Some Developers to Learn From

February 3, 2017

We can always learn something from our fellow developers, regardless of the technology they use or the domain they work in.

Here are just some developers from different domains and technology communities that I have learnt from, and whose thoughts I enjoy reading:

Julia Evans

Julia is probably my favourite tech blogger at the moment. She brings an immense amount of enthusiasm and positivity to the community, and produces some excellent technical explorations and explanations.

Her comics and fanzines fantastic examples of explaining complicated things in a simple ways.

Dan Luu

Don’t let Dan’s spartan, style-less blog put you off. There is intelligent writing on a variety of technical and industry topics here.

Some particular favourites:

Rich Hickey

Rich Hickey is the creator of the Clojure programming language.

Even if you don’t use Clojure, have no interest in ever learning or using Clojure, you should listen to some of his talks. His explanations of fundamental concepts such as identity, state and complexity are excellent.

His talks will make you think long and hard about how you develop, no matter what technology stack you use.

You can even find a collection of some of his best material here.

Jonathon Blow

Jonathon Blow is an independent games developer, and the creator of the games: Braid and The Witness. He is also working on a new programming language called Jai, for the domain of games development.

If you work in other domains (web development, mobile app development, enterprise development), some of Jonathon’s opinions and practices may seem close to heretical.

And this is exactly why you should watch some of his videos about the development of his language. His focus on building a tool suited for his domain, his techniques to ensure he delivers shipping code, and his opinions about development in other domains, may make you stop and think about how you are building software.

Fabian Sanglard

Fabian’s publishes a number of technical articles, the most notable being code reviews of video games such as Doom 3, Quake 3, Prince of Persia, and many others.

His code reviews include diagrams and graphics, which really help explain the techniques and concepts that are used.

If you believe, as I do, that reading code and learning how successful systems have been built, Fabian’s site is essential reading.

Fabian also has a book in the works, “Game Engine Black Book: Wolfenstein 3D”. I can’t wait for it to be released, and hope it is just the start of a series of books.