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Where to start levelling up your skills?

Well I haven’t updated this blog for nearly a year and thought it was about time. To start with though I thought I would write a post about some of the things that have helped me on my path, some thoughts, ideas and links to blogs that are worth reading.

My first port of call would be to check out Scott Hanselman. He writes a decent and interesting blog, which I don’t find hard work like some of the others. His podcast is great too, so I suggest trying that out, and he also appears on one of my favourite podcasts, This Developers Life. I like that podcast because its more about the developers themselves and their thoughts, what makes them tick, its really insightful and interesting.

Another blog that talks more about the process of development rather than the tech itself is Coding Horror, written by Jeff Atwood of stackoverflow fame. Stackoverflow should really be any developers first point of call for questions and investigating problems, I suggest one of the first things you should do is get an account and get involved.

For learning both tekpub and pluralsight seem to be good options, I’ve seen some of the tekpub videos and they certainly help to show you good concepts and techniques. There are also decent videos available on dnrtv which can be watched for free.

There are many other blogs that are worth checking out, for starters try Jon Skeet, Phil Haack, Scott Gu, Martin Fowler, they should all have at least something worth reading.

Events wise in the UK its worth checking out NxtGenUG which is a user group with a number of locations who have decent speakers, or the DDD days which are held throughout the year, if you can get in that is.

Finally I’ll leave you with some of the thoughts that have been passed onto me over the years but people wiser than myself:

  • Other peoples code often looks more complicated than it is, its hard to put yourself in their position when they wrote it but you can understand it, you just need to be methodical
  • The most obvious solution to a problem is often the right one
  • Making the code readable is far more important than showing your off your technical prowess or showboating

Good luck out there with your development career, its a great trade to be in with exciting prospects, but it will require hard work and dedication!

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