Blog author Dan Poirier looking at an e-reader

I keep up with what's happening in my field by following a number of blogs and an occasional email list. I don't read everything posted in all of these, but by scanning the topics in a feed reader, I can keep up with what's going on, without wasting a lot of time.

The Caktus Group Blog

Caktus's technical blog called "Developer Access," which you're reading now, regularly includes detailed technical posts based on our experience building and deploying complex websites and web apps. (Full disclosure: Of course, I write for it, as do many other Caktus employees.)

Hacker News Daily

Hacker News Daily is a helper for following the Hacker News site, which links to information all over the Internet ranging from interesting new software, to life as a developer, to the interaction between government and the technology business. Hacker News can be a big time sink if you try to follow it directly. Instead, the Hacker News Daily blog helps by daily posting a list of the top ten articles on Hacker News that haven't appeared there previously.

Bulletproof TLS Newsletter

The Bulletproof TLS Newsletter is an email list, not a blog. Messages are sent monthly, and cover the biggest news in the TLS component of web security. This is where I've learned about things like misbehaving certificate authorities, reductions in the maximum valid lifetime of certificates, and deprecations of old algorithms, etc.

Troy Hunt's Blog

Troy Hunt's blog provides a nice complement to the Bulletproof TLS Newsletter, covering current developments in web security. (Troy also runs the Have I Been Pwned website, which anyone with accounts on the Internet should be familiar with to get alerts if their accounts might have been compromised.)

The Django Weblog

The Django weblog announces new releases, and from time to time shares other valuable information.

Lincoln Loop Blog

The Lincoln Loop Blog comes from another Django development company. It's low volume (a few posts a year), but it's usually excellent quality.

Flavio Copes

At the other end of the volume spectrum from Lincoln Loop, Flavio Copes posts something short every day, with tutorial-level information about whatever technical subject he's been learning about lately. In the few weeks just before I write this, it has ranged from Javascript, to how UDP, TCP, and DNS work, to using an Arduino to program embedded systems. Of course, not everything he writes about is of particular interest to me, but there's enough to make it worthwhile for me to keep an eye on his blog.

Python Bytes Blog

The Python Bytes blog posts the show notes for their weekly podcast, "Python Bytes." I enjoy seeing each week what their topics are, and often follow one or more links to learn more about something that looks interesting.

Planet Python

I debated whether to include Planet Python in this list. It's an uncurated aggregation of posts from other blogs. It's higher volume than most blogs, with eight to ten posts a day, and it's not very focused except that everything is related to Python somehow. But I find it easy enough to scan the topics in my blog reader, and just read the occasional one that looks interesting.

How I Follow Blogs and Newsletters

I am a paying customer of the blog aggregator Inoreader. I've tried some others and find Inoreader works best for me. I can navigate efficiently from my keyboard, I can follow Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, and recently they added support for email newsletters.

What About Podcasts?

For whatever reason, I seem to prefer keeping up with my industry by reading rather than listening. The podcasts I listen to primarily cover science and politics. Plus Car Talk, of course.

Wrapping Up

A lot of material goes by in these blogs, and the key to following them efficiently is using a feed reader so that I can see them all in one place, scan the article titles, and just read the ones that look interesting.

If you'd like to follow all these blogs at once, I set up a custom RSS feed that you can subscribe to in your feed reader. Or if you'd just like to import these feeds into your reader (adding them individually to your subscriptions), here's a list of the subscriptions, exported as OPML, that most readers should allow you to import.

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