Over the past few years, my RSS feed has begun to fill up with a number of amazing and inspiring web developers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers. I encountered most of them while researching a question or issue I’ve had, and they provided me with a clean website and a succinct answer. I’ve learned so much from them that thought it would be nice to share a list of them with you today.
If you’ve seen that familiar RSS symbol on blogs around the internet but are not familiar with how to utilize it, I wrote an article about what RSS feeds are, and how to follow someone with an RSS feed reader. I find it’s the easiest and least annoying way to follow a blog, though you can also choose to sign up for email newsletters or bookmark them.
This is by no means an extensive list, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten plenty of people that have helped or inspire me, but I’ll keep a look out and make another post like this next year.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits is not a programmer or web developer, but I had to put him at the top of the list. So much of what he has written has inspired me, from the uncopyright on his blog, to his thoughts on goals, minimalism, finances, healthy eating, and happiness. Leo has been writing consistently on those topics and more since 2006 and has managed to turn it into viable source of income to sustain himself and his family. Advice to My Kids is a good article to summarize what he’s all about.
I discovered Derek Sivers through Leo’s now page, and spent the next several hours reading through many of his articles and gleaning invaluable insights on life. An exceedingly simple facade hides a wealth of knowledge and observations from this entrepreneur and student of life. Derek often aspires to give a different and unique point of view. Hell yeah is a philosophy of his that I subscribe to. Another ad-free website full of valuable content – starting to see a pattern of what I aspire to?
Sara is an independent front-end developer, author and speaker. She has written a number of books on development, has worked with Smashing Magazine and Codrops, and has an impressive portfolio of speaking, podcasts, and other work. Sara is the original author of the CSS Reference. Everything that she authors impresses me, and she’s a verible encyclopedia on knowledge of accessibility and SVGs.
Una is a UI Engineer over at Digital Ocean, a company I’m rather fond of. She has a very fun and unique style, and also has the added feature of spoken versions of her blog posts! She can always be found on her own Podcast or as a guest on other web development postcasts, and has a fantastic amount of CSS, Sass, and design related knowledge.
Todd is an Angular developer at Google. I learned how to build my first responsive navigation bar from him a few years ago. He also created the HTML5 Blank WordPress “theme”, which taught me alot about the essentials of WordPress theming. I have yet to use Angular, but I know the first place I’ll look if I ever decide to.
The original creator of the Skeleton framework, Dave Gamache worked at Twitter and Medium. Although Skeleton is wildly out of date, I learned how to make my first grid and as a result, learned responsive design, by studying Skeleton’s source code. It looks like he’s currently working on a neat product called Launchday.
Eevee is a game developer, personality, and maker of things. Her website has a lot going on, most of which is unusual, interesting and informative and related to design, drawing or development. I can relate with Eevee, especially with this quote of hers:
Eventually it would be nice to make a thing that actually makes money on its own. I have two factors working against me: I like to liberally license everything I do, and I fucking hate advertising and will never put it on anything I control.
Jeffrey is the creator of Laracasts, and is an amazing teacher for all things PHP and Laravel. He is very good at overcoming the curse of knowledge, and his resources are beginner, intermediate, and advanced friendly.
I’ve been on the Internet for a long time. A long, long time. Back in 1998, young Tania – who could always be found drawing dragons – found the website of an artist who also loved drawing dragons. Nearly two decades later, I remembered something I read on her website that always stuck with me, so I scoured the internet for hours to find her website, and somehow it’s still there. This FAQ planted a seed in my mind that has shaped the way I see art, ownership, and sharing my creations.
I share my art because so many other people have shared with me. People are sharing with you right now, and you may not even know it.
Another case of early inspiration, I read Chris’s book The Art of Non-Conformity when I decided on a career change. He has accomplished many things I strive for – making an income without a full-time job, podcasting, side hustles, and traveling the world. I’m only just starting to act on some of the concepts I read about back then, but it’s a slow and steady process.
I hope you find encouragement and motivation through some of these influential people as I have!