How to track news in the world of C ++

Original author: Dimitar Mirchev
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Trying to continuously replenish my knowledge of C ++, I determined for myself several channels for obtaining information on which you can concentrate. They may possibly be applicable to other areas of knowledge, but I will try to focus on C ++. Let me tell you a little more about them.

  1. Thoughtful reading - reading fundamental books, structured and informative. This requires a long concentration, and you can’t read in a state of fatigue, because you simply fall asleep and do not remember anything. If you do not have an electronic reader yet - be sure to buy it.
  2. Easy reading - reading less serious literature like books about motivation, productivity, Soft Skills. All this is in vain underestimated by some programmers. These books do not require a lot of concentration. Yes, this is completely not about the C ++ language, but it is about how to do something at all and still do it. It is well read before going to bed.
  3. Podcasts work well when you need to switch from one thing to another, or while shopping. They help to look at something unexpected. They train the ability to listen and understand what has been heard, which can be a useful skill (for example, to participate in meetings). If English is not your native language, you can hear how the terms and names are pronounced. I recommend listening to CppCast or Software Engineering Radio - I was pleasantly surprised by the wide coverage of their topics. The first episode was released in 2006, the podcast half consists of the history of software engineering and half of the theory (patterns, problems, solutions, etc.)
  4. Videos and lectures - CppCon , CppNow , Meeting C ++ , ACCU Conference for starters. There is just a staggering amount of interesting reports. Unlike podcasts, this requires visual attention and concentration, but you can learn more as a result. I think watching 2-5 videos a week is quite achievable.
    Tip : increase the speed of audio / video - the brain quickly gets used to this speed and you can hear more in less time.
  5. Discussions, forums, twitter - this channel of information exchange requires the least concentration. You can quickly review discussions, twitter feeds in search of something interesting - just killing time. If something is found, you can add it to the reading list later. What is all this useful for - a huge variety of people, opinions, approaches, tasks and solutions. A good way to break up your brain with highly random information.

    Here, for example, is my list of Core C ++ to keep track of significant developers in the C ++ world. And there are a few pages and groups on Facebook and some good reviews from Jens Weller .

    For discussions about C ++, there is a section on Reddit (translator's note: there is also a hub on Habrahabr) And, of course, C ++ standardization committee groups
  6. Blogs and articles - usually takes 5-10 minutes to read an average article. If there is a deeper article, you can mark it for reading "when I will be concentrated." According to my observations, there are 5-10 good articles a week and it is not so difficult to read all of them.

Important notes

  1. Interest groups - nothing can replace face-to-face communication. At such meetings, you can meet interesting people and even make friends. If you cannot find a group in your area, maybe you should create one? I deal with one such group and we did not have any particular problems.
  2. Sport - gives you a supply of vitality and contributes to the development of cognitive skills. Yes, everyone says it, but I'm already "just about" how close to starting to practice regularly. I'll start tomorrow, I promise.
  3. Teaching - if you want to learn something - start teaching it. There are many possibilities - you can make presentations for your colleagues, or make presentations in an interest group, write a blog, or teach courses.
  4. Time to think - this is also often underestimated. It is good to be able to look back, think about what has already been done and plans, and why your plans are not in the section already done.
  5. Lists of great things - there are several, for example, Awesome C / C ++ or Awesome Modern C ++ .

As with any other problem, tracking the C ++ world depends on how you get to the point: it is important to determine the most suitable training methods and capabilities of your brain and body. It seems to me that all of the above methods of obtaining information are important, because they supply data of various types. You should at least be aware of their existence and from time to time ask yourself why you are not using this or that way.

I found for myself that just this classification of methods of obtaining information already helps in planning both daily tasks and long-term training. For example, if you have 1 hour of free time, you should not read twitter or blogs. It’s better to read a couple of articles or a chapter in a book. But Twitter and the forum can be checked and waiting in line for your coffee. Or, for example, you find that you haven’t watched videos from C ++ conferences for a long time - maybe it's time to set aside an hour tonight?

It is also worth making an adjustment for your current status. I sometimes have time to read, but I'm too defocused for a serious book. In this case, I watch a video or listen to a podcast. If you are relaxed and full of energy - do not waste time on a social network. Take already that lengthy article, which has been gathering dust in your “read” section for half a year already - it's time. Always, I repeat, always (!) Have at hand the book that you are currently reading.

Also do not forget that programming is being improved by practice. The read must be compiled, debugged, improved, broken, repaired, tested, measured - and then, with some degree of probability, you can say that you understood what was discussed at all. Without practice, reading is useless.

Also important are family and work. And getting enough sleep is also important. Very important. And take a break from the computer. My rough estimate of the time spent on everything described above is 30-40 hours per day - this should be enough. And the rest of the time, do whatever you want.

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