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How do you stay up to date with the latest developments in tech?

josefine profile image Josefine Schfr ・1 min read

Newbie looking for guidance here - I feel like the more I learn, the more I realise what I don’t know and how much there is still to do. That’s not a problem per se, but it does get overwhelming sometimes.

Especially working from home during the last year, it wasn't always easy to feel connected to the outside world and find sources of inspiration. To get some new perspectives, I signed up to a number of newsletters, including Smashing Magazine, CSS-Tricks, Chris Ashton's frequent11y (accessibility newsletter), JavaScript Weekly and Stefan Judis 'Web Weekly' (which I would strongly recommend!) - this was a good start, but it left me wondering how other developers handled this - How do you keep up to date with the latest developments? How do you sort out what’s worth looking into more thoroughly and what to skip over? What platforms or pages do you get your tech related news from?

Any tip, recommendation or perspective is highly appreciated :)

Discussion (39)

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hasnaindev profile image
Muhammad Hasnain • Edited

Don't waste your time.

98% of the time this is just a waste of time. If you are a React developer, make sure you don't miss the feature/changelog they upload on a release. You could even watch a video or two but that should be enough if there is a breaking change.

Podcasts, newsletters and hundred other things drain your brain's glucose reserves which is not good. This might make you mistake being busy with being productive. We've been using WebPack for years, same goes for React, Laravel or Express.js.

Thus, I don't get the point of being so focused and up to date on the latest hypes. Instead, opt for reading a good book which teach timeless lessons. Refactory, Design Patterns, The Pragmatic Programmer etc.

EDIT: I see you are a beginner, perhaps when you are a complete newbie, getting to know the development-scape is actually good. dev.to medium, youtube channels like Traversy Media, the one and only Colt Steele. Follow these in any form you like, that's what I did.

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

I can't agree more. I was trying to keep up with everything at the beginning of my career, and it was a mistake. Many trends are just old concepts with a different name. Now, I try to focus on the big ideas.

I've a blog where I try to describe timeless concepts. Hope it helps!

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drsimplegraffiti profile image
Abayomi Ogunnusi

You simply nailed it.....Every blessed week , you see new tutorial on different things that will almost make you want to abandon your old stack. Focus is the key.

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amitkkhanchandani profile image
AmitKKhanchandani

Simply to the point. 👌👌👌

Read books for understanding indepth and practice along.

New things will keep coming up. Build your solid foundation.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - makes sense to not get too distracted with all the noise.

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kotzendekrabbe profile image
Feli (she/her)

The newsletters are really great. What I do since years is watching twitter and follow them. What I also enjoy is reading dev.to posts. But of course there are is also a lot "bullshit" outside and I can imagine that espacially as beginner it's not easy to see which of all the new (or old) things is worthy to have a look.

First, it's never wrong to look into things and building your own opinion, no matter which level.
Second, find people you can talk openly about your opinion without getting blamed but learn why they disagree with your oppinion. That could be in your company and or team, a mentor or a community.
Third, as for it like you are doing here, this is also a really great way.

And last but not least, I always enjoyed (and still do) attending meetups and conferences. I got a lot of new input and had the oppurtunity to discuss things after or in between the talks.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Those are great tips, thanks a lot! I really like the idea of taking something I learned / read to discuss with somebody to get different perspectives :)

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kotzendekrabbe profile image
Feli (she/her)

feel free to hit me up any time if you want to discuss something :)

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elischei profile image
Eli H. Schei

I listen to podcasts. The thing I like most about listening is that I can do it while doing something else, like cleaning the kitchen. And it's easier to just listen than to read myself. I have a blogpost where I share my top 9 favorite podcasts , latley I also started listening to DevNews which I also recommend. :)

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

I love podcasts, thanks for sharing your list! The Ladybug podcast has been a favourite of mine for some time now, can't wait to give the others ones a listen :)

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val_baca profile image
Valentin Baca

HackerNews primarily. I check it when compiling and put articles that seem interesting into Pocket for actual reading later. You can use Chrome's Read it later feature, but I like that Pocket syncs across my devices, personal and work.

