How to keep up to date as a C# developer
As a developer, I bet you have a life long passion for learning and with the technology, there is always something exciting going on right now. Thus, how do you navigate in this world of constant change and keep up to date with news, which matters to a smart C# developer?
There are plenty of great blogs about various topics related to C# but you don’t have to get too far away from good old MSDN blogs.
Most of the C# developers use Visual Studio. It is great to have IDE and the Visual Studio team blogs regularly about new features, plugins and tips, which will make you more productive.
Wanna see what’s new with the core platform? Follow this blog and you won’t miss anything related to .NET Framework.
If Web is your main domain, you want to follow ASP.NET team and what they are working on. Recently, they started publishing their weekly standups with the notes, which gives you a sneak peek into how the platform is being developed. Nowadays, following a single blog is not the best strategy to get your news. There are lot of interesting blogs and articles and you need to be subscribed to numerous RSS feeds. Selecting what to read will be time consuming and this brings me to the next section.
Newsletters are a medium, where someone else takes the time to curate the content for you. The traditional ones will land into your inbox on the periodical basis and there are few in a form of a blog.
Disclaimer: I curate C# and Programming Digests — if you know of any other .NET newsletters, please mention them in the comments.
C# Digest is a weekly newsletter, which sends you only five carefully selected links every Monday. Just five? But they are the top-notch. If you want to follow only one source, this would be it — one article for each working day. There is lot of love and hard work behind the content curation.
Alvin Ashcraft puts together a daily list of more well-rounded resources than Chris. You can find news on WPF, databases, Powershell, development methodologies and Web programming.
This is a similar format to C# Digest but the theme is more of a general programming. Thus, if you want to keep an eye on what is happening outside Microsoft world, this one would be a perfect to add to the mix. Again, only five high quality links weekly to your inbox.
I love listening to programming podcasts, as I can do it during my daily commute, exercising or even house chores. The information density is not that high but you can’t really read a book while vacuuming, right?
Scott Hanselman is a big name in the ASP.NET community but his podcasts are often way beyond just that. Every guest is so interesting that you don’t want to miss an episode.
For me personally, video doesn’t work that well, as other media but Channel 9 has been recommended to me multiple times as a free source of talks and interviews from Microsoft world.
Don’t underestimate the power of conversations. Many times, I found myself talking to a stranger at .NET meetup that pointed me to a few excellent resources and told me what’s going on in his field of work. Content curation and digestion in real time is underrated.
Meetup is a great site to find a local .NET user group. It is popular in lots of countries and if by any chance, your one is not there, I’m pretty sure there is a local alternative to it. Hence, just use Google and start participating.
I live in Wellington, New Zealand and it has a very active Wellington .NET User Group with regular talks and pizza — Bevan is doing an excellent job of running it.
Reddit is a classic in the technology sphere. The /r/csharp is a source of interesting links and interesting questions with answers, ranging from beginners to experts. As it could be an opposite in other subreddits, beginners are treated fair with respect here and moderators are doing a amazing job of keeping the content relevant.
Discord is quite new to me, but I’ve heard, it is super popular amongst gamers. It is a Slack on steroids and there is a thriving C# community, which is very helpful and would love to have you as a member.
And what about you? What resources do you follow? What is your preferred way to stay up to date?
This article was originally published on C# Corner.