Computers have largely taken over our lives in the past half of the century. If we look around ourselves, computers control even the tiniest, most unnoticeable parts of our lives. Every moving, digital billboard on Time Square is controlled by a computer, but so are relatively incognito things; like street lights and our everyday phone calls. It’s no wonder that IT has been one of the most rapidly growing industries in the twenty-first century, and deservedly so. Computers, and all technology, in fact – have become such an integral part of our lives, that even thinking about living without them is borderline impossible.
We’ve evolved as a species so far that we’ve managed to create machines that are more intelligent and quicker than us, and now we’ve delegated everything to them. Even though it might be scary to think about, even modern warfare is more IT-based than gunpowder based. Most, if not all nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction are controlled by computer systems (some of the most advanced in the world).
It’s only natural that machines with this kind of power behind them have deserved our attention, and that attention is often reciprocated in the form of internet blogs. A great number of bloggers have devoted their time and research to computer science and create content exclusively about that topic. Today, we’ll be taking a look at 10 of the best computer science blogs, and why did we choose them. Take note that the blogs are not necessarily listed in order of importance or quality.
Don’t be startled by the name of this blog, as it’ll all be explained shortly. 11011110 is the name of one of the older blogs on this list, as it was started all the way back in 2005. The name 11011110 is actually a hexadecimal number converted into the binary code. The binary code before you is actually the binary format of professor David Eppstein’s initials, which he converted into the binary code. Professor Eppstein is still actively teaching Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, and he’s an administrator on the English-language Wikipedia.
11011110 is a fairly simple blog that offers little to do but read. Eppstein’s still very active in his professional community, so he’s frequently updating problems and theories on his blog.
CodeWall is a blog started by British web developer Dan Englishby in 2018. The idea behind the blog was to help, motivate, and encourage code lovers. The blog is intended for everyone, be it beginners or experienced coders; as it serves all kinds of content. Programming and web-development tutorials, courses, news, humor, and according to the blog itself “a vast variety of invaluable resources.”
The blog aims to become the one-stop-site that web-developers and programmers can use in order to further their own reach, learn something new, and broaden their sights regarding the industry. The blog hopes to resolve the issue of programmers always having to catch up to the news in the industry, as it’s fairly fast-paced.
The site offers writing opportunities for programmers who want to write as well. The blog’s creators want the best possible content for their readers and are absolutely interested in reading anything sent their way, be it a one-time-thing or active writing. Aside from that, the blog offers courses in various skills in computer science.
The blog is fairly active, as there’s a new post every few days. Everything on the site is written as a useful, in-depth tutorial that will appeal to both amateurs and professionals.
Jeff Atwood, the founder of Stack Exchange, is also the founder of this shining example of the internet’s self-expression brilliance. The blog has become very popular since its conception in 2004, as it’s not just about programming, but about the human behind the keyboard as well.
The interesting concept behind this blog is the infrequency of its posts, as Atwood isn’t exactly a regular poster. However, whenever he does post, the discussions about the post become extensive and heated – the fanbase of this is definitely living for it.
Atwood defines himself as a “reasonably experienced web software developer with a particular interest in the human side of software development” – saying that he believes computers are fascinating machines, but they’re mostly a reflection of the people using them. He claims that studying code isn’t enough in software development, developers have to study the people behind the software, as well.
The blog has gained a massive following since its conception, and it’s completely changed Atwood’s life, stating that all the opportunities that came after the conception of the blog actually happened because of the blog. That’s why this blog can be a brilliant example and a guide for young developers, teaching them what they can expect in the industry, and how to develop their careers.
The blog came to existence as just a journal for Atwood’s professional and private life, but it quickly became a useful tool for documenting professional improvements and important experiences, and now it’s become useful to the younger generations of developers.
The blog offers interesting reading (not just for developers, but for laymen in the field, as well), courses, recommended readings, etc.
A lot of people have claimed that this blog is actually an amateur’s take on computation and mathematics…and a lot of people were terribly wrong. This blog was actually started by Brian Hayes, the “Computing Science” columnist at American Scientist. His posts are always based in computer science, but because he’s often covering other fields (biology, neuroscience, linguistics, etc.), people often mistaken it for an amateur’s blog.
A lot of people will find this blog particularly interesting because Hayes refuses to talk about computer science from that, very restricting perspective. Instead, Hayes explains carefully how computers affect everything in our lives and just how much influence they’re having. Any reader should feel lucky to read this blog, since Hayes is a widely appreciated scientist who’s published several books, enjoying good critical reception. Before even starting this blog, Hayes was an editor for Scientific American.
The blog offers you a complete overview of Hayes’s professional life, books, published essays (which you can read for free), games, puzzles, riddles, and interestingly enough – a lot of off-topic posts.
A lot of people have actually criticized Hayes’s blog badly, stating that he should stick to his area, but an even wider audience finds his blog fairly helpful and interesting. Seeing that computer science is widespread even to the scientific areas that rarely have any connection to computers is appreciated by readers, and scientists from other areas might find it useful as well.
Lambda the Ultimate – The Programming Languages Weblog is probably the most convoluted out of all the blogs on this list, just because of the amount and all the diversity of content. Lambda offers discussions, site operating discussions, research papers, design docs, diagrams, etc.
