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There are so many (good) programming blogs out there. Some of them are consistent in what they post - as in they stick to programming topics. Some of them occasionally post on other unrelated topics. Also, not every programming post might be relevant to me. I might have read one good post once, and not wishing to miss any future good ones - subscribed to the blog. Subscribing to too many blog feeds usually leads to just skimming through all of them (which takes time as well). Another option might be to subscribe to aggregators, like Hacker News - but that too has a huge rate of link accumulation.

How do you manage if you wish to keep up with the programming blogosphere and still maintain a good signal to noise ratio?

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-1 for using the word 'blogosphere.' :) –  Fosco Sep 16 '10 at 15:51
    
@Fosco: What's a better option? :) –  talonx Sep 16 '10 at 16:06
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I am partial to intertubes. –  ChaosPandion Sep 16 '10 at 16:14
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You very quickly learn which ones are just notes from their own learning experiences, and which ones actually have things to teach. Stop reading the first kind the minute it happens. –  user1249 May 8 '12 at 16:35
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7 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Here is the kicker... don't. To be honest I read most programming blogs for entertainment and really don't learn much from them. What you need to do is pick a topic (In my case it is currently parser combinators.) then pick a language (F#). Then invoke your learning method:

Topic topic = new Topic("parser combinators");
Language language = new Language("F#");
bool bored = false;
while (!bored)
{
    Research research = DoSomeResearch(topic);
    Code code = WriteSomeCode(research, language);
    bored = Synthesize(research, code);  
}
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+1 for entertainment. Without realizing it most of the time, I do the same. –  talonx Sep 16 '10 at 15:36
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good advise. Learning things with interest can last you longer. –  logoin Sep 16 '10 at 15:59
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I have a list of rss feeds that I go through with google reader. If its something I'm interested in I'll skim the article and decide whether its worth reading or not. If its something I want to read then I usually post it to delicious so that I can read it later, otherwise I just mark it has read and move on. It tends to be a good way to build up a set of links for reading later.

I can then take the links and run ChaosPandion's algorithm on them. :-)

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I do this, but sometimes have trouble getting back to the list to actually read the things on it. –  Anna Lear Sep 16 '10 at 15:54
    
@Anna - true. I used to do this as bookmarks in Firefox and my to-read list used to grow and soon I had months old stuff in it in which I had lost interest. Now I follow a strict policy of not more than 4 links in that list at a time. Seems to be working. –  talonx Sep 16 '10 at 16:05
    
Go for it, I made it open source for a reason. I pay 1 / 2 ^ 8 dollars for each bug you report! –  ChaosPandion Sep 16 '10 at 16:27
    
Yeah, you do leave some stuff that you don't get too. Even the stuff I don't get too, I usually end up searching through it to find that one thing I need while I'm working on something. –  mwgriffith Sep 16 '10 at 17:01
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I don't. Seriously. I gave up. I have accepted the overload and I accept the frustration by not be able to read all I want.

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Except for a very select group of people, namely, Joel Spolsky, Paul Graham, and Jeff Atwood, I don't read any programming blogs. Waste of time. I just read books. (And the first two people I mentioned are published authors whose blog entries have ended up in books.)

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If you have an iPhone, then give Instapaper a go. In your browser, you can say you want to read an article/blog/webpage later, and it'll add that to your account which syncs with your iPhone. You effectively then have a list of articles on your iPhone that you know you want to read. It means that you can read them away from your computer - great for when you're on the loo!

I've recently started my own blog, and wrote an article about exactly this:
http://www.coderhell.com/2010/google-reader-instapaper-iphone-combo/

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Instapaper is useful even without a phone and there are unofficial applications for Android as well. –  Adam Byrtek Sep 16 '10 at 21:57
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I have a tab on my main Netvibes dashboard that contains this site's RSS feed, then those from StackOverflow, and many other Emacs- and free software-friendly sites. I browse that while I'm having my morning tea. At lunch I browse Wordpress. I don't feel like it's overload at all.

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I really don't focus on a particular blog. I'm thinking about following Joel Spolsky as I keep getting search results for his blog.

My main focus is working with tutorials, watching tech videos and reading through computer books.

As far as the blogs, they are great when I find one that solves a particular issue I'm working with. Many times they have been a life saver, but I just don't have time to focus on blogs in and of themselves as a learning tool or for keeping up with trends and new things in software development.

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