Part of being a great software developer is keeping up to date, but there are a few problems with that.
Every day you are bombarded with tons of information and news from all the different sources — Twitter, HackerNews, Medium, and all the others.
Your build is running a bit slow today, so you decide to have a look at Twitter, maybe read something about the new C# 7 features. You just want to sharpen your saw as highly effective developers tend to do.
But the bottomless timeline is designed to keep you on the site longer. To distract you from your real reason why you there — to educate yourself.
Ads, link-baits, unrelated posts and suddenly you find yourself half an hour later watching some cat video, engaged in political discussion, or day dreaming after reading some startup success story. And the focus is gone.
Curation is hard. Trust me. I’ve been curating programming newsletters for a few years and it’s a skill you need to learn. When you subscribe to an email newsletter someone else does it for you.
Most current content media are designed for instant consumption. If are not there, you will miss the post. And what if it is a truly revolutionary? This creates an unpleasant fear of missing out.
That’s why you find yourself checking the streams multiple times a day and you might even not realise it. It becomes part of your subconscious habits. Ctrl+T f a c e … what the hell am I doing?
You feel busy, you feel important, you feel productive. The hard true is that you are not. You are just distorting your attention.
With newsletters you receive them in your inbox and you read them when it suits you (you turned email notifications off, right?). Nothing to be missed. No constant fear and no ever-present multi-tasking. That’s why I love them and I think you should too.
Turn off distractions. Get your sanity back. Read programming newsletters.
If you liked this check out the newsletters I put together every week:
- C# Digest is great for any .NET developers as it stays general enough to be useful for any ASP.NET developer as well as WPF or plain backend one.
- Programming Digest gives you an idea of what’s happening in different programming communities. Good complement to your niche.
- React Digest is focused on front-end web development with React and the stack around.
- Elixir Digest has everything important about Phoenix framework and Elixir language.
- Machine Learning Digest is the best for getting your feet wet with artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning topics.
There are heaps of other great newsletters and if you follow one, please tell me in the comments below. I’d love to check them out.