I currently subscribe to a number of great newsletters around technology and software delivery. While the Fediverse is also a great place to pick up news and gossip I have found that there is something really valuable in having a regular curated round up of interesting articles. It may be no surprise that the consistently great newsletters are produced by people who are engaged in consultancy. I think they inevitably get exposed to trends and concerns in the industry and also can commit the time to writing up their thoughts and reflecting on their chosen content.
Pat Kua‘s Level Up focuses on technical leadership and tends to have good pieces around human factors, managing yourself and creating good systems for delivery. It also often has advice pieces for people coming into technical management or leadership.
John Cutler’s The Beautiful Mess focuses on Product but is also great on strategy and importantly is always focused on getting to a better product process by emphasising collaboration and breaking down barriers between functional silos. I also enjoy reading how he approaches putting together alternatives to roadmaps and strategy documents. I think he has the best sense on how to use things like metrics and North Stars.
Emily Weber writes Posts from Awesome Folk has a focus on management, leadership, consensus building and healthy organisation cultures. As the title suggests it offers a carefully curated selection of posts that are often longer form and are generally from expert practitioners.
Michael Brunton-Spall‘s Cyber Weekly is your one stop shop for news on security and analysis of the key issues of the day.
Simon Willison‘s newsletter is more recent and feels more like a very long blog that is getting pushed into the newsletter format. Despite this Simon is one of the most creative and independent developers you could read and he was early into the LLM and generative AI and has lots of interesting insight into what you can do with these models and what works and what doesn’t. He’s also an (intimidating) role model for what independent, solo devs can achieve.
I have a lot of other subscriptions (and indeed a lot of people seem to be starting newsletters currently) so I will probably need to do a follow up to this post in a couple of months if I see that people are posting consistently useful things. One general thing to point out is that if I’m working on a particular technology (like Django, Go or React) I’ll often subscribe to the weekly community news roundups to get a feel for what’s happening. However I find the volume of links and items is overwhelming if you don’t have a specific interest or purpose in reading through them so I relegate them to RSS when I’m not actively working with them and have a more occasional catchup.