Other Sites of Interest

Coding Horror

One programmer/startup founder’s blog, written on whatever stuff he likes. Jeff Atwood is one of the brains behind StackOverflow and Discourse, with a lot of ideas on things like UI usability, new technology he’s been researching, and how to encourage people not to be awful on the Internet by programming fora to shape reasonable behavior.

Kate Heddleston on how engineering environments are killing diversity

Usually when I come across articles on feminism and technology, I might agree with half of it, maybe. This one, though, says what I wanted to say, but far more clearly than I could say it. It’s currently the only set of articles I don’t feel ishy about endorsing here.

I’ll clarify that not all men, and not all women, are argumentative OR are gentle collaborators who want peace and unicorns. That’s not what she’s saying. She’s saying that the culture is argumentative, and forces its members to be argumentative as well–which is okay for men even if some men don’t like it much, but isn’t okay for women. Women aren’t culturally supposed to be argumentative, and are thus stuck between social acceptability (not being considered a %itch) and being listened to when they try to contribute.

The Jargon File

A personal favorite of mine for my own reasons. I was a lonely nerd girl in high school, and the mere suggestion that there was a community like hackerdom captivated me. Possibly, if I hadn’t stumbled onto a web page that eerily described me to a T because there were others like me who’d made a lifelong hobby/career out of programming, I’d still be aiming to become a research psychologist. (Until the second year of college, probably, at which point I’d get sick of not being “qualified” enough to call out the BS.)

By the same author: a long, famous, very good essay entitled “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” is definitely worth a look. It lays out very well why open-source works so well to produce good software. (If you don’t use open-source software directly (e.g., Firefox), you probably use something that is built on it (e.g., Chrome).)

I disagree with ESR frequently. I still like some of his writing, though, and apparently he likes some of mine 🙂

Paul Graham’s essay page

A collection of beautifully articulate essays. I don’t agree with PG on everything, but his essays are well thought-out and entertaining, his political analysis is dead-on (read his stuff about distribution of wealth), and of course the adult validation of the issues I was always complaining about in school felt great. I started binge-reading these in June 2015; if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be considering starting a startup.

How-To Geek

A very good article site, especially for weird OS stuff. I’ve fixed a Windows computer with their advice more than once.

Zed A. Shaw’s programming books

ZAS has made some really good programming textbooks of his available online, along with his own (giant!) list of links to programming-related stuff. Be a little careful about opening that link; there’s a big picture of a gun and some strong language on the front page, so maybe don’t open it just as your boss walks past.

Then again, you probably wouldn’t have this site open either, since it says the word “hacker” so frequently.

Python Tips

This one has earned a place on the list. It’s been helping me out a bunch recently. It scratches that “I have no clue what I’m doing, the books didn’t cover this” itch, which is really valuable. It’s also really clear and well-written, which can be awfully hard to find in programming documentation. Anyway, it’s pretty great, so check it out.

Levlaz and BrainDump

A neat fledgling open source program to play with. Levlaz has big plans for it! BrainDump lives here and also on GitHub. Check it out!

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