I Got 99 Problems, but Developing Ain't One
In the words of the rapper/entrepreneur and occasional developer Jay-Z, "If you got developing problems I feel bad for you son...."
A Web developer's life is hard enough without having to go on the hunt for good developing resources. To help you take a load off, we've compiled a list of some of the best tools available. After using these resources, you may still have 99 problems, but we guarantee that developing ain't gonna be one of them.
BEST OF THE BEST
These resources should be any developer's first stop when looking for essential tutorials and knowledge.
- W3C: At the World Wide Web Consortium, you'll find just about everything you need to know about standards, accessibility, HTML, internationalization and more. Most of their tutorials are written by the developers who actually created the technology.
- O'Reilly Network: O'Reilly, a popular publisher of developer books, offers top-notch features on topics such as PHP, Ruby on Rails and MySQL Proxy.
- W3Schools: W3Schools has tutorials on languages, scripting, .NET and more. They offer examples, quizzes and even certification in HTML and ASP.
- A List Apart: Written "for people who make websites," A List Apart's issues are published with developers in mind. Check them out for well-written articles that consider broad issues in Web developing.
CAN'T-MISS WEB DEVELOPMENT MAGAZINES
Stay informed and entertained with these thought-provoking industry magazines.
- Digital Web Magazine: For industry-pertinent reviews, articles and interviews, check out Digital Web Magazine. They offer both daily news and weekly features.
- Vitamin: Vitamin has a mix of resources for Web developers, designers and entrepreneurs. Development features weigh heavily on Web apps, while interviews highlight industry leaders.
- DevX: DevX's Web Development Zone offers articles on the latest in AJAX, Ruby and more. You'll also enjoy DevX's development tips and forum discussions.
- Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability: Check out Alertbox's biweekly column for articles on usability, navigation and other issues for readers concerned with user-friendly Web development.
- Wired: With intelligent thoughts on tech industry, conventions and even Martha Stewart, Wired is a must-read for any well-rounded Web developer.
- Hiveminds Magazine: Hiveminds is a great resource for information on open source content management systems.
- TechRepublic: With developer tips, whitepapers, Webcasts and insightful articles, TechRepublic is an outstanding resource for developers.
- Ajaxian: Do you speak Ajaxian? Improve your fluency by reading this Ajax-centric publication.
- UX Magazine: This magazine about user experience considers the psychology, strategy and design behind sites that are developed for users.
- SitePoint: SitePoint's features encourage readers to think about the little but important things, from microformats to site planning and legal issues.
- .net Magazine: .net's competitions, articles and podcasts are sure to be thought-provoking. Don't forget to check out their forums too.
- Web Developer's Journal: Check out Web Developer's Journal for whitepapers, tips and features designed to please "propheads."
- Center Networks: Stay on top of the latest Web-development news, interviews and insights with Center Networks.
- Devlounge: Do you prefer a laid-back approach to development news and resources? Check out Devlounge to get your fix.
- Modern Life: This magazine provides insight into statistics and trends in the world of Web development.
- PHP5 Magazine: PHP5 is a valuable resource for developers who work in PHP. You'll find helpful book reviews and sharp articles.
- Red Hat Magazine: Red Hat Linux users will appreciate the tips, news and features of this magazine.
- Jax Magazine: This magazine reports on news and trends in Java, Apache and XML. You'll find a "fresh brew" every day.
- Datamation: In addition to on-target articles, Datamation provides readers with scripts and "HTML goodies."
- CoDe Magazine: CoDe is chock full of contests and valuable content for Web developers.
These blogs keep their ears to the ground in order to bring you the latest and greatest in Web development.
- Smashing Magazine: Smashing has a Developer's Toolbox, tutorials and helpful posts that are sure to help you hone your development skills.
- TechCrunch: This blog keeps readers up-to-date on new products and companies that emerge online. Use it to see what other developers are up to.
- Signal vs. Noise: This 37Signals blog discusses trends in design, the Web and happenings in the company's development.
- Read/Write Web: Read/Write Web's features on web technology cover the latest in Web 2.0 and beyond. Check this blog out for the best in news and analysis of new technology.
- Coding Horror: Read about a Vertigo Software employee's adventures in coding.
