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Reddit for the Developer[/caption] Google might be a developer’s best friend, at least when it comes to quickly looking up programming tips, but Reddit is sometimes smarter. Depending on which technologies and languages you use, the community-based hub can be fairly enlightening. While you can get tucked into the finer points of your particular discipline almost infinitely, here are five subreddits every developer should follow:
subreddit is a great place for anyone learning a new language, especially your first. The topics are fairly wide-ranging, so it takes a bit of self-curation if you’ve got a specific topic you’re looking for, but it’s worth the time spent. Some questions are broad, such as best practices for transitioning from Python to C## (dynamic to static typed), or which are the best resources to learn React. Others have a very narrow audience (F# for a .NET developer, anyone?). If there’s one knock on this one, it’s the heavy bend towards C languages. But the community is vibrant and responsive, so it’s worth a subscription.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of technology is always smart, even if it’s just a cursory overview of things happening in the world. That’s why /r/Technology
is so handy! Like any subreddit, it’s curated based on submissions, so you won’t get the full-fledged experience that hopping between websites or swiping through Twitter can provide. But it’s got a huge community (over five million!), so the upvoted posts are a good barometer of the hot-button tech issues we’re all facing. For those times you just want to peel your eyes away form your favorite IDE and re-introduce yourself to the world, /r/Technology is a nice little getaway.
Sometimes, the best way to learn is by hacking, but that can be harder than it sounds. If you’re curious where to get started, /r/Hacking
is a good choice. Described as “a subreddit dedicated to hacking and hacking culture,” it also doesn’t tolerate its subscribers encouraging damage. There’s a ‘penalty table’ on this subreddit, where posting spam earns you a lifetime away. Other offenses, such as inquiring about (or helping others to) hacking a site or product, earn you bans of between five and 30 days. Don’t screw around in there. As you may have guessed, the subreddit has a heavy lean towards Linux info, but its 100,000-plus members do a good job of surfacing basic info on hacking culture. If you’re looking to get a bit deeper into hacking, try /r/HowToHack.
A lot of what developers do day-to-day is reverse hacking. Sometimes it's just retrofitting a tool they found online; on other days, it’s straight-up digging through a product and making it work for you. That’s where /r/ReverseEngineering
comes in handy. Some of what’s discussed in this subreddit is high-level and won’t appeal to a broader audience. Other posts (such as how to gain root access for an Internet of Things light-switch) might. With just under 50,000 members, /r/ReverseEngineering is pretty active, with a few new posts going up daily.
The name of this subreddit should tell you what belongs here. The content proves it. With a broad range of topics, /r/Programming
is like /r/Technology for developers who don’t want to talk about anything but programming. Posts provide a solid overview of topics, and the scope of what’s covered is wide open. More often than not, you’ll get some overview topics such as ‘Modern C++ features’ or ‘How (X) manages Docker containers in production,’ but it’s still a good place to pop into now and again. With over 700,000 members, it’s a fairly robust community worth checking out.
There’s More for a Developer
We touched on five good subreddits for you to check out, but there are a ton of great ones we didn’t discuss. A simple search on Reddit for your favorite language or topic will probably yield the result you’re looking for, but there’s an easier way. Redditor acmecorps has compiled a handy list
of some active subreddits pertaining to programming you might want to check out. It’s even broken into subcategories for general and language-specific subreddits if you want to narrow things down.