What are the Must Follow Resources for Developers?

The sites and newsletters for developers that I follow.

The other day, the Node.js Twitter account asked what resources developers use to learn about JavaScript, web development and app development.

This is a topic that I have revisited from time, but the list tends to change regularly as sites and newsletters come and go or they change in ways that make them more or less useful (to me). Today I will focus specifically on two types of developers resources:

I have organized these into the resources that I, personally, always check/read (i.e. daily for sites or every issue for newsletters), frequently do (i.e. weekly or about every other issue), occasionally (i.e. less than once a week for sites or less than once a month for newsletters) and rarely (i.e. I still check it or subscribe but only read infrequently).

Don’t Get Insulted

Some things I should note before anyone gets upset.

First, this is my personal preference. It depends heavily on what I do for a living. So, for instance, I don’t do a lot of design or CSS for example, so even if I do still subscribe or check a site, a design-focused site will tend to be lower on my own list in terms of its usefulness.

Second (and this is especially relevant to newsletters), if I really find a site or newsletter not useful at all - I don’t even bother checking it - ever. This means it won’t make the list. And if I found a newsletter useless, I unsubscribe. The sites and newsletters I’ve included (even in the “rarely” section) are there because you may find them useful in your work or interests.

Aggregators

Personally, I still rely on RSS for much of my reading, but even then aggregation sites can be a useful tool to keep up with sources that I may not be aware of.

Always

EchoJS
EchoJS is, as the name implies, focused on JavaScript and other related articles. It allows community submission, voting and commenting. It is very open about this, which means that some garbage sometimes makes it through, but these are usually obvious and get voted down fairly quickly. The commenting is usually fairly empty or light (though infrequently it can get intense).

Front-End Front
Front-End Front is focused on front-end development, so it includes some similar topics as EchoJS, but also tends to have more general web design and development articles, while EchoJS is more focused specifically on JavaScript programming. It also allows community submissions, voting and commenting, though I rarely see any comments and it seems to keep the front-page clear of spammy posts.s

Collective by CoDrops
Unlike the above sites, Collective is a twice-weekly post that is manually curated. It does include some sponsored content, but these are generally on-topic and clearly indicated. The links tend to lean more towards web design, but cover a wide-range of topics including programming, design, work culture and more.

Frequently

JavaScript Live
JavaScript Live is part of Cooper Press, that publishes JavaScript Weekly. If you want your post considered for JavaScript Weekly, this is the place to post it. Anyone can post a link or comment but there aren’t any voting features, so it can be prone to spam from time to time.

Lobsters
Lobsters is like Hacker News if it were specific to programming. Lobsters tends to surface up very deep technical articles. You must be invited to join the community and, in my experience, it can be a little harsh and unwelcoming at times.

Hacker News
I probably don’t even need to explain Hacker News to you. You know what it is and that it can be a bit overwhelming in terms of the pace of content, the broad range of topics and the comments thread, which has well-deserved infamy.

Occasionally

Crater.io
This site functions in a similar fashion to most of the other aggregators, but the voting and commenting from the community seems rare.

WebDesignerNews
The usual features (posting recommendations, commenting and voting), though the posts are not automatic but manually curated. It is, as the name implies, much more web design rather than web development focused - thus why I don’t visit as often.

JavaScriptKicks
Anyone can sign up to submit a feed to be monitored or post a URL, though there is no commenting or voting and the activity seems light.

Rarely

DZone
Yes, DZone allows links but they seem to be more focused on their own content rather than serving as a useful aggregator (which is fine, just not what I’m looking for - plus, they tend to be ad-heavy).

Reddit
Personally, I find the Reddit community to be unwelcoming to the point of being unhelpful. Sorry for you Reddit fans.

Newsletters

Want your content pushed to you rather than having to go look for it? Well, the good news is that there are tons of useful newsletters. The bad news is that there are so many nowadays, you could inundate your inbox.

Always

JavaScript Weekly
The most popular of the newsletters listed here is still, in my opinion, the best. The Cooper Press crew knows how to curate a newsletter (I mean, they have a ton of them) and has always kept this one relevant.

Frontend Focus
Another Cooper Press newsletter, but with more web standards, HTML, CSS and related technologies (it used to be HTML5 Weekly).

Mobile Dev Weekly
Curated by yours truly, along with my good friend Holly Schinsky and the Cooper Press crew. We focus on anything mobile development (mobile web, hybrid, JavaScript native solutions and native development). We used to be purely mobile web focused but have broadened the topics a bit.

History of the Web
I think having an understanding of history gives us insight into the present. And if you want to be a web developer, it can be useful to look at the (short) history of the web. Plus, this newsletter, on top of being useful, is always fun to read.

Web Design Weekly
As the name implies, this is much more design-focused, but tends to include a lot of front-end development topics and is very-well curated.

Frequently

ES.Next News
This is a relatively recent newsletter being curated by Dr. Axel Rauschmayer. It is usually very tidy (by that I mean, very focused on its topic and includes a limited set of links). If you are especially interested in the JavaScript language, it is recommended.

Responsive Web Design Weekly
While RWD and just regular web design may be indistinguishable nowadays, this newsletter still offers some solid links. It’s web with a mobile tilt and some design.

CSS Weekly
Another very good newsletter, which I would read more if CSS and design were my focus. Zoran keeps the links to no more than ten, making it quick and easy to find those relevant to you.

Occasionally

Serverless Status
This is partly curated by my friend Raymond Camden along with Cooper Press. Even if it isn’t a primary resource for me personally, as I delve into the serverless space, I am relying on it more.

WDRL
The Web Design Reading List by Anselm Hannemann is good in that it has a limited number of links but also tries to offer context to them. It covers a wide-range of topics, so there’s not always information that is pertinent to me, but still worth checking out.

HeyDesigner
HeyDesigner’s weekly newsletter is worth subscribing to if you are more design focused, even though it does include some more general web development related topics each week.

O’Reilly Web Newsletter
O’Reilly’s web newsletter is good in that it offers a longer form summary of the limited list of links included. I think it might be more useful to me, personally, if I didn’t already subscribe to the above because, by the time it arrives, I’ve often seen the articles I care about that it includes.

Rarely

Note that all of these are actually good newsletters, or else I would have unsubscribed. As I note below, it’s just that they generally cover topics that aren’t always as relevant to me specifically.

O’Reilly Programming News
Not a bad newsletter, just a very broad range of topics that aren’t always relevant to me personally.

PonyFoo
This is curated by Nicolás Bevacqua. The links are usually very deep technical articles that tend to be a bit over my head or above my skill level (or both). If you are smarter than I am though, it’s worth a read.

Vue.js Radar
This is a well done newsletter with a very singular focus. I don’t tend to subscribe to framework-specific newsletters, but if you are heavily focused on Vue, this could be worth a read.

CSS Animation Weekly
I actually enjoy perusing this article as I wish that I had time, energy and enough artistic ability to do animation. If you do, I definitely recommend it.