The truth is this: Nobody knows everything, and indeed, it is impossible to keep up with everything. I’m sure there’s lots of fantastic web apps or jQuery plugins that could have saved me hours of bygone headaches had I only known about them. Half the battle is just identifying a problem you’re having and searching for a solution, but even then, it’s easy to miss the perfect fix. I’m telling you this, because at some point when you’re showing a project to someone, they’ll say, “Why didn’t you just use ______ instead?” and you’ll smack yourself in the forehead. It’s OK, it happens all the time, and it’s usually a helpful lesson.
Difficult as it may be, this is why you should try your best to keep up. The more you understand about the tools and resources that are available to you, the faster you’ll be able to put together something new. We cover lots of awesome links you should know about on The Treehouse Show every week, but if you’re still craving more, here are some more places to look.
Congratulations! You’re reading this blog post, so you’re already on the right track. It can take some time before new tools and techniques become neatly “tutorialized” and fully explained in detail on video. We work at a very rapid pace at Treehouse, but blog posts are still much faster and cheaper to put together because they usually just consist of text and images. As a result, blogs are an excellent source of timely information. They may not always have the same depth as a good tutorial video, but they’re quick to update.
Some people use RSS readers to subscribe to their favorite blogs, which can help keep everything organized. I personally don’t use RSS and I just check my favorite blogs whenever I have the time, but use whatever works for you. If you’re looking for some blogs to follow for web tips, this list will help you get started:
- The Treehouse Blog (the blog you’re reading now)
- CSS Tricks
- David Walsh Blog
- A List Apart
- Smashing Magazine
- Net Magazine
- HTML5 Rocks
Follow People on Twitter
My favorite source of new links is Twitter. Just by following a few web oriented accounts, you’ll start to get lots of great insight directly in your feed. I like Twitter because each tweet is limited to 140 characters, which means you get straight to the point. Most people use Twitter to check up on their friends, but mixing in a few good web personalities and resources can turn social time into learning time.
If you don’t know where to get started, I’ve put together this list of Twitter accounts for you to browse. I update it sometimes when I think there’s significant new accounts to follow. If there’s a person or a company missing that you think should most definitely be on there, tweet to me and let me know!
Check sites like Github, Codepen, and Dribbble
Web professionals use specialized social networks to share work with one another. Github is great for sharing entire projects. Codepen is cool if you want to showcase front-end concepts using HTML, CSS, and JS. Finally, Dribbble is meant specifically for designers to share shots of their work. Each of these sites has loads of users posting new stuff everyday, so browsing what’s popular can reveal new techniques you’ve never seen. Check out these links to see what I mean:
Also, if you’re just looking for inspiration, these sites are a great place to start.
Pay Attention to Events
Attending events is a fantastic way to keep up with the latest news. Not only do you get to network with like minded individuals, you also get to hear experts speak on topics that they’re passionate about. Industry leaders will frequently reveal new information or provide key insights during their talks that you just can’t get anywhere else.
If you get the chance to attend an event, definitely make sure you take the opportunity. Flying to these events and going to them in person can be expensive, but if you’re a Treehouse student, there’s lots of awesome recorded conferences available on Treehouse. Be sure to check those out!
Invent the Future
Nobody can predict the future, so why not invent it? You’d be surprised how easy it is to come up with new web ideas that have never been tried before. The web is a dynamic medium with vastly untapped potential. If you have a problem that you want to solve, look around and see if someone has already solved it. Even if you do find a solution, maybe you can come up with a better one and execute in a way that nobody has done before!
This list isn’t exhaustive, and there’s lots more places you could look for the latest industry news. If you have an excellent resource you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!