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Top 100 Blogs for Development Managers (Q3 2008)

14/09/2008

top 100Note: The newest edition of this list is available here!

Finally, it’s here! The new list I’ve been working on for more than two weeks! This is the top 100 most popular blogs for software development managers. You might already have seen my earlier list: the Top 100 Best Software Engineering Books, Ever. Well, I’m afraid this new list was even harder to make. Please refer to the bottom of the list for my list of complaints, and why my life sucks. But first, let’s have look at the results…


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Nr Site / Author PR TA AR Hits Cmts
1 Joel on Software Joel Spolsky 7 2357 40364 6090
2 Coding Horror Jeff Atwood 6 3472 54474 3870 1916
3 Seth’s Blog Seth Godin 7 8757 93669 14600
4 Paul Graham: Essays Paul Graham 6 2382 49839 2750
5 blog.pmarca.com Marc Andreesen 7 1169 95439 3350
6 Rough Type Nicholas Carr 7 1114 109196 4910 111
7 Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen Scott Hanselman 5 1284 51568 4040 155
8 Martin Fowler’s Bliki Martin Fowler 6 376 79142 2240
9 Rands in Repose Michael Lopp 6 565 199191 1610 401
10 Stevey’s Blog Rants Steve Yegge 7 182 201319 1270 912
11 Bokardo: Social Design Joshua Porter 6 448 105072 1990 122
12 Eric.Weblog() Eric Sink 6 161 219875 1820 183
13 Lambda the Ultimate (various) 6 197 172624 2150 90
14 Otaku, Cedric’s Weblog Cedric 7 107 209562 942 274
15 PragDave Dave Thomas 6 56 1700 158
16 High Scalability (various) 6 611 67614 749 57
17 The Berkun Blog Scott Berkun 6 224 150787 1120 42
18 UIE Brain Sparks Jared Spool 6 128 73839 913 34
19 Raganwald Reginald Braithwaite 5 286 295168 591 120
20 J.D. Meier’s Blog J.D. Meier 6 106 446 32
21 Stack Overflow Jeff Atwood 6 234 99548 119 292
22 Stevenf.com Steven Frank 5 211 431730 711
23 secretGeek Leon Bambrick 5 109 279144 382 78
24 CodeBetter.Com (various) 5 804 55474 140 53
25 Interoperability Happens Ted Neward 6 155 871230 570 42
26 Gray’s Matter Justice Gray 5 89 302785 607 38
27 Mike Cohn’s Blog: Succeeding with Agile Mike Cohn 5 401141 264 116
28 Object Mentor Blog (various) 5 83 281113 248 84
29 James Bach’s Blog James Bach 5 45 657727 503 159
30 Managing Product Development Johanna Rothman 6 50 710781 1020 22
31 Google Testing Blog (various) 5 151 308629 216 45
32 Alistair Cockburn Alistair Cockburn 5 636969 426
33 Tyner Blain Scott Sehlhorst 5 63 873747 594 40
34 Artima Weblogs (various) 5 250 41092 97 21
35 It’s Just a Bunch of Stuff That Happens Eric Burke 5 401 338795 109 51
36 { |one, step, back| } Jim Weirich 5 92 699777 315
37 Dr. Dobb’s CodeTalk (various) 6 249123 732 6
38 Petzold Book Blog Charles Petzold 5 23 400444 362 67
39 {Codesqueeze} Max Pool 5 77 432030 172 56
40 Signal vs. Noise (various) 4 72462 211 220
41 Curious Cat John Hunter 5 44 96174 1030 4
42 Knowing.NET Larry O’Brien 5 48 601544 482 12
43 Agile Management Blog David Anderson 5 26 655893 1200 15
44 /\ndy Andy Hunt 6 28 1717994 769 21
