Most people start a new year with lots of good resolutions. They want to eat healthier, do more sports, or work on their career. What about you? Did you make any?
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I made a few resolutions, including one that has become an evergreen for the last few years. Before you start laughing, it’s not one of these that I make and forget a few weeks later, like doing paperwork on the day it arrives. This one I’ve kept for the last five years and it had a huge impact on my career. On at least three days a week, I read a good book or some blog posts about Java and Java EE. That might not sound like a lot but it adds up over the years, and it helped me to become a better developer, blogger, and trainer for JPA and Hibernate.
So, if you’re still looking for a new year’s resolution that improves your career in 2017, I can highly recommend this one. Just pick a topic you’re interested in and read about it on a regular basis. I promise you, it won’t take long until you see the first results.
The only thing you now need is a few good blogs to get you started. I prepared a list of blogs that I liked in 2016 and that I think will help you improve your Java knowledge in 2017. OK, let’s talk about the most obvious recommendations first. You are reading my guest post here on the SitePoint Java channel and I also have my own site. It’s pretty obvious that there are two blogs that will make the list of recommendations. ;)
10 Java Blogs to Follow in 2017
As you’re already here, you probably know about the kind and quality of posts you can read on Sitepoint’s Java channel. In 2016, they published a lot of interesting, high-quality posts about various Java topics written by well-known authors like Simon Ritter and Rafael Winterhalter. This is a good site to broaden your knowledge, get to know new frameworks, and find new bloggers you like to follow.
I’m mostly writing about JPA and Hibernate on my own blog, and I publish 2-3 new posts every week. I try to provide a good mixture of posts for beginners, intermediate and advanced developers so that everyone can find a solution for her/his current problem and learn something new.
You can also download several cheat sheets and ebooks about topics like Hibernate best practices or Hibernate’s new Java 8 support from my free library.
Heinz Kabutz is writing his monthly newsletter for more than 16 years, now. This one is a good read for all advanced Java developers who want to learn more about Java performance and concurrency.
Baeldung is one of the bigger sites in the Java ecosystem. Each month, Eugen and his team publish more than 30 posts about Spring and other Java topics suited for beginners to advanced developers. I always find something new and interesting to read when I visit his site.
He also publishes a great weekly newsletter, called the Java Web Weekly. It highlights interesting posts which Eugen and his team found on other websites.
You might know jOOQ as a framework to define SQL queries, but that’s not the only thing you can find on its website. Lukas Eder also writes a great blog with posts about Java, SQL, and general software development issues like licensing and naming things. If you are a developer who needs to persist data in a relational database, just want to learn more about software development with Java, or like the occasional, well-written rant, you should read Lukas’ blog.
Adam Bien is a well-known conference speaker, author, and trainer. He is also a prolific blogger who regularly publishes short examples on how to implement certain tasks with Java and Java EE. This blog is a good read for all developers working with Java EE.
Vlad Mihalcea is Hibernate’s developer advocate and writes regularly about Hibernate and related topics. His blog is another great resource if you have some experience with Hibernate and want to learn more about it.
Romain Manni-Bucau is a software engineer at Tomitribe and Committer of the Apache Software Foundation for several Java EE projects. It’s not a surprise that he also writes good blog posts about Java EE. I highly recommend his blog to all Java EE developers.
InfoQ is not exactly a blog, but they publish so many great posts and videos about Java, that I have to recommend them.
10. Takipi Blog
The team at Takipi is publishing a lot of interesting posts about core Java topics. It’s a company blog, and you can find a few posts and references to their product, but that doesn’t affect the educational value of their well-written posts. I recommend this blog to all Java developers who like to learn more about logging, exceptions, and other interesting Java features.
Good Resources That Didn’t Make the Cut
If you’re working with Spring or if you’re interested in unit testing, you probably know Petri Kainulainen. He writes good posts about these topics and his Java Testing Weekly newsletter features high-quality posts he found on other blogs.
The only reason I didn’t include him in the top 10 is that in most weeks, he only publishes his weekly newsletter and no in-depth tutorial as he did in the past. As soon as he resumes to write tutorial posts, he is definitely on my top 10 list.
In the first half of 2016, Nicolai Parlog (yes, the same guy who’s taking care of this Java channel) wrote a lot of great posts mostly about Java 9, especially Jigsaw, and JUnit 5. Based on these posts, he would also be a strong candidate for the top 10 list. Unfortunately, he had a bunch of good reasons to post less on his personal blog so that it barely missed the cut. Sorry, Nicolai! ;)
The JDK mailing lists host a lot of interesting discussions, but you need to be an advanced Java developer to get the most out of it. These discussions are also most often about new Java features which you can’t use immediately.
These were my 10 recommendations for Java blogs you should follow in 2017. All of them provide high-quality content that will improve your understanding of Java and the frameworks you use on a daily basis. So, don’t wait any longer. Pick a few you’re interested in (I hope that includes Sitepoint and my own blog ;-) ) and start your reading habit.
And if you already read a blog that should be part of this list, please post a comment below or tell me about it on Twitter.