Sep 26, 2016
Software developers always need to be upskilling, and increasingly are expected to bring more than just great code to an organisation.
There's hundreds of blogs software developers can read to learn, but it's difficult knowing where to begin (or even what's worth reading).
That's why we created today's post: to give software developers like you a headstart, compiling 40 of the best dev blogs on the web.
For each blog we've provided a link to the blog, and also a link to the author's Twitter. Let's get started!
1) Code Simplicity
Code Simplicity is a companion blog to author Max Kanat-Alexander’s application design book Code Simplicity: The Science of Software Development. Max is a software engineer at Google, and the chief architect of the Bugzilla Project – and his blog draws upon this experience to offer advice on simplifying software design. His mantra is ‘Complexity is stupid. Simplicity is smart’ – and after reading the blog, I’m inclined to agree.
2) Joel on Software
In addition to being a former Microsoft program manager, Joel Spolsky is a co-founder of programming Q&A site StackExchange, the man behind software development company Fog Creek Software, and the awesome little browser-based workflow tool Trello. He’s been blogging since 2000, and his site is a goldmine of insight on software dev, management and business.
3) Scott Berkun
Scott Berkun’s eponymous blog is one of the most multi-faceted on this list, offering advice and insight into creativity, leadership and philosophy – alongside his experiences as a manager at giants Microsoft and WordPress. If you’re tired of reading the same old blog content, Scott’s blog offers a plethora of engaging info, all of which is designed to help you become a better person, as well as a better programmer.
4) Coding Horror
Coding Horror is the outlet of seasoned web application developer (and, like Joel Spolsky above, co-founder of StackExchange) Jeff Atwood. The blog tackles all manner of software development and security topics, but it’s Jeff’s interest in the human component of development that makes the blog stand out. As Jeff himself says:
‘In the art of software development, studying code isn't enough; you have to study the people behind the software, too.’
5) Scott Hanselman
Scott Hanselman’s blog tackles the full pantheon of software developer interests, covering technology, code, gadgets, dev culture and the web. As a former professor, and current employee of Microsoft, his hands-on advice is clear, concise and helpful. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Scott’s writing is also bursting with personality. If you’re a fan of Scott’s insight, you can also check out his three podcasts and YouTube channel.
Andy Hunt is a prolific author, a co-founder of the Agile Alliance, and part of the team that developed the Agile Manifesto. Andy’s blog tackles a diverse range of development topics, and unsurprisingly, offers some of the most interesting and unique insight into agile development anywhere on the web.
7) Paul Graham’s Essays
Paul Graham was one-half of the duo behind Viaweb, arguably the very first (started in 1995) software as a service company. Since then, he’s gone on to co-found Y Combinator, a start-up incubator that’s funded the likes of Dropbox, Reddit and Airbnb. Paul Graham’s Essays collates his long-form insights into developing SaaS businesses, and provides developers a wonderful insight into their role within the wider business world.
8) Federico Cargnelutti
Federico is a professional mobile and web developer, and regularly blogs around coding (particularly PHP), software architecture and agile development. With a mixture of straight-to-the-point tutorials and, courtesy of his Twitter, a ton of tech news and insight, Frederico’s blog is a great read for any software developer.
10) David Walsh
Ponitkis is a blog of two halves, offering the latest in web technology, business and news, alongside a plethora of how-tos and guides. Author Christos Pontikis offers seriously in-depth instructions on all-manner of languages and frameworks, with his expert insights into PHP, jQuery and MySQL a serious incentive for any knowledge-hungry developers.
12) Six Revisions
WebAppers dedicates itself to sourcing and collating free open-source tools and resources, with the professional web dev and web designer in mind. In addition to a pantheon of almost 700 plugins, the blog shares a ton of actionable guidance and helpful advice, with a view to helping web developers use the tools in the most beneficial way possible.
Since its inception in 2005, ProgrammableWeb has been at the forefront of the evolving API economy. It offers a staggering amount of hands-on content, and manages to maintain its quality across an incredible publication schedule ranging as high as 10 posts per day. In addition to its fantastic blog content, ProgrammableWeb has a huge directory of APIs for web and mobile development, and a plethora of whitepapers and research.
16) Martin Fowler
Software developer Martin Fowler is a prolific author (having penned no less than seven programming books), and an even more prolific blogger. He writes primarily around agile, refactoring and project delivery – with a particular focus on the design of software systems, and ways to maximise the productivity of development. Whilst the blog is a great resource for all types of developer, it should have a special interest to those managing a development team.
17) Eric Sink
Eric Sink is a software developer at SourceGear – but prior to his current role, he served as project lead for the browser development team that prototyped a little-known browser called ‘Internet Explorer’. Since then, Eric has been blogging consistently around software development, with his advice, news roundups and opinions stretching all the way back to 2001.
18) The Daily WTF
If you’re looking to break-up the monotony of personal development, The Daily WTF should provide ample relief. The site pairs genuinely helpful development insights with an awesome sense of humour, creating a blog that’s as funny to read as it is useful. The site has a particular focus on how-not-to-guides, and the disastrous development stories its shares will easily consume your lunch break.
19) UIE Brainsparks
User Interface Engineering is a research and training company focused on web and application usability. Its Brainsparks blog is an industry-leading resource, covering all aspects of UI and UX development – with founder Jared Spool offering his expert insight on a weekly basis. In addition to the blog, UIE offer podcasts, long-form articles, event and seminars for devs interested in improving their UI skills.
Programmer turned publisher Dave Thomas blogs and tweets about all manner of development news and advice. Alongside tutorials, guides and opinions, Dave has developed his own Zen-like approach to the art of coding – creating the martial arts inspired CodeKata to help developers change their attitude to coding, and develop an always-learning mindset.