- O'Reilly Blogs: The O'Reilly network of blogs provides readers with a wealth of knowledge on everything from Linux to hot conferences.
- MSDN Blogs: MSDN's blogs discuss Microsoft-centric Web development from many different angles.
INCREDIBLE CODING RESOURCES
Sometimes, you just need an "easy" button. Check out these cheat sheets, samples and other helpful coding tools for a shortcut to excellence.
- [AJAX] Prototype Dissected: Use Jonathan Snook's nifty cheat sheet for Prototype as a quick reference tool.
- [AJAX] A Field Guide to Scriptaculous Combination Effects: By Amy Hoy, this informative PDF discusses default options, toggling and more.
- [AJAX] Max Kiesler: Round-up of 30 AJAX Tutorials: This list covers client-server communication, tabbed pages and tons of other resources for Ajaxians.
- [AJAX] Max Kiesler: 60 More Helpful AJAX Tutorials: Want more? Max Kiesler shares even more awesome resources.
- [AJAX] AJAX Programming Online: Sang Shin of Sun Microsystems offers a free 18-week course on AJAX. Even if you don't sign up for the course, this site can provide a wealth of information.
- [AJAX] Mastering AJAX: Check this out for Brett McLaughlin of O'Reilly Media's three-part series on mastering AJAX.
- [ASP] HTML to ASP Converter: This software converts HTML code to ASP with unique customization options.
- [ASP] ASP/VBScript Cheat Sheet: Dave Child has compiled a reference sheet with the help of developer Allan Wenham. You'll find reminders for regular expressions, file modes, methods and properties, among others.
- [ASP] Best ASP.NET Practices for Shielding Your Site From Hackers: This Microsoft Webcast gives tips on hacker techniques and ways to neutralize them with ASP.NET code.
- [ASP] Common Applications of Regular Expressions: This time-saving tutorial explains ways to efficiently match patterns of strings.
- [ASP] ASPFAQs: This ASP FAQ list is categorized and updated. Check out the Ten Most Viewed FAQsfor a quick rundown.
- [ASP] ASP from A to Z: Use this resource as a primer on ASP. It includes a handy glossary.
- [CSS] CSS Cheat Sheet: Another cheat sheet from Dave Child featuring CSS references for properties, syntax and more.
- [CSS] CSS Property Index: This list offers an alphabetical index of properties as well as the various statistics and details that go along with each of them.
- [CSS] CSS Shorthand Guide: Check this out for Dustin Diaz's tutorial on CSS shorthand.
- [CSS] CSS and Design Gallery: Although written in German, Dr. Web's gallery offers links to a massive number of CSS designs you should check out.
- [CSS] A Roadmap to Standards: Mezzoblue discusses web standards with special concern for CSS development and design.
- [CSS] CSS Panic Guide: This "guide for the unglued" provides links to many helpful CSS resources.
- [CSS] Layout Gala: This resource has 40 CSS layouts that you can download.
- [Htaccess] htaccess Cheatsheet: Check out this simple .htaccess file cheat sheet for good, clean fun.
- [HTML] A Simple Guide to HTML: This cheat sheet lays out tags for text formatting, tables, frames and more.
- [HTML] Composing Good HTML: Although slightly out of date, this guide outlines the essentials of good HTML composition for advanced users.
- [HTML] HTML & XHTML Tag Quick Reference: This reference sheet covers the most important tags and rules for HTML and XHTML.
- [HTML] HTML Color Code Combination Chooser: Use Site Pro Central's Colour Scheme Chooser to see your color before committing to a hex code.
- [HTML] XHTML Cheat Sheet: This updated cheat sheet points out elements, characters and more.
- [HTML] Quick Escape: Use the Quick Escape tool to convert raw HTML to escaped HTML.
- [HTML] HTML & XHTML Entities: This set of tables contains categorized tables of allowed entities in HTML and XHTML.
- [Perl] Perl Regular Expression Quick Reference: Use this PDF for quick reference to characters, quantifiers, modifiers and more.
- [PHP] PHP Cheat Sheet: Print out this cheat sheet for quick reference to functions, SuperGlobals and other helpful components.
