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How Do You Keep Up?

By Kyle Vermeulen

One of the things we’ve been discussing at SitePoint lately is the best way to keep up with the insane number of dev-related things coming out each day. Between new frameworks, languages, techniques, updates, news and trends, it’s getting increasingly hard to separate the signal from the noise.

It can be overwhelming.

So how do you keep up with all things dev?

I asked twitter. Here are some of the replies:

Even @sitepointdotcom (who?) weighed in:

And my personal favorite, from Myles…

At SitePoint we rely heavily on chat application Slack. Aside from having — you know — work conversations, we have a bunch of channels we use to chat about all manner of other stuff (realtalk: there’s one dedicated to discovering whether anyone feels like fried chicken). One of the ones we use the most is called #random, and we use it to share interesting links, ideas, The Rock’s diet, the occasional debate about Jay-Z’s new streaming service, and if the Googles should buy the Twitters.

But the problem is, Slack is an fast-moving medium. Just like Twitter, if you’re away for a few days, or busy, the conversation moves on. It’s also not great for discussing code, and it’s generally pretty noisy.

We’ve been thinking about this. Between daily newsletter Versioning, the forums, and Learnable, our aim is to to help you stay ahead of the game. We think there’s more we can do. More on that soon.

In the meantime, I’d be keen to hear how you keep up?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

More:

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Comments
chrisofarabia

Versioning and Twitter for the most part, oh and you lot here...

mawburn

Reddit and Hacker News, mostly. I check both several times a day and between the 2 there isn't much left for anything else. As soon as something new or big happens, you're going to probably hear about it on one of those 2 before other sites start picking it up from the source.

Hacker News:
https://news.ycombinator.com/news

Main reddit subs:
http://reddit.com/r/programming
http://reddit.com/r/javascript
http://reddit.com/r/webdev
http://reddit.com/r/web_design

I follow a lot of others too, but most of the dev related content will be found there. Reddit is pretty nice, because you can get the top from the last X period of time.

http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/top/?sort=top&t=week

I'm not afraid to admit that I don't understand the appeal or usefulness of Twitter. It seems like you would have to wade through a ton of junk for any useful content.

chrisofarabia

It's really down to who you choose to follow. If their feed goes stale, then just drop them. Mine is a curious mix of web-related accounts and ones dedicated to life in the English Lake District. The latter constantly feeds me with images of the place I feel most at home in.

mawburn

It's really down to who you choose to follow. If their feed goes stale, then just drop them.

Yeah, it just always seemed like a lot of work to keep a feed interesting. Finding and following new people, reading through tons of junk you don't care about. And then there's the fact that you need to follow individual people/entities, instead of groups of people... I just don't get it.

I also use Google+ some, but I mostly use the community feature there. It's actually a pretty good way to keep up with things from specific Frameworks, Libraries, or Applications. I don't really use the feed so much there, I just check up on specific communities every now and again.

ndaidong

After Google Reader shutdown, I have to use my own tool: http://techpush.net/

Google+, Twitter and something like http://fomo.link/ are also the good ways to keep up.

AurelioDeRosa

For me Twitter is one of the most valuable sources to stay updated.

rvinay88

This has been a constant thought in my head for a very long time. Most people I spoke to said they use a combination of a feeds (RSS feeds, twitter streams, reddit and hackernews) and a queueing app (like pocket, instapaper or whatever). Through the day keep hitting mark as read on all the noise. Queue all the important stuff for reading that night.

Mark all as read anything you didn't get to read within that day.

There's only about 20% good stuff that you need to really look at. The test for that comes from how often it has been mentioned. Like when react came out, I was like "Oh great! Another framework". Then, a lot of good developers I respect started recommending it and I had to check it out.

Even taking just the sitepoint blog into account, there's just way too much information to take in within a day. There are a few newsletters that are interesting - one that sends you only one link a day. Or all the top frameworks this week etc. But they all have an inherent problem of categorization. Top 10 of what? All web dev? Then things I care about don't make it to the top. Just Sass? Then it's too much of sass stuff.

Would love for a curated list of top posts by statistics for each section and go through that on a weekly basis. But I guess you guys must already be doing that?

kyle_vermeulen

Totally agree. I love Reddit for keeping up on some stuff, but mostly stick to the front page and /r/melbourne for local things, as there's not an easy way to filter things.

We've heard that feedback on Versioning too—most people skip over certain sections/topics that they just aren't interested in.

We've got a project underway that aims to help you and separate the signal from the noise (for the specific things you care about). If you subscribe to Versioning, you'll get the updates when we're ready for test users! smile

Thanks for your comment.

mawburn

Here's a new show by the Google Developers YouTube Channel. The first episode was just launched yesterday.

It's fast paced and concise, with just enough info for you to Google for more articles on stuff that catches your interest (assuming you stay up to date). I think I'm in love.

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