WEBSITES AND DEVELOPER NETWORKS
Glenn Bisignani, Product Marketing Manager
The O'Reilly Network
I don't know a single developer who doesn't have a shelf full of reference and tutorial books boasting the ubiquitous animal-adorned covers of Sebastopol, Calif.–based O'Reilly & Associates. When it comes to authoritative, timely and concise advice that prevents developers from pulling out whatever hair they may have left, publisher Tim O'Reilly reigns supreme.
The O'Reilly Network rises to the next level by providing a free online resource where many of the authors responsible for O'Reilly's books contribute, blog and otherwise provide additional content in support of the developer community.
Whether you're just browsing or seeking answers to specific questions, you'll find the answers somewhere in O'Reilly's vast Network. I've found free explanations to my Java programming questions, insights into the future of the Semantic Web, free support in customizing Apple's OS X features, free tips on how to make Microsoft products do my bidding, and priceless inspiration in Tim O'Reilly's relentless support for sensible intellectual property legislation in support of open source software.
The O'Reilly Network is the latest manifestation of O'Reilly's ongoing lesson to all of us about how to provide superb service to an industry while having fun, making a profit, and supporting open source software.
Did I mention it's free?
Productivity Award Winners
Like many of today's best websites, developer.* (DeveloperDotStar.com) began humbly, as a place for its prolific founder, Daniel Read, to post his thoughts on software development. In 2003, the site was expanded into a Web magazine format that features new content daily. But unlike many other sites with content posted on a daily basis, developer.* has managed to retain high quality in both its articles as well as in its community discussionsfollowing each article is a link to some of the most well-reasoned comments on the Web.
A random sampling of recent features includes an interview with a developer in Colombia, book reviews, reprints of classic software development essays and an article about implementing Gang of Four factory patterns with Java 5 generics. Developer.* demonstrates once again the power of good content combined with usable design and a community environment.
DeveloperWorks has been one of my favorite technical sites for years. Big Blue understands the needs of developers very wellnot only does it offer information regarding its products and services, it posts great "how-to" technical articles on a vast array of topics, including how to write better Java, how to be effective with UML 2, how to create better data models, and how to administer Linux successfully. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
More important, in my opinion, are the discussion forums, which feature a similarly wide range of discussion topics. I'm a regular participant on several modeling and process-related groups, and have been impressed with many of the discussions posted. Even if you don't work in an IBM shop, you'll find developerWorks a valuable resource.
One of the Java platform's key strengths is its vibrant developer and user community. From the Java open source community (Apache, Eclipse and JBoss) to the Java Community Process (JCP), the community itself drives the innovation around the Java platform. The official website to nurture the Java community, Java.net fuses many useful features, including weekly technical articles, discussion forums, wikis, blogs and community news. The featured articles and news contents are edited and managed by veteran editors in the Java field, and the blogs are written by noted developers and authors in the community. Hence, content quality is very high compared to many other community sites. Java.net also provides free hosting services to open source Java projects and local Java users' groups.