Julia Evans

A few blogs I really like

I’m a bit hesitant about this list because I read many more blogs than these that are really good. So if your blog is not here it is probably mainly because my fingers got tired of typing. I may add more to this later.

I’m trying to read more blogs about things I don’t know much about yet, to expandify my mind. So I spend some time reading Kelly Sommers on distributed systems and Selena Deckelmann on Postgres and Sumana Harihareswara on community management and Seth Godin on marketing and Cathy O’Neil on finance and Raph Koster on game development.

  • I just discovered that Camille Fournier has a blog the other day and I started binge-reading it. She has a ton of systems programming experience, so she writes about that. But she’s also the head of engineering at Rent the Runway, and she’s writing amazing things about how the transition to management has been. I basically want to be her when I grow up. This post about growing management mastery is amazing, and she has some pretty interesting posts about ZooKeeper which I don’t totally understand yet but would like to.
  • Kelly Sommers aka @kellabyte writes and tweets about distributed systems and making code that’s fast. I have almost no experience with this stuff, and I’ve learned a ton from just following her on Twitter. For example, her most recent blog post about bad benchmarks and how to make good ones is fantastic.
  • The Geek Feminism blog has a great weekly roundup of links, and not-super-frequent posts about topic related to women in geekdom. I love this post by Sumana Harihareshwara about things women talk about at Hacker School.
  • Speaking of Sumana! She blogs about a whole bunch of delightful things, like open source communities and science fiction books. I learned a lot from her most recent blog post about open source careers.
  • I really enjoy programming in the twenty-first century. His most recent post on how good coding practices can get in the way of actually getting work done is excellent.
  • Dan Luu writes delightful and thoughtful blog posts. Why Don’t Schools Teach Debugging is fantastic and closes with > Why do we leave material out of classes and then fail students who can’t figure out that material for themselves? Why do we make the first couple years of an engineering major some kind of hazing ritual, instead of simply teaching people what they need to know to be good engineers? For all the high-level talk about how we need to plug the leaks in our STEM education pipeline, not only are we not plugging the holes, we’re proud of how fast the pipeline is leaking.
  • Lindsey Kuper’s blog composition.al is a great research blog. I don’t understand everything, but I understand 10x more about her research than I would if I didn’t read her blog. I love her post The LVar that wasn’t where she introduces LVars and then talks about something that she thought was an LVar but wasn’t. It’s really engaging and I learned a new reason to care about lattices! If I ever do a PhD I will strive to do it like Lindsey.
  • Hilary Mason is a super cool data scientist, and I mostly wish that she blogged more frequently :) She’s recently written a lot of great posts about public speaking, There’s a great guest post on how to spend time practicing your talk instead of messing with slides. She also has wonderful data science posts about how to find the optimal cheeseburger.
  • Philip Guo is an computer science researcher and super-nice guy. Right now he’s writing mostly about his first year as a professor, and it’s a fantastic insight into what his day-to-day life is like and how he organizes his work. My favorite post of his is without a question Silent Technical Privilege. You should read it.
  • Raph Koster has a game development blog. I don’t actually care about game development at all, but a lot of his posts are relevant to many more people. His post on self-promotion for game developers is truly fantastic, and not just for game developers.
  • Selena Deckelmann is a Postgres expert, and she’s writing a great series about how she uses it every day. This is on my list of “things I read that don’t really use right now but I am reading them just in case!”
  • Cathy O’Neil writes mostly about data science, math, and the American financial system. One of my favorite things that she’s written is this essay How to be a Data Skeptic (PDF).
  • Seth Godin’s blog isn’t a technical blog at all, and I like it more than I expected to posts are daily, short, and give me something to think about often enough. Exhaustive lists as a reliable tool for unstucking yourself is particularly good.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates has an amazing blog for the Atlantic. Go read To Europe – Yes, but Together With Our Dead and I think you will understand.
  • Allison Kaptur has a cool series about the Python interpreter, but she doesn’t blog enough =(