45 James Shore: Successful Software James Shore 5 71 1331837 221 28
46 Object Technology Jeff Sutherland 6 85 500221 186 6
47 Better Projects Craig Brown 5 38 1080915 251 21
48 Evolving Web Jim Benson 5 42 1681730 708 16
49 Meme Agora Neal Ford 5 63 2160111 247 28
50 Agility@Scale Scott W. Ambler 5 70 68
51 David Chelimsky David Chelimsky 5 838069 103 62
52 Pure Danger Tech Alex Miller 5 70 596549 163 9
53 Elegant Code (various) 5 96 497139 72 18
54 Exploring Solutions Spaces C. Keith Ray 6 13 1392656 329
55 The Braidy Tester Micahel 5 21 344 9
56 Destraynor Des Traynor 5 16 966603 169 58
57 Project Shrink Bas de Baar 4 40 141635 237 18
58 Stephans Blog Stephan Schmidt 5 32 659770 56 87
59 Agile Advice (various) 5 64 899353 339 2
60 LeadingAnswers Mike Griffiths 4 38 1254375 456 30
61 Wide Awake Developers Michael Nygard 5 292 1072770 149 4
62 Bit-Player Brian Hayes 6 12 3504554 240 65
63 Word Aligned Thomas Guest 5 57 536114 43 21
64 Testing Hotlist Update Bret Pettichord 5 14 1409810 231 29
65 NOOP.NL: Managing Software Development Jurgen Appelo 4 73 692206 181 19
66 Caffeinated Coder Russell Ball 5 52 1558998 46 86
67 GrokCode Jess 4 109 524914 46 74
68 Lean Software Engineering Corey Ladas 4 42 1112902 322 19
69 Exploration Through Example Brian Marick 5 31 3491602 224 27
70 Herding Cats Glen Alleman 5 51 1434425 70 23
71 Legends of the Sun Pig Martin Sutherland 7 4 1453763 399 14
72 Agile Developer Venkat’s Blog Venkat Subramaniam 5 34 1152021 187 9
73 The Third Bit Esan 5 44 1084414 321 1
74 Implementing Scrum Mike Vizdos 5 53 946336 206 3
75 Collaborative Software Testing Jonathan Kohl 5 26 3279595 296
76 Test Obsessed Elisabeth Hendrickson 4 34 2117127 256 41
77 10x Software Development Steve McConnell 4 0 533 108
78 Joel Pobar’s Weblog Joel Pobar 5 21 6854408 139 94
79 Creative Chaos Matthew Heusser 5 28 3038531 294 11
80 Jcooney.NET Joseph Cooney 5 33 2194958 161 15
81 All About Agile Kelly Waters 4 31 408534 223 10
82 Project Management 2.0 Andrew Filev 5 12 272 5
83 Agile Commons (various) 5 686263 148 4
84 The Cutter Blog (various) 5 6 778348 304 7
85 Chris Spagnuolo’s GeoScrum Chris Spagnuolo 5 51 2259995 198 4
86 Aligning Technology, Strategy, People & Projects Eric Brown 4 44 1245105 206 12
87 Agile Software Development (various) 4 62 331003 100 7
88 Clarke Ching – More Chilli Please Clarke Ching 5 36 2456889 280 3
89 Musings of a Software Development Manager Ed Gibbs 4 11 1538525 252 29
90 Notes from a Tool User Mark Levison 4 23 1383460 134 24
91 Silk and Spinach Kevin Rutherford 5 9 1117088 121 14
92 Focused Performance Frank Patrick 4 7 729258 1140 6
93 Hot Needle of Inquiry Ron Jeffries 4 11 273831 694 0
94 Mistaeks I Hav Made Nat Pryce 5 18 187328 94 0
95 Agile Thoughts Tobias Mayer 4 21 1782189 80 101
96 Agile Chronicles (various) 5 2680922 131 9
97 Steve Rowe’s Blog Steve Rowe 4 20 119 20
98 Kevin Dente’s Blog Kevin Dente 4 22 40 92
99 Agile CMMI Blog Hillel Glazer 5 8 3340384 164 12
100 Andrew Tokeley Andrew Tokeley 4 28 1348226 64 20

