David Chappell


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Keeping Up: My Current Favorite Resources  
# Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The central challenge in our profession is keeping up with technology change. Whatever your job, wherever you are in your career, you need to learn lots of new things every year. If you don't, your career is guaranteed to be suboptimal (and probably short).

Along with following the right people on Twitter and reading the trade press, I've come to depend on two subscription services:
  • Safari Books Online: For about the cost of one technical book a month, I now have access to an enormous library of current titles on pretty much every subject. Technical blog posts are useful, but for really understanding something, nothing beats a good book. Everybody in IT should subscribe to this service--it's just great.
  • Pluralsight: Live training seminars can be wonderful and inspiring, but they're also expensive and time consuming. Web-based training has taken over much of this market, and Pluralsight appears to be the leader. Their audio-over-slides style is simple and works well, and their library is large and growing. I'm especially impressed with how rapidly they get courses posted on hot new topics. And like Safari, their monthly subscription fee for individuals is about the same as buying one book a month, something that all of us should be doing anyway. I've done a couple of courses for Pluralsight, so I get the service for free, but even if this weren't true, I'd happily be a paying subscriber.
Along with these, I'm always looking for new ways to keep up. What are your favorite ways to stay current? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

2 comments :: Post a Comment



I think you hit the nail on the head with Twitter and PluralSight. I use both pretty much daily for staying on top of new trends. In fact I just finished the Cloud Computing course on Pluralsight that you authored!

A few more resources I would mention would be net.tutsplus.com, and stackoverflow.com. Nettuts is a little less organized than Pluralsight, but you can find tutorials on just about anything there. And stackoverflow.com is just a highly moderated Q&A site, but man... pretty much every question I've had about any programming problem has had a hit or 10 on stackoverflow.com

Stackoverflow is a great source, Ethan--you're right--although I was unaware of net.tutsplus.com. Thanks very much!

About my Pluralsight cloud computing course: I did that a while ago, and it's gotten sadly out of date. I'm hoping to create a new version sometime soon, but in the meantime, be aware that vendor offerings have changed quite a bit (e.g., both Google and Microsoft now offer IaaS).

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