For a guy who’s always in front of a computer and always reading something, I regularly read only a handful of websites.
Maybe that’s due to my nature, which charitably might be called “curious” but more accurately should be termed “easily distracted.” It’s also a product of my age, I suppose; I read a lot of books, plus the occasional newspaper or magazine (analog and Kindle).
But mostly, I think, it’s because while the Web produces scads of fresh material every day, places where that material is reliable — in the senses of both regularity and appeal to intellect — are few.
But reliable sources of decent tech content are out there, and even some of the irregular ones — in the sense of posting frequency, not content or the characters creating that content — are worthy of mention.
Every one of these sites offers RSS feeds, most of which include the full content of the article. Like everyone else, I use Feedly to view those feeds and I couldn’t be happier with it.
There are a lot of tech blogs out there, and a lot of tech blogs that cover wide ground in the tech world.
Ars Technica, however, is by far the most interesting, least clickbait-prone (although headlines can have an edge), and easily the most even-handed one I’ve found. I haven’t run across a post yet that made me think they didn’t know what they were talking about. Political dogma and nonsense is rare. Most refreshingly, they don’t have that annoying Millennial tendency to use snark and profanity as proxies for cogence and reason.
Ars Technica also has a very reasonable RSS feed policy. They don’t give you the entire post in RSS, but they do give you the first three paragraphs, rather than just a summary.
Not only is the blog at Securi.com a decent sentinel of what hacks are making their way around the web — especially, WordPress-related hacks — it also does a decent job of explaining how a hack works and often, means of cleaning up after it if you’re exposed.
Not surprisingly their No. 1 recommendation is to buy their services. But they do good service, and if you know your way around website tech, generally speaking their blog entries will tell you all you need to know in order to clean things up.
I’ve mentioned this before and I’m glad to mention it again. What Seth Godin really excels at is reframing a problem in a way that often gives both new perspective and a better means of addressing whatever is holding you back, business-wise. Consider:
When someone handed you a calculator for the first time, it meant that long division was never going to be required of you ever again. A huge savings in time, a decrease in the cognitive load of decision making.
You can use that surplus to play video games and hang out.
Or you can use that surplus to go learn how to do something that can’t be done by someone merely because she has a calculator.
His posts are never long but they are regular as the sunrise. And what he’s doing doesn’t need a pile of words. He’s just reminding you of what you already know, or probably suspect, and pressing you to be better, every day.
Microsoft Azure blog and Azure Friday
Azure Friday is all videos about how to do things in Azure; given the breadth of what you can do with Azure, a sizeable number of them will either go over my head of be of no interest to me whatsoever. But when a topic is close to home, it’s great to see it demonstrated by people who understand it and are enthusiastic about it.
The Azure blog can be spammy (especially of late), but it also contains all kinds of little pearls. Imagine: Microsoft will actually advise you on what to do if Azure craps out on you. That requires Microsoft — yes, Microsoft, long infamous for its claims of infallibility — to actually admit that yes, Azure crapping out on you is not only a possibility, but an eventuality for which you should prepare.
Redmond has come a long way under Satya Nadella.
I’m really a back-end developer. I’m perfectly happy messing around with object models and XML and regular expressions and data pipelines and database triggers and all that weird-guy-in-the-server-room stuff. But in this day and age, you have to program front-side web, period.
CSS-Tricks isn’t going to make me an artist. No, I can barely draw a straight line and when I make a web site, it looks like an engineer made it, believe me. But it does help me keep abreast of new techniques and it does provide a fantastic source of ideas … which I in turn tell the real front-end guys about, so they can make it.
The other bloggers I follow are generally people I have met; folks who tend to post as infrequently as I do, but who all know what they’re talking about and have taught me something along the way.