J.Kirchartz Web Yinzer

Staying on Top of Web Technology

I wrote this piece in October of 2011 for the Songwhale Blog, re-posting it here for prosperity.

The times they are a-changin’. Every day our technology becomes more advanced as we push into the future; it wasn’t too long ago that yahoo looked like this and an iPod held 512mb, five years before that NewsWeek published an article skeptical that anyone would choose to read electronic publications. The future is coming, and if you want to fight it we’ll read your comments 15 years later and laugh hysterically. The web has proven itself to be a living creature, mutating every day as people discover new uses for the web’s core technologies, and browsers become more advanced to handle new additions like html5 and css3.

You’ve gotta stay on top of these things and change as the web changes. Of course it’s ridiculous to assume you can figure out all these things yourself, so let’s refer to the internets’ hive-mind.

Javascript and HTML have been with the web since the beginning so they’re kind of a big deal. Weekly updates on what’s new in the world of Javascript and HTML5 are available from Javascript Weekly and HTML5 weekly, all the industry’s rock-stars have something good to say about these newsletters. Another excellent resource is Hacker Newsletter, a weekly best-of selection of articles from Hacker News. This one covers the web, as well as software and hardware news and other topics of interest to computer geeks. There are many more newsletters out there worth reading though, so if your inbox is screaming “Feed Me!” you should check out this list at Smashing Magazine.

If newsletters are not your thing, or not enough A List Apart and Smashing Magazine offer a lot of free information on web technologies and techniques. Smashing magazine’s daughter-blog Noupe has an A.D.D.-like selection covering all areas of design, development, inspiration, and tutorials. For pure design Notcot and Juxtapoz are updated very, very often. These guys all have a writing/curation staff so they cover a lot of ground.

For a more personal touch you should check out individuals who are outstanding in their field. The design-specific Swiss Miss offers a ton of inspiration and distraction to get your creative juices flowing. Jonathan Snook and 456 berea street are more focused on development, but never disappoint. If you want pure unadulterated inspiration, no matter what field you specialize in, Seth Godin is king.

No matter where you look on the web, there’s always more to learn, so don’t assume you could ever know everything. After all you know what they say about making assumptions…