The primary purpose of Pocket is so that I don't read things immediately. Instead, when I actually do sit down to read on the weekends or evenings, I ruthlessly delete anything that is no longer interesting or relevant by doing fast skims. Like, who's going to care about the Fastly outage in a week? It would be nice if Fastly published a decent post-mortem other than "pushed some bad code" So I can't learn from that => into Trash.

I also have a #someday tag for Pocket for articles or websites that will need a lot more time. At one point that someday tag was getting too much and a good part of quarantine for me was whittling it down.

I like that HackerNews, dev.to, and reddit all provide the ability to filter by "best of day/week/month/year" and I make heavy use of that as a way to filter out noise.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks so much for sharing your process - more often than not I just push things into the 'read later' folder and never clean it up :D

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dastasoft profile image
dastasoft

If you notice that you know less than you initially assume is perfect, you are on the right track, when we start learning something the first stage is that you don't even know what you suck at in that field, so noticing that is a good mark of being in the next stage.

The first thing is to have the right mindset, learn to appreciate the feeling of not knowing something, because most of the time you will be in that place, so you need to feel comfortable and why not excited about the journey ahead of you.

Second, as you already do in programming, break the bigger problem into smaller problems, for example if you want to learn web development and you only know HTML, don't over look the whole roadmap, it's ok to go through it to make a general plan but don't think too much about how many things you don't know and treat that as one big entity, start with CSS, then JS, etc. one problem at a time.

And lastly, as you mention you need information on what's happening in the industry, newsletters, podcasts, looking here on dev.to and following people on github/twitter are great things, but in the end the important thing is to get your hands dirty, so for me the ideal scenario is to find a small/medium project that I want to do and try to apply the things I want to learn on that project, but always think if that piece of technology you're using actually solves a problem, not just because it's trendy.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks for sharing this, I feel like a solution oriented approach will make it a lot easier to apply and understand abstract concepts in the long run!

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kevinschweikert profile image
Kevin Schweikert

Hackernews

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owlcowl profile image
Owlcowl (he/him)

Newsletters are one of my main ways to keep up to date. Following a lot of devs on Twitter is my other big one.
I prefer the newsletters though because they are waiting for me in the inbox.
Besides that I'm also fortunate enough to work together with developers that share their most important findings with their colleagues.

One newsletter I can heavily suggest is by @cassidoo . It has news, humor and a challange every single time: cassidoo.co/

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Amazing, thank you for sharing - signed up right away :)

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hananekacemi profile image
hanane kacemi

I use feedly (feedly.com/) where I follow freecodecamp, dev.to and others... It let me have one place to manage all feeds that I like to read, when I have time all I do is I access to feedly and start reading.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks for sharing - I didn't know this tool, will have a look :)

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emilycook321 profile image
EmilyCook321

Echoing what many have said here, Twitter can helpful, especially announcements of online courses or conferences.
I also like to attend codebar.io workshops when I can- I've have some really helpful pair programming sessions that have brought me up to speed on React components, testing.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

That sounds interesting, I will have a look at codebar :)

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fhiegel profile image
Fabien Hiegel • Edited

I always watch Tweeter and some newsletters and I put all interesting resources (tweets, threads, articles, video, podcasts) on my Trello.

Once à day I list all my Trello cards, and dive into some of them. The most difficult part is to decide to notre going into a ressource and maybe archive or delete it.

The next step is to make à short synthesis and the last and funiest part is to share.

I tried the "Good Morning Learning" in My company and you should give it à try : philippe.bourgau.net/growth-mindse...

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks for sharing your process, maybe the good morning learning could be something for our team! :)

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ivolimmen profile image
Ivo Limmen

I have 150-ish websites in an RSS feed... and I attend a lot of conferences. To be honest after some years in the business I tend to pay more attention, in the conferences, to the soft skills as they outweigh technical knowledge in matter of importance.

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aghost7 profile image
Jonathan Boudreau

For me its github trending, twitter, and certain subreddits.

I feel like the more I learn, the more I realise what I don’t know and how much there is still to do.

What I like to do is take some time to read on the new tech to determine if its a worthwhile investment before jumping in.

