they have a ton of them) and has always kept this one relevant.
Another Cooper Press newsletter, but with more web standards, HTML, CSS and related technologies (it used to be HTML5 Weekly).
Mobile Dev Weekly
History of the Web
I think having an understanding of history gives us insight into the present. And if you want to be a web developer, it can be useful to look at the (short) history of the web. Plus, this newsletter, on top of being useful, is always fun to read.
Web Design Weekly
As the name implies, this is much more design-focused, but tends to include a lot of front-end development topics and is very-well curated.
Responsive Web Design Weekly
While RWD and just regular web design may be indistinguishable nowadays, this newsletter still offers some solid links. It's web with a mobile tilt and some design.
Another very good newsletter, which I would read more if CSS and design were my focus. Zoran keeps the links to no more than ten, making it quick and easy to find those relevant to you.
This is partly curated by my friend Raymond Camden along with Cooper Press. Even if it isn't a primary resource for me personally, as I delve into the serverless space, I am relying on it more.
The Web Design Reading List by Anselm Hannemann is good in that it has a limited number of links but also tries to offer context to them. It covers a wide-range of topics, so there's not always information that is pertinent to me, but still worth checking out.
HeyDesigner's weekly newsletter is worth subscribing to if you are more design focused, even though it does include some more general web development related topics each week.
O'Reilly Web Newsletter
O'Reilly's web newsletter is good in that it offers a longer form summary of the limited list of links included. I think it might be more useful to me, personally, if I didn't already subscribe to the above because, by the time it arrives, I've often seen the articles I care about that it includes.
Note that all of these are actually good newsletters, or else I would have unsubscribed. As I note below, it's just that they generally cover topics that aren't always as relevant to me specifically.
O'Reilly Programming News
Not a bad newsletter, just a very broad range of topics that aren't always relevant to me personally.
This is curated by Nicolás Bevacqua. The links are usually very deep technical articles that tend to be a bit over my head or above my skill level (or both). If you are smarter than I am though, it's worth a read.
This is a well done newsletter with a very singular focus. I don't tend to subscribe to framework-specific newsletters, but if you are heavily focused on Vue, this could be worth a read.
CSS Animation Weekly
I actually enjoy perusing this article as I wish that I had time, energy and enough artistic ability to do animation. If you do, I definitely recommend it.