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Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders


After creating this Top 100 Blogs for Software Development Managers, I was sad to see that a number of very interesting blogs had been unable to find a slot on the big list. We’re talking about a number of dear favorites of mine here! So I’ve selected and printed another 25 blogs, which makes this the only top 100 list in the world with 125 entries…

101 Information Technology Dark Side David Christiansen 4 41 1838236 93 16
102 Jonathan Babcock Jonathan Babcock 4 12 356837 59 14
103 Wayne Allen’s Weblog Wayne Allen 4 32 82 12
104 Brad Appleton’s ACME Blog Brad Appleton 4 19 2819226 505 5
105 Agile in Action Simon Baker 4 32 1866089 116 10
106 Red Squirrel Reflections Dave Hoover 5 8 2332736 106
107 You’d think with all my video game experience… Jason Yip 5 21 5287734 195 2
108 PierG Piergiorgio Grossi 5 8 3549551 113 9
109 Raven’s Brain Raven Young 4 44 5041095 342 0
110 Software Project Management Pawel Brodzinski 4 23 1694265 95 8
111 HTMList.com (various) 3 18 395560 53 19
112 Effective Software Development Dave Nicolette 4 18 184 1
113 Jeff Patton’s Holistic Product Design & Development Jeff Patton 4 1391393 92
114 I.M. Wright’s “Hard Code” Eric Brechner 4 0 66 51
115 /var/log/mind Dhananjay Nene 2 13 676449 6 94
116 George Dinwiddie’s Blog George Dinwiddie 4 11 6163238 123 16
117 Agile Software Process Improvement Jason Gorman 4 20 865398 75 0
118 Thoughts On… William Caputo 4 13 4397849 113 5
119 Cauvin Roger L. Cauvin 4 7 2583163 98 8
120 You Want IT When? Bill Miller 4 2039808 57 7
121 Steve Freeman Steve Freeman 4 12 5584864 45 19
122 Jbrains.ca J.B. Rainsberger 5 0 15073372 117
123 Leading Agile Mike Cottmeyer 3 10 4452233 125 6
124 Corporate Coder Eric Landes 4 2 60 2
125 Ivar Jacobson’s Blog Ivar Jacobson 3 3 16938712 42 17

About the Nominations
Only blogs that were nominated are present on this top 100 list. In two earlier posts (here and here) I asked my readers to cast their votes. This resulted in 220 nominated blogs, which included a number of my own favorites. I only considered blogs that have been active in the last three months. (I see no point in wasting time on blogs that aren’t even being kept up-to-date with new content.) Some nominations were discarded because I don’t think they were real blogs. However, some popular personal sites were mentioned often enough to allow for a few exceptions. For example, Alistair Cockburn and Paul Graham have sites that don’t follow the “standard” blog pattern. But I think some people would have flamed me terribly had I disqualified such celebrities.

The idea of this list is to promote popular blogs that are interesting to software development managers. Therefore, I ignored the blogs that did not have any (recent) content directly related to either requirements, design, coding, testing, management, process improvement or methodologies. I also discarded generic project management blogs without topics on software development practices. Likewise, I discarded the pure coding and technology blogs when they did not elevate to the level of “managing” or “ruminating about” software development. Last of all, I only considered blogs in the English language. (I had not mentioned this constraint before. But fortunately, blogs in other languages had not been submitted.)

About Statistics
The nominated blogs have been rated using five different statistics. I will describe them here:

  • Google Page Rank (PR): The page rank for each blog indicates a blog’s relative importance on the Internet (by analysis of the weight of other sites linking to it). The higher the page rank, the better. You can see that only blogs with a page rank of 4 or higher have made it on the final Top 100 list.
  • Technorati Authority (TA): The authority for a blog indicates the number of other unique blogs that are linking to it. It is a simple way of determining if a blog is considered an authority within the blogosphere.
  • Alexa Rank (AR): The Alexa rank is the best available (free) measure of global traffic statistics. By comparing these rankings (where lower means better) we know which blogs have attracted more visitors.
  • Hits: The number of Google hits was used to get an indication of the number of links on the Internet.
  • Comments (Cmts): For each blog I’ve counted the number of comments on the last 10 blog posts. This should be an indication of the level of interaction that each blog generates with its readers.

No Feeds
I wasted a lot of time trying to find a measure of the number of RSS/Atom feeds for each blog. Unfortunately, this proved too much of a challenge. Only few blogs run their feeds through FeedBurner with a public feed count. And the number of subscribers in Google Reader appeared to be a very unreliable statistic, as it seemed to depend on the specific feed type (Atom/RSS/etc) that was selected. If anyone has a better suggestion for evaluating feed counts, please let me know! I am eager to use feed counts, not in the least because my own blog (with 900+ subscribers) seems to be doing nicely in that respect.