Try to set medium-term goals and focus on that. Don't make to-do lists, if you forget about it its probably not important for your goals. If it is important to reach your goals, you will bump into it again.

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bureado profile image
José Miguel Parrella

I have done this “latest news” following for the company I work for since at least 2015. There are many tools, plenty of sources, and many great tips already in this thread. I’ve toyed with things like ML to get trends and sentiment or mining conference agendas and session transcripts for keywords. Frankly… hard to make the case for that level or sophistication! Newsletters have become more useful for me, and if you subscribe to RSS it’s OK to start small. I’ve never really needed real time HN. I use Lobsters as a predictor of HN breakthroughs. Changelog has Ping and there are similar GitHub digests, but I only suggest this if you are totally committed to staying on top of a specific domain. Paced research can also be very useful, Thoughtworks has the Radar and other organizations are emulating this model. I like “explainers” and research write-ups sometimes in outlets like The New Stack or every now and then over at Opensource.com. They almost always have a pitch and can be very high level but can be great starting point to find further content. Happy journeys!

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bureado profile image
José Miguel Parrella

Oh, I just ran across this which I thought, well, 🤯 twitter.com/philipvollet/status/14...

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siddharthshyniben profile image
Siddharth

The best way is: Don't. You don't have to learn every single new update. For web devs (It looks like you are one), old is better than new, because you get more browser support, etc.

That being said, don't just stop learning. Eventually you *will* have to learn stuff, because of 1. Curiosity or 2. Necessity. Also, once you are completely sure you have learned a topic, and have made a bunch of projects, You should learn something which complements whatever you have learned and makes it easier. (Don't learn a completely different thing which can't even work with what you already can use)

There are a lot of articles which give more info on this. Here's a list of them from the CSS-Tricks 2020 End of year thoughts (you should definitely read them all):

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

It's such a relieve that so many people here are taking off the pressure saying we definitely don't have to learn it all - thank you for sharing your thoughts and these articles! :)

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raibtoffoletto profile image
Raí B. Toffoletto

"I only know that I know nothing", Socrates via Plato.... this is an old paradox, so don't feel overwhelmed because you will never catch up 100%. You aren't alone on this. 😉

I keep up basically with CSS Tricks, the good fellows on Dev.To and podcasts... LadyBug, Compressed and others. Also my google news feed is starting to understand what I want to know in tech, so that's helpful.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

Thanks for saying this :)

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merri profile image
Vesa Piittinen

These days I'm content with whatever comes up on Twitter, and if something I haven't encountered pops up on DEV headlines (which in recent months hasn't occurred as often as it used to). My main interest is on following the balance of what makes thinks easier for most developers (React side of things), and stuff that help bring back the "less JS in the front-end thank you" mentality.

At the moment I have a queue: I need to have a look at Astro, React 18, and Remix. Not looking at them just yet as I'm on a vacation so I try to keep dev stuff aside.

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mcaserta profile image
Mirko Caserta

As someone already said, the signal to noise ratio in most of the channels you will follow is going to be pretty bad. There's going to be a lot of BS filtering involved. Anyway, twitter is great, especially if you follow real people who do real work. I however prefer rss feeds. There's plenty of them and plenty of readers. I am currently using Inoreader as it's web based and I can easily use it from any of my devices and be in sync on all of them.

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josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr Author

That sounds useful, I ll have a look into rss feeds - never used this before :)

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cenacr007_harsh profile image
KUMAR HARSH

Newsletters and Twitter.

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pauld profile image
Paul

I like the examples below and above. Seeing that most examples I've used through trial and error. Now as a season developer and archetict. I focus on company blogs and changelog/feature which, both incorporate the same iteration information. Next I follow conventions I.E Cloud next, hashicorp days, and many alike. Mostly are linked in the newsletter.

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aalphaindia profile image
Pawan Pawar

Keep sharing!

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chrisjcom profile image
Jhossymar Contreras

The things that I usually consume are podcasts, blogs and twitter.

Once in a while I read a newsletter or a forum.

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syed_meesam_ali profile image
Syed Meesam Ali

The best one out there for sure will be "Hacker News"
Tech + a lot more ....... !

news.ycombinator.com/

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