Five Best Ways for Web Developers to Stay Current

We all have childhood memories that stay with us, for one reason or another. For me, one of these memories involves visits to the doctor.

Specifically, what stood out to me during these visits was the fact that the doctor used to always interrupt an examination, leave the room, and then come back again.

For years, I wondered what that was all about. Until, one day, after a session was over, I walked into the hallway past a door that was slightly ajar. I peaked in, and was flabbergasted by what I saw. In this room, strewn across tables, chairs, the floor — you name it — were medical books. They were all over the place.

At this instance, I then realized that the doctor used to leave during sessions and go into this office in order to look up what might be ailing me. In other words, even the most educated among us need to continually keep current with their profession.

This is as true with web developers as it is with doctors. However, probably the last thing you want to do when with a client is leave and look things up in books. Instead, the challenge for web developers is to keep current so that those visits with clients remain smooth and effortless.

Here are some specific ways that web-development pros can stay current with their profession.

  1. Blogs

That blogs (originating from the term weblogs) have been around since the beginning of the internet explosion testifies to their enduring appeal. Blogs offer regular, familiar and authoritative content for particular consumers, including web developers.

Specifically in the field of web development, there is no shortage of blogs that offer timely and engaging content on various aspects in the field. For example, A List Apart is a magazine/blog that has covered all aspects of making websites since 1997. It has a special focus on web standards and best practices, which should be of particular interest to web-development pros wanting to keep up with their trade.

Like many web-development blogs, Six Revisions started out as a traditional blog, but has branched out somewhat to become a general news site for professionals in the field of web development. The site is targeted towards developers and web designers, with a focus on both websites and apps.

  1. YouTube

One of the great features of YouTube is that it provides an easily accessible platform for anyone that wants to create video content. This includes video tutorials, which can be incredibly helpful in fields such as web development and web design, where a more hands-on approach might be needed for learning.

TheNewBoston is one such YouTube channel and provides guidance on a wide range of web development and related topics for very broad audience. In fact, as of this writing, TheNewBoston has over 1 million subscribers. So, if there’s a web-development process you’ve been dying to learn, this is probably the place to find it.

Adam Khoury is another destination for fans of the YouTube method of web-development learning. This video channel offers tutorials on topics that focus on coding and design, as well as a laundry list of web-development technologies, including JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS and ActionScript.

  1. Twitter

One of the signature attractions of social media is imbedded in the name itself: it’s a media platform that’s, well, very social. So, while there is no shortage of technical information available on Twitter, it can also give you a glimpse into what some web-development gurus are actually like.

Meet Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla. Eich’s Twitter feed is regularly updated, contains his take on various issue related to web-development, as well as what he’s like as a person. For example, the man likes hockey.

Interested in something a little more trade oriented? Codrops is a Twitter feed that provides updates on web-development tutorials, news, insights and resources. So, if there’s a specific web-development or web-design topic you’d like timely information on, Codrops might be a good choice to follow on Twitter.

  1. Newsletters

The newsletter is another seemingly ageless media platform. In fact, newsletters have made the transition quite nicely from print to digital, a trend that also comes with some caveats. Before you know it, your inbox could be littered with unwanted spam. So, be careful what you sign up for. In the web-development field, here are a couple of trusted newsletter sources:

JavaScript Weekly, as the name suggests, provides a weekly email roundup of everything new in the wonderful world of the JavaScript programming language. While there is no shortage of newsletters that want to tackle your inbox multiple times a day, JavaScript Weekly hits the sweet spot of once a week, and is a go-to destination for web-developers to stay updated on JavaScript.

Hacker Newsletter is another weekly source of information for web development professionals — focusing specifically on industry developments related to startups, technology and programming. Although this newsletter gets its content from the main website, subscribers often read material in the email that they missed on the site.

  1. Forums

Internet discussion forums have also been around for a while, and they’re still around because they offer the topic specificity of blogs and news sites while also featuring the personal interactivity of social media. Basically, if you’re in need of answers to specific web-development questions, a web forum is your destination.

One such destination is webdeveloper.com, which, you guessed it, is a source for digital discussions on topics ranging from HTML, XML and CMS to graphics, design and mobile apps. The topic of JavaScript alone has almost 500,000 posts in over 100,000 threads, with 231 people viewing at the very moment of this writing.

Another forum destination for web-development aficionados is the KirupaForum, which is attached to the main Kirupa website that has been instructing web developers and web designers since 1998. The forum itself has a unique structure. All threads are on one page, so you can scroll down forever. But filtering can be done up top according to most recent, number of replies, categories and other variables.

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