One of the first problems I faced as a programmer was how to stay tuned to the new things happening each day in the programming world. I was overwhelmed with the ton of articles and new stuff I would find each hour. Several years later I filter my information and feel confident enough that I am on the right track.
The idea of this article is to share the sources I keep updated from and the ways I filter the unnecessary information.
Sources of knowledge
There are several different types of sources you can use to stay updated with the programming world.
- Open-Source code
- Questions on different websites (Quora & Stackoverflow)
- Social media
- Books & AudioBooks
- YouTube videos
So let me share with you the concrete sources I use in each of these categories.
This is where Github shines. Keep an eye on the Explore section and check the trending repositories. There is always something new to learn. You can also use the search option to find the most popular projects written in the programming language you are used to.
I do keep a track of the mobile conferences connected with the type of development I do. I watch GoTo, DroidCon, DevSummit or Google I/O and even WWDC. There are many conferences that have videos on YouTube. Feel free to check them out when you have time. It is a great way to learn new stuff and stay updated to the world around you.
The best source of knowledge are the people around you. You can always learn something new from the person next to you. Keep your environment with people from who you can learn a lot. You will meet a lot of people and learn a lot of them, don’t stop there. Ask for a link to their blog and their social account. This is how you will build links to the other sources and you will learn something new each day.
When I find an article or a video from someone, I try to find him on Twitter and follow him. Find his blog and subscribe using Feedly and read once a week an article from there.
This is one of the sources that requires time before you build it to a point where you feel comfortable. But learning from people will help you build your list of blogs. Here are the blogs I follow:
- An Android Love Affair – LINK
- Android Developers – LINK
- Fragmented Podcast – LINK
- Brad Campbell – LINK
These are not the only things I follow, but some of them. I just cannot share everything with you, because it is a lot. You can build your own interests by following the people that make you an impression.
Subscribe to websites like Medium or news feeds like Awesome Android or Android Weekly. Medium sends you a daily email with new articles you may like and the suggestions get better with each article you open. So try to spend 20 minutes a day reading articles. I do read an article I am interested in and not ones for things I have already read. There is no sense in reading an „Introduction to MVP“ if you have already implemented it. I just take a quick look if there is something which may catch my eye.
You can also check this list of newsletters for developers and programmers or this one to subscribe to something which you like.
StackOverflow is one of the websites which almost every developer have met during his programming experience. You can make a profile there and try to help other people. It gives you a great experience learning from other people’s mistakes.
Quora is the other website with tons of questions inside it. It is not so connected with coding, but you can always learn if Facebook or Google has a good environment for programmers, how it feels to work for them and what is the programmer salary in the UK.
Some of the websites have an RSS subscription so you can receive daily updates if you want.
Following a person on Twitter or Facebook is the simplest thing you can do to stay updated. I use Twitter to follow the people who have impressed me the most. Facebook is mostly for my friends and family. Almost every person whose lecture I watched has a Twitter profile which I can follow. Following a person on Twitter and communicating with him is the easiest and the most comfortable thing which you can do in all of the social networks. Here is the list of people I follow on Twitter.
Books & Audiobooks
Well, the good old fashioned method to stay updated which still works. Most of the things which are spoken on the internet are ones which exist for a long time. So reading books or listening to audiobooks is the other method of learning new things. I love reading some classic programming books like Object Thinking, Effective Java or Refactoring. There is always something new to learn from them.
Last but not least are the YouTube videos posted by many people each day. There are conference videos or tutorials how to implement a certain design pattern. I really love the series for Design Patterns from Derek Banas. They explain all of the patterns very simply. You can always find different videos with different topics on YouTube. So keep it in mind when you struggle with understanding the Camera API on Android.
I hope that this article will help most of the people who are new to programming or didn’t know about the sources I mentioned here. There are lots of useful links and ideas and I will be glad if you share how you stay updated to the new stuff happening around you. I am sure I missed some of the most important sources and I will be glad to talk about them in the comments. 🙂