Saturday, April 07, 2007


Influential Software Development Blogs

Like many developers, I read several blogs every day. Not quite as many as I’d like, and certainly not as many as Robert Scoble, who by his own account reads 1000. This seems a tad high to me, as it works out to be 16+ hours a day if you spend just 1 minute at each blog (8.3 hours if you spend just 30 seconds reading each one).

Here are the ones I think have influenced me more than others (although it was a hard task to reduce this list from around seventy to just six). I’m sure many of you read these already:

Kathy Sierra: Kathy’s blog is insightful, entertaining and big on content and ideas. She is one of the visionarys behind O'Reilly's Head First series of books. The focus is designing great software by creating passionate users. How do we do that? By writing software that really helps the user at each step of a task. The difference between good software and great software is the way it makes users feel. Empower them to be great and do a great job! Recently, she has stopped blogging, but I’m sure she will start again…

Scott Hanselman: Scott and his army of Hanselman clones(!) have covered just about every topic under the sun. Does he ever sleep? He covers pretty much everything including design, development and architecture. I’ve had more than one epiphany at Scott’s blog. His Hanselminutes webcasts are great. Go and grok him!

Jeff Atwood: Jeff has an easy, very enjoyable writing style. Jeff covers a diverse range of topics. Always food for thought and excellent, balanced observations. He never ceases to amaze with his originality and breadth of subject matter.

Scott Guthrie: For ASP.NET you can’t pass this blog by. Superb! Scott’s PDC presentations never fail to entertain and get his points across. His Tip/Tricks section is required reading for all ASP.NET developers. Scott is a program manager for so many areas of .NET, you be forgiven for assuming he’s also been cloned!

ArcCast hosted by Ron Jacobs, has a large number of podcasts and webcasts available, with an architectural flavour but also covers other topics such as usability. Great resource! I met Ron when we were lucky enough to have him present here in Perth, and he’s an amazing guy.

Joel Spolsky: not as active as it once was, but Joel’s archive is worth reading. Try reading his Unicode article…The first time I read it, I felt so dumb!... I have several of his collections of essays on software development in hard copy, but most of the material is free to read on his site.

These six blogs cover many of the important areas that developers are required to be familiar with. Who do you read?


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