The Liberators
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The Liberators

My Favorite Developer Blogs

The more ideas you read about, the better your code becomes

I love coding. Or rather, what coding allows me to create. What started out in GWBasic in my childhood evolved into .NET, Node.JS, and Angular these days. Writing code is deeply engrossing, provided that I’m able to find the right solution to the problems I’m attempting to solve. There are also moments where coding is deeply frustrating. Most of those moments revolve around my inability to find an elegant solution to a problem. I can feel deeply frustrated by code that is far more complex than it should be, and I don’t know how to make it better.

I’m sure all developers will recognize that feeling. It is also the primary reason why I follow many developers' blogs. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that all problems have been solved before by more talented developers. Even when the language is different, the idea often remains the same.

In this post I want to share some of the blogs I follow, and why they are helpful to me. If you’re a developer, you may find value in them. If you work with developers in your team, they may be interested in them also. Because I write in .NET most of the time, you may notice that many of the blogs here at least feature a lot of .NET content — but not all.

Ploeg Blog by Mark Seemann

A good friend shared this blog with me several years ago. I’d never heard of Mark Seemann before. He is a Danish self-employed developer and architect who shares a lot of gems on his blog. What I particularly like about Mark is that he takes a very high-level perspective on code, and often talks a high-level perspective. He manages to distill a problem to its core and then offers abstracted solutions that are not language-specific. He also often writes about developer craftsmanship and team hygiene.

One word of warning; Mark’s writing is aimed at developers who are experienced with object-oriented programming and functional programming. Beginning developers probably will struggle to make sense of the writing.

Here are some really interesting posts:

Find Mark’s blog here: https://blog.ploeh.dk/

The Morning Brew by Chris Alcock

Chris Alcock is a software developer from the UK. What makes his blog spectacular is that he compiles a list of interesting developer posts from other blogs every single workday. It is no surprise he calls it the Morning Brew. Chris is currently at edition #3374 (!).

What I like about this blog is that it is a good starting place in the morning or during a coffee break. I read what piques my interest and I visit again the next day to pick up new reads. This makes it a great blog to share with your team.

Find Chris’ blog here: https://blog.cwa.me.uk/

You’ve Been Haacked by Phil Haack

Phil Haack is an inspiring developer who worked at GitHub and Microsoft and has left his fingerprints all over ASP.NET MVC and NuGet. He now runs his own company. What I like about his blog is that the writing is excellent. Even for fairly advanced topics, he writes in such a way that even beginning developers are likely to catch the essence.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

You can find Phil’s blog here: https://haacked.com/

Open My Mind by Karl Seguin

Karl Seguin is a Singapore-based developer who started out writing a ton of useful content about .NET on Codebetter.com, which is unfortunately offline. Since then, Karl started his own blog and is now more focused on Ruby and the Elixir language. Although those posts tend to feel a bit less relevant to me, he still frequently writes more language-agnostic posts that I find very useful.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

You can find Karl’s blog here: https://www.openmymind.net/

Stack Overflow Blog

I’m sure that all developers frequent stackoverflow.com. Its really become the go-to place to find out if other developers have faced similar challenges, and whether or not their solutions work for you as well. And yes, everybody copy-pastes from Stack Overflow (although I hope you make sure to understand the code). Stack Overflow also has an interesting blog that frequently features useful content written by other developers. Considering their slick presentation, you’d think that much of the content is produced by marketing writers. But most of their content is written by active developers. The writing is generally quite good, and far more accessible than some of the other blogs I follow. So it is a good place for any developer to visit once in a while.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

You can find the blog here: https://stackoverflow.blog/

Rick Strahl’s Weblog

I’ve been following Rick’s blog for years now. He is based in Hawaii and owns West Wind Technologies. He has been writing about .NET for decades, and I often find helpful tips in his practical posts. Compared to the other blogs, Rick’s writing is less abstract more how-to in nature. He really writes about the problems he faced and how he solved them. This also makes it quite accessible for less experienced developers. And he loves surfing

Here are some of my favorite posts:

You can find Rick’s blog here: https://weblog.west-wind.com/

Other sources

Of course, there are many other helpful sources besides the blogs I shared. The “My Morning Brew” blog by Chris Alcock is a great starting place to find more.

More generally speaking, there are also many useful books out there for developers. For example, Clean Code remains a favorite. So does Extreme Programming Explained and Test-Driven Development by Kent Beck. The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas is also a classic and still hugely relevant today. And I also feel that every developer should at least be aware of Design Patterns by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vissides, even though the book is hard to understand with even moderate programming experience.

Closing Words

We all stand on the shoulders of others. This is particularly true for developers, who inherently build on the work of thousands of developers that came before them. I’ve learned that the more I read from other developers, the better I became at my craft. The “shoulders” I shared in this post may be helpful to you also. Enjoy!

P.s. please feel free to share additional blogs in the comments.

Please support our writing and other content by becoming a patron at patreon.com/liberators

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