- [PHP] Smarty Cheat Sheet for Template Designers: Use this Smarty cheat sheet for functions, variables and loads of other references.
- [PHP] PHP Code Exchange: You can search for categorized PHP code at this exchange site.
- [PHP] PHP Code Examples: Check out hundreds of PHP code examples in the PHP Freaks code library.
- [PHP] PHPFAQ: Use this question-and-answer reference for loads of popular PHP tips and tricks.
- [PHP] Admin Generator Cheat Sheet: Consider the Admin Generator Cheat Sheet your "easy button" for Symfony Admin Generator code.
- [PHP] Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet: Reference regular expressions quickly with this cheat sheet. Sections include POSIX, character classes and quantifiers.
- [Python] Python 101 Cheat Sheet: Use this cheat sheet to get familiarized with the language of Python.
- [Ruby on Rails] 19 Rails Tricks Most Rails Coders Don't Know: Use this collection of tips to make more efficient use of your code. Also, send your friends into a state of shock and awe.
- [Ruby on Rails] Ruby QuickRef: Print this out for quick reference to Ruby details, from general syntax to object design.
- [Ruby on Rails] What Goes Where: Amy Hoy has written a simple cheat sheet that helps you remember where to put everything.
- [Ruby on Rails] InVisible Ruby on Rails Reference: This blog will give you a quick guide to the most used functions, methods and classes in Ruby on Rails.
- [Ruby on Rails] Resistance to Persistence: This cheat sheet is a compilation of information from various books, tutorials and Web sites about Ruby on Rails.
- [Ruby on Rails] Ruby on Rails Caching Tutorial: Keep this little gem in your arsenal in case you wind up on the front page of Digg.
- [Ruby on Rails] Faster Pagination in Rails: This resource helps you understand pagination and what you should be doing about it.
USABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
Good Web development isn't complete unless it can be easily used. Take a look at these resources for a crash course in catering to users.
- UXMatters: UXMatters understands how important user experience is. Visit this site for guidance on effective UX strategies that help you give users what they need.
- useit: Jakob Nielsen's Web site offers news, reports and tips concerning simple, usable Web development and design.
- Dive Into Accessibility: This 30-day program provides tips for accessibility as it pertains to people, disabilities, design principles, Web browsers and publishing tools.
- User Interface Engineering Brain Sparks: Brain Sparks discusses "customer carewords" and other interesting topics that come up in the course of conducting user interface research.
- WebWord: At WebWord, John S. Rhodes discusses his take on usability. You'll find criticism, praise and the latest news on the field of usability here.
- Microsoft Usability Publications: Take notes from a user-friendly giant. This little corner of the Web offers papers and presentations written by various usability engineers from Microsoft.
Get by with a little help from your peers. Use these forums to ask questions, get advice and maybe even find a job.
- Java Technology Forums: Find and participate in discussions for both beginners and advanced users at these forums. Be sure to peruse their many detailed sections.
- Go4Expert: Go4Expert is all about sharing the wealth of knowledge. Go here to get advice from experienced developers who know what they're talking about.
- WebForumz: WebForumz has everything developers might want to talk about, from programming details to critiques.
- Indian Web Development Forums: Check out this forum devoted to Web developers in India. Discussions include the world's smallest Web site, programming and more.
- Internet Explorer Web Development: Developers devoting special attention to Internet Explorer should read through Microsoft's discussion forums.
- Web Developer: At Web Developer, discuss client- and server-side development or just kick back in The Coffee Lounge.
- DevShed: With almost 20 forums devoted just to programming languages and even more about administration and operating systems, DevShed is an excellent resource of knowledge for developers.
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Social media sites are excellent places to find the most up-to-date and informative developing resources. Take a look at these sites for top reviews, tutorials and more.
- Tweako: Tweako promotes "collaborative computing," offering links to the best of what the Internet has to offer in computing and technology.
- java.blogs: Hot Entries at java.blogs keeps tabs on popular blog posts relating to Java.
- Listible: Listible isn't targeted towards the developer community but can provide a wealth of information with the right tags.
- Slashdot: "News for Nerds," Slashdot has the latest news on issues that are important to developers.
- Dzone: Last but certainly not least, Dzone is one of the best sources out there for finding hot developer stories.