Information streams

by October 9, 2008 06:12 PM

I was going to send this information to someone and thought I would post it instead.

In order to stay as current as I can with what is going on around the community of development, I basically try to stay current on just a few blogs (below), follow links like crazy, and listen to a few podcasts.

For the blogs, the idea is not to completely absorb all of the material that I read (there’s just too much), but rather just kind of plow through it in hopes of catching general themes and hot topics. Of course, I slow down and read the juicy stuff or topics I’m especially interested in, but I rarely spend much time on any given blog entry. This is especially the case for entries that are rich with actual code. I greatly prefer those entries that talk about something rather than show you to the nth degree with a ton of code samples. I just don’t have the time to spend 10+ minutes (sometimes it takes a lot more time than that) trying to fully grok a single entry.

On to the list! This isn’t the ultimate list perfect for all people. It’s just a list that works well for me at the moment. It actually fluctuates quite a bit over time. If you know your bloggers in the dev community well, you may notice there are a few important ones missing. They come and go. I find that sometimes the “great” ones push out a ton of content and will actually cause my unread posts to just build and build. The last thing I need is another vice hanging over my head saying "Come on Rob! Get out there and read – you're falling behind!" I have definitely been known to go to all items and just mark them all as read – there’s nothing saying you have to catch every one.

One last thing... do not visit these one at a time and try to pick out what is new from the last time you were there. Use a reader. I personally would suggest Google Reader simply because it has worked awesome for me. Use whatever floats your boat though.

Enough jibba jabba already!

Ok now, there has to be an easier way to share feeds. I exported my feeds from Google Reader, but couldn’t quickly find a way to get the opml to render in html, so I typed them all :)

 

Now for your listening pleasure... Podcasts!

In addition to reading way too much, I listen to tech podcasts on the drive to and from work. Even for short drives you’d be surprised how much content you can burn through in a week. Here is that list:

 

And that’s it. All of that is my current information stream. Seems like a lot now that I’ve written it all out like this, but it really doesn’t seem like it. I start my mornings by quickly going through all of the new blog entries. I basically just plow through them quickly and leave the ones I really want to read thoroughly unread and come back to them after the initial plowing. If there’s still time in the morning before I need to get to work, I read a few, otherwise I just read them throughout the day on breaks. The podcasts don’t really take effort at all. I just sync up my iphone and listen to them in the truck. I don’t really set aside special time for them. I’ve tried listening while I work, but my tiny brain can’t concentrate on both coding and the podcast content at the same time. One or the other ends up getting neglected (I’ll let you guess which one ;).

Happy coding!

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