21) Silk and Spinach
Kevin Rutherford is a freelance agile developer, a Certified Scrum Master, and a member of the Agile Alliance. Unsurprisingly, his fantastic blog offers a plethora of agile development advice, alongside his own opinions and thoughts, formed from four decades of experience in the industry.
For a little insight into his blog (and mind), Jason Young’s bio contains the sentence ‘My brain is written in C#, I speak Node.js, and I believe the universe runs on Windows Azure.’ Unsurprisingly, his blog contains a ton of humour and personality, a shed-load of help advice, and a whole ton of Azure advocacy.
If the majority of the blogs on this list aren’t advanced enough for your mathematically-inclined mind, you’ll find yourself enjoying Brian Haye’s computation and mathematics blog, bit-player. Brian is a senior writer for American Scientist, writing their Computing Science column. As you’d expect, his own blog follows an extremely high-calibre of data-driven analysis, advice and insight.
24) Exploration Through Example
Brian Marick’s Exploration Through Example blog does exactly what you’d expect – helping developers to improve and build-upon their knowledge through the medium of trial-and-error. His content contains a ton of guidance and advice, and looks at his own experiences learning and re-learning the best practices of coding, testing and agile development.
25) Clarke Ching Rolls Rocks
Rolls Rocks is the educational outlet of agile and Theory of Contraints expert Clarke Ching. A seasoned blogger and accomplished author, the blog is named after Clarke’s own book on accelerating agile development – Rolling Rocks Downhill – so if you’re a fan of his blog, it’s worth checking out his other publications too.
26) Jonathan Kohl
Jonathan Kohl’s blog combines formidable expertise in mobile application development with a ton of obvious business-savvy, creating a wealth of resources perfect for developers interested in the business-side of software development. Jonathan also puts pen-to-paper in his published book, Tap into Mobile Application Testing, and the forthcoming Tap into Mobile Application Design.
27) Word Aligned
Thomas Guest’s Word Aligned blog is an affair both personal and professional in nature. You’ll find humour and personal anecdotes alongside coding tips and tricks – with his article on Jokey Code a particularly enjoyable inside joke for developers everywhere.
28) Technology, Strategy, People & Projects
Eric Brown is an entrepreneur and technology and marketing consultant, and his blog approaches development from a decidedly big-picture perspective. His content shares his advice and opinions on a wealth of business and development topics, and perfectly demonstrates the marriage of technology and business evident in so many of today’s most exciting software companies.
29) David Chelimsky
David Chelimsky is the former lead developer of RSpec, a behaviour-driven development framework for the Ruby programming language. His blog covers a ton of Ruby-related concepts, which David elaborates on in the co-authored RSpec Book.
30) Ruminations of a Programmer
Ruminations of a Programmer is the personal and professional outlet of self-proclaimed programming nerd Debasish Ghosh. His blog contents a mixture of actionable, example-lead tutorials, and insights into the mathematics of programming – both of which Debasish builds upon his two books, DSLs In Action and Functional and Reactive Domain Modeling.
31) Herding Cats
Glen Alleman’s blog specialises in the intricacies of effective project management, and Herding Cats erding ccollates his expertise into series of in-depth blog posts, perfect for team leaders and agile developers. If his advice resonates with you, Glen has created an all-in-one reference, in the form of his book, Performance-Based Project Management.
32) My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
As a self-proclaimed spaghetti coder, Sammy Larbi’s blog offers a ton of helpful, humorous advice on the challenges developers face on a daily basis. With a great sense of personality radiating through his writing, Sammy’s blog manages to pair interest and education like no other, making it a great resource for other secret spaghetti coders.
33) Software by Rob
Rob Walling’s professional career spans corporate developer, consultancy, and eventually, serial entrepreneurship. Software by Rob charts his journey into software development and self-funding, and offers actionable advice and great insights into developing SaaS products.
34) Implementing Scrum
Implementing Scrum is the result of an unlikely partnership between certified Scrum trainer and practitioner Michael Vizdos, and entrepreneur and artist Tony Clark. Their blog tackles agile development and Scrum implementation, with their expert advice brought to life by a decent sense of humour and a plethora of cartoon illustrations.
35) Succeeding with Agile
With over 20 years of experience managing Scrum projects, Mike Cohn is a hugely vocal proponent of agile processes. His blog offers expert (and highly-focused) insight into the best ways for businesses to adopt agile, making it a must-read for any devs looking to improve and expand their agile capabilities.
36) Regular Geek
Robert Diana is a software engineer and web developer, with a particular penchant for social media. Alongside his own takes on the typical blog fodder of development tools and techniques, Rob collates a daily round-up of the web’s best development news and resources.
37) Good Coders Code, Great Reuse
With three books and a Silicon Valley start-up under his belt, Peteris Krumins has a ton of great development insight to share. As an entirely self-taught dev (opting for a degree in Physics instead of Computer Science) he’s dedicated to continual self-improvement – and helping other devs achieve the same.
Equal parts hands-on tutorials and DevOps anecdotes, secretGeek is the sounding board of Leon Bambrick. As a self-described ‘perpetual beginner’, and the creator of TimeSnapper and NimbleText, he regularly offers concise and honest insights into all aspects of application and product development.
39) Otaku, Cedric’s Blog
With blog archives stretching back as far as 2003 (truly blogging before it was cool), Otaku is packed-full of a ton of development advice, building off of author Cédric Beust ‘s experience as a former engineer at Android, and a the creator of the Java testing framework TestNG.
40) A Geek with a Hat
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