Learning the Metal Toad Way

If you're a front-end developer you probably know that it can be difficult to keep up-to-date on all the new technology and techniques that our peers are using and developing. The amount of knowledge that is constantly being updated on the internet can be overwhelming and not knowing where to start can be equally so.

Here is a list of several resources that I personally use and I'd like to invite my co-workers to add to this list in the comments. Hopefully this list of blogs, podcasts, and other resources will serve as a good starting point for anyone trying to learn more.


These are google reader bundles with most of the development related blogs I read.

Drupal blog bundle

Development blog bundle

Paul Irish's Frontend-webapps


I love podcasts, that's why I started ToadCast here at Metal Toad. Here are most of the development/technology related podcasts I listen to. You can visit their sites below or just search for them in iTunes.


Newsletters are a great way to stay informed, especially if you want a greater signal-to-noise ratio by just reading what were the hottest topics of the week. I won't list them all, but you can also subscribe to the various W3C working groups. Of course, you can also sign up for the Metal Toad newsletter in the sidebar of this page :)

There are so many other ways to stay informed, too many to list here. Attending local meetups in your town, following people on twitter and google+ that have written an article that you found interesting, attending conferences. The point shouldn't be to just prevent yourself from falling behind or feeling obsolete, but to also to improve yourself and hopefully have fun doing it. Also so you can contribute back and help move the web forward.


Right-o, Robbie. There is a ridiculous amount of information out there. So much so, I wonder if anyone reads http://alistapart.com anymore (of course they do).

But actually, I don't. Since evolving away from development, I've found content on strategy and user experience to be more relevant in the client relationship (which developers should never minimize, even if they don't have direct contact).

SIDE NOTE: There are more nuanced takes on UX, but I like UX Magazine. It's fairly well typset, and the editorial is worthy. It's like The Economist for [wait for it], user experience.

From a project management perspective, I follow a number of development, design, UX, and project management blogs/newsletters as well as some industry tech sources on startups, web development, Drupal, etc.

However, my go-to that has replaced RSS feeds for the most part is a combination of following the right accounts on Twitter and Prismatic, a social news aggregator that uses a combination of the people you follow and nationally trending articles for keywords from Twitter. Then I have topics I follow ranging from "Project Management" and "Drupal" to "Web Design" and "Startups".

Prismatic is really handy for finding quality content that's popular and curated by people whose expertise you appreciate (assuming you're following the right people on Twitter).

One of my favorites, that's more of a tool than a direct learning experience, is http://www.thetoolbox.cc/. Its updated regularly with more tools, and I've learned quite a bit just from using them. (Inspect your tools! See how they're built! If they're public on Github, go take them apart!)

Adam, I recently found a new podcast called Bizcraft that talks more about the business side of web design. Its topics include sales, project management, and all of the stuff that isn't necessarily programming related. Pretty good stuff. Bizcraft

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