At a recent Brighton Alt.Net the question came up “What learning resources do people use to continuously learn?”, as a result of that I thought I’d write up the main resources I use day to day. Someone made a reference to a quote by Elon Musk that he made in a Reddit AMA which I thought made a lot of sense
I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.
One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.
Anyway on to my go to learning resources for programming and tech related “things”. This list has a main focus on .Net as that’s my primary field however there are a lot of more general resources here too….
I like the way podcasts can fit very easily into a normal daily routine. I can normally listen to at least one a day whilst doing other activities like cooking or walking the dog.
- .Net Rocks! Mainly focuses on .Net dev but also often have speakers on from other fields. Also do a lot of “Geek Out” episodes discussing things like Fusion Power and Whisky….
- Herding Code Features K. Scott Allen, Kevin Dente, Scott Koon and Jon Galloway. Again Mainly .Net focused but do often discuss other things.
- HanselMinutes Each week Scott interviews a different guest to discuss Tech, Programming, Education and many other topics.
- RunAsRadio The sister podcast of .Net Rocks! focusing more on the IT Systems side of things
- This Developers Life In their words “A podcast about developers and their lives”. Hosted by Scott Hanselman and Rob Connery.
- Stack Exchange This used to have a lot of developer chat as they were developing the site which has dropped off as of late but is still interesting to hear what these guys are doing.
I “Still” use an RSS reader and skim through about 30 blogs on it each morning to star the posts that look interesting to me. In reality out of about 10 posts that appear each day I probably read 2 or 3. I’m not going to list all the blogs I subscribe to but here are the ones I get the most out of
- Scott Hanselman .Net, Web Dev, Technology, Eduction…..
- Microsoft .Net Web Development .Net Web Dev
- Coding4Fun Robotics, Games, Electronics, Net…
- Jon Skeet C#
- Martin Fowler Design Patterns and Programming Practises
- Rob Conery A bit of everything Node, Postgres, .Net, ORM’s
- Scott Gu Azure, .Net Web Dev
- Julie Lerman Data Farm Entity Framework
- Troy Hunt Security, Azure, Web Development
- Jessie Liberty Xamarin
- Thimbleweed Park A blog on the development of the Thimbleweed Park Game from the creators of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. Mainly for entertainment value but interesting to see how they’re building a game from the ground up.
I’ve moved most of my book library to EBooks now but there are a few books that really stand out to me that I still insist on having physical copies of. I’ve no idea why but they just feel too special to not have a place on my shelf. These books are
- Charles Pretzold - Code Anyone with any interest in computers should ready this! It strips away all the abstractions and goes in to detail about how a computer works from the metal up (Binary, Logic Gates, ALU’s….)
- Jon Skeet - C# In Depth By far the best C# book I’ve read.
- Jeffrey Richter - CLR via C# I was using .Net for many years without every really thinking about how the CLR works or what it really does. This book changed that and goes in to an amazing level of detail.
- Steve McConnell - Code Complete Probably accepted by most as one of the best books on programming practises.
- Robert C Martin (Uncle Bob) - Clean code I put this in the same category as Code Complete and find they go well together.
I was a subscriber of TekPub since day one and have had a subscription to Pluralsight since TekPub got bought by them. The amount of courses that get released on there each week is impressive to say the least. I find them to be a great resource for both “Quick get up to speed on x” and “Learn the internals of x inside out”. The main downside is there simply isn’t enough time to watch all the courses.
I highly recommend the plus subscription as the assessments and exercise files can really help. I always do the pre assessments to find out what gaps I have in my knowledge around a subject, then take the post assessment after the course to compare.