The content of this blog is aimed solely on programming languages, and it’s created by several computer scientists from both the industry and the academia. The different departments of this blog are fun, critiques, history, implementation, books, paradigms (functional, object-functional, OOP, logic), meta-programming, teaching, and learning, etc. There’s so much more to this blog, but it’d be a waste of valuable wording to just list it all, as it’s all on the website.
The blog also offers over twenty online courses on various programming languages. The blog’s forum is very active, and it’s considered to be one of the most active ones on this list. Every topic prompts very active online discussions.
The design of the blog itself is considered to be bland by many, but the purpose of it is pure input, something that doesn’t require much style. Most people reading and actively participating in the blog’s creation already spend hours staring at screens, so it’s actually easier for them to read it in this format.
It’s not surprising that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s blog has found its way to this list. MIT is widely regarded as the most prestigious technological institute in the world, reaching massive popularity in both academia and cultural circles. This blog is a rich source of information related to computer science and programming.
The mission of the blog is “…to make technology a greater force for good by bringing about better-informed, more conscious technology decisions through authoritative, influential, and trustworthy journalism.”, and they’ve been doing that since 1899, when the media company was founded.
The blog derives its authority from its relationship to the world’s foremost technology institution and from its editors’ deep technical knowledge, their capacity to see technologies in their broadest context, and unequaled access to leading innovators and researchers.
The team behind the blog is massive, and they’re always on the lookout for new additions. Over the years they’ve received numerous awards for their work, including ASME – 2017, Best Cover, Finalist, Business and Tech; Webby Awards – 2017 Honoree, Website: Magazine; ASME – 2015, Best Cover, Reader’s Choice Finalist, and many more.
The blog is very up-to-date, as it regularly tackles modern and actual problems, such as; coronavirus tracking apps, training self-driving cars, and more. The general topic range encompasses social media trends, artificial intelligence, climate change, and everything in between.
Treehouse definitely deserves a spot on this list, solely for two things: quality of content and their innovation – teaching online. Treehouse is unlike any other blog on this list, it’s created as a teaching platform, one that’s filled to the brim with content ranging from one to the other side of computer science’s specter.
Treehouse was founded in 2011 with the goal of making tech more accessible through affordable and engaging online tech education. The three keywords Treehouse uses to describe the mentality from behind their screens are: equity, diversity, inclusion.
To this day, Treehouse has taught over 260 000 people how to code and design, and they’re aiming to create lasting, systematic change in tech. In 2016 they’ve launched the Treehouse Apprenticeship Program to help other companies build diverse, local talent pipelines into their software engineering teams.
The blog is fairly transparent, firmly believing in systematic inequalities in the USA, and not everyone experiencing equal opportunities. If you’re interested, you can find detailed systematical data about diversity in their company.
Importance of this blog can’t be denied, as it’s one of the only blogs that actually requires a subscription – but with good reason. All blogs on this list are focused on education. As it is with every science, it is the duty of computer science experts to teach their craft to the new generations of computer scientists. The posts on this blog are exclusively and carefully constructed for learning, they’re not just raw data – so it could be argued that this is the only blog on this list with the exclusive purpose of learning.
8. What’s New
What’s New is a blog started by Terry Tao, a mathematician whose work is frequently relevant for computer scientists and computational theorists alike. The posts on this blog are highly technical mathematical demonstrations relating to his current research and expository papers, although he also posts open problems and other math-related topics.
The site is currently hosting updates on Tao’s mathematical research, expository articles, discussion of open problems, talks Tao’s given or attended, his advice on mathematical careers and writing, information about his books and applets, his lecture notes on ergodic theory, random matrices, graduate real analysis, and various other topics.
The blog has an enabled option of commenting, insuring interaction with the public, and rating the comments as well. The blog has received praise for the career advice it’s offering, given that that’s something wildly needed in the circles of academia. Tao’s described the advice given on his site with „The advice here is very generic in nature; I don’t pretend to have any sort of “silver bullet” that will solve all career issues. You will of course need to evaluate many factors, contexts, and needs specific to your own situation, as well as employing a healthy dose of common sense, before making any important career decisions.”
He’s also offered a great amount of advice on writing, especially scientific writing, as well as publishing and good reading material for those interested in the field.
This is the only blog on this list that’s representing a company. Some could argue that MIT Technology Review is the same, it has to be noted that colleges’ primary purpose isn’t making money (although, considering the collective student loan debt in the USA, the opposite could be argued).
Google’s blog has been created in an attempt to humanize the company more, and make it more relatable to users of Google’s services. Developers, as well as everyone else in the IT business, have experienced the success of Google’s plans firsthand since the blog has achieved the success it’s aimed for. Google is one of the leaders in IT, no matter what kind of specific area it may be tackling, and sharing development information is certainly helping computer scientists around the world.
For those who don’t know it already, Google has been a leader in worldwide artificial intelligence attempts to develop the technology, that’s why this blog and accessibility to the information if offers are key to further development.
10. The Endeavour
The Endeavour is the final blog on this list. It was started by John D. Cook, one of America’s leading experts on applied mathematics, statistics and technical computing. The blog is a part of a business website for John D. Cook Consulting, giving in-depth explanations about various topics regarding this specific field.
This isn’t a case similar to Google’s blog, since this blog was created before the company was. It’s offering solutions to complicated math problems presented in the science world, as much as computing problems. The team behind the company, resolving real-life technological problems is the same team writing the posts on this blog. This means that the readers get an insight to the professional life of computer scientists and mathematicians at work .