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Old 03-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Your preferred online/offline resource

Obviously every programmer has already found a solution for keeping up with the ever increasing pace and amount of knowledge this industry forces you to get into your brain.

I think there is many ways to accomplish that and that each of us knows a group/website/book new to others.

Additionally, I assume the question "how to start learning XYZ" might come up quite regularly in this subforum.

So give us your insights.

My resources are basic and probably outdated, so I'm eager to learn about all the things that passed by me.


The quality of the whole publisher is really completely outstanding to me.

You often find the authors of the language themselves writing the compendiums for Oreilly. That makes it not necessarily the most beginner friendly books, but often the definite and ultimate resource to a topic.

How the information is presented to the reader is very constant, even trough completely different topics and book series. When you get into it, it works really like a kind of learning system already.
When there's a new big topic like Python some years ago, you can rely on them being the first to deliver high quality content in book form. Not only that, but even in a specific, logical order as for instance their priority is to get out a compendium for early adopters, then an introduction (not necessarily beginner friendly), then smaller books about certain specifics, then the example "cookbooks", the pocket guide, etc ...

You can trust in them only publishing top quality books/authors, like 2p2.

2. My bookmarks.html - one specific link to the answer of every question I've asked the internet.
Sometimes 10 entries just linking to 10 anchors on the same page. All bookmark titles defined as questions/statements with date in the title and heavy use of the comments box.
Maybe my most precious possession.

3. Conventions. Ultimate nerd gatherings. Everyone talks binary fluently, drinks only black coffee and some hotels are even so nice to dim the lights because some can't stand the brightness of real life.
But in between all the social awkwardness going on, you just meet this guy who says something in a way you never would have thought of, just because his brain works different and gives you an invaluable lesson without even knowing it.

4. / IRC - now nearly completely replaced by

It's like cheating, because you usually don't learn anything, but gets things done.

5. I press F1 as very first action whenever I start a new program for the first time.

How is the information flow in your company/job?
Do they actively support you to get with the time or just expect the same amount of lines every day?

Do you care about all the new inventions and try to incorporate new programs/modules/techniques into your skillset or is "never touch a running system" valid for every aspect of life?

Last edited by wellju; 03-26-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

+1 to stackoverflow

I still default to Ctrl+E, but almost always end up on SO in short order
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

Aside from what has already been mentioned reddit can be good. /r/programming/, /r/coding/, etc.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
+2 to stackoverflow
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

Originally Posted by tesuji View Post
Aside from what has already been mentioned reddit can be good. /r/programming/, /r/coding/, etc.
absolutely. also there are reddits for specific languages.

/r/ruby/ and /r/python/ to name a few.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

+3 stackoverflow, I use it daily. Even answering basic questions you sometimes learn something. You basically just learn real world problem type stuff just by reading. If you can learn to enjoy reading it your going to have a great start.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: Your preferred online/offline resource

Trivial but I'll say it regardless:
The most usefull thing is having a quickreference/language reference for whatever language you use and all libraries. It is without a doubt my number 1 advice I'd give to any newcomer.
I have one tab open with the language reference and one for every not builtin library I use. Getting familiar with the stuff saves you time and you don't reinvent wheels (and usually the examples shown will also help you get used to typical language idioms).

Before you do something, check if theres libraries you can reuse. Then try to find an "introduction to library X" article and make sure you understand the most important parts of the library. It's never wasted time to just browse all objects etc. and see what's provided

Simple example for my current project:
Standard library of the language you use+version:
Reference for other libraries you use:
Example of a good "intro to library" text:

My most usefull offline resources (books) are usually not related to the language itself but rather the craft of programming.
"Code Complete" is a book every programmers should own and reread every now and then and check their code against it. It's basically a summary of good coding practices
"Object Oriented Design Heuristics" is also very usufull if you work in OOP
Same for "Pragmatic Programmer", "Design Patterns" etc.
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