About Ratings
For each of the five statistics I calculated the relative scores for the good and bad performers in that specific area. Unfortunately, in some cases, the statistics were not available. Some blogs are not registered with Technorati. (Hello, Mike Cohn, Scott Ambler, and others, wake up please!) Also, when blogs are part of bigger sites, Alexa doesn’t track the traffic statistics for the individual blogs, only for the entire site. Which makes the rankings pretty useless in those cases. (Artima WebLogs en CodeBetter.com are two examples of sites that host multiple blogs, but that don’t support individual statistics for any of them. In these cases I simply listed the aggregated blogs as one entry on the list.) Finally, there are a number of authors that simply don’t allow comments on their blogs. In each of these cases I let the blogs score “neutral” in those areas. They were not punished for lack of statistics. It turned out that each blog earned at least three scores, out of the five statistics. So I simply calculated the average of the scores that were available.

Let it be known that I don’t care if people think my system sucks. In fact, I would agree wholeheartedly. But it’s the best I could come up with at this time. And I believe the result is actually quite nice.

Message for Other Authors
I fully understand that your site should also have been on this list. Well, tough luck. I’m quite sure that I’m going to repeat this exercise again in a number of months. So next time, if you want to be on this list, do the following:

  1. Make sure it’s a real blog, and not a Wiki, or a business card, or an error page.
  2. Nominate your blog, either by adding a comment to this post, or by sending me an email.
  3. Make sure that your last blog post is not dated March 11, 2006.
  4. Except for stuff about your code, your bike, and your mom, make sure there’s something interesting to read for software development managers.
  5. Increase your rankings with Google, Alexa and Technorati. It helps. And discuss your posts with your readers.
  6. It might also help if I really like your blog.

My Confession
I was quite relieved to see that my own blog has acquired enough visibility to make it to #65 on my own list. The smart people among you will understand that this top 100 list is just an elaborate plot a) to get referrals to this blog post from at least 100 popular blogs; b) to increase my own feed count; and c) to increase my own ranking in the next edition of this list.

There, I admitted it. We all have our weaknesses. But I’m sure you are all just as understanding and forgiving as I am. Now let’s start reading what those other 99 great blogs have to say about software development.


Management 3.0Do you seek more advice for Software Developers, Team Leaders & Development Managers? 

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Management 3.0

Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders




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This article is written by on in Top Lists. Jurgen Appelo is at Happy Melly. Connect with Jurgen Appelo on .

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  • omega

    You are the best :) Very useful and interesting!

  • http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2008/09/14/top-blogs-for-software-development-managers/ Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

    Top Blogs for Software Development Managers

    I am happy to say our blog has been included in the Top 100 Blogs for Development Managers. The list of blogs is quite impressive, including blogs referenced here previously: Joel on Software (ranked 1st), Coding Horror (2nd), Seth Godins Blog …

  • http://crossderry.wordpress.com Paul Ritchie

    Hi Jurgen,
    Excellent list…per my post referencing your list, I like that it’s eclectic and wide-ranging. I should have submitted Crossderry for consideration.
    Best,
    Paul

  • http://runevault.tumblr.com Patrick Sullivan

    A lot of these make a fair bit of sense, but didn’t Raganwald basically retire from blogging recently?

  • http://profile.typekey.com/jurgenappelo/ Jurgen Appelo

    @Patrick: That’s what I wondered about too, but the last post on Raganwald.com is just a month old, with no mention of quitting.
    @Paul: You are now nominated for the next edition. (Don’t know when that’s going to be, though…)

  • http://www.betterprojects.net Craig Brown

    Hey
    Thanks for putting up the list, and for including me.
    It sure does put the pressure on to keep reading, not to mention writing intersting stuff.

  • http://www.ravensbrain.com Raven young

    Hi Jurgen – Awesome list! I love the amusing banners/badges you created too.
    I am very honored to have have made #109 on your list!
    Thanks for all the work you put into this effort!

  • http://www.evolutionnext.com Dan Hinojosa

    Uh. Matt Raible….Hello?

  • http://www.martinig.ch/ Franco

    Hello Jurgen,
    Excellent list. I wonder how many times you took to compile it… Still have time to work? ;o)
    Franco

  • http://profile.typekey.com/jurgenappelo/ Jurgen Appelo

    @Franco: I think I spent between 10 and 15 hours working on it. But it was worth it!

  • http://www.basilv.com/psd/ Basil Vandegriend

    Great post (and a lot of work)!. I subscribed to a number of these blogs.
    Please check out my blog. I hope one day it will make it into the top 100!

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    Maybe this site could help you in tracking down the number of RSS subscribers of a blog: http://ratingburner.com/
    Hopefully, next time my blog, http://www.mytestbox.com , will make it into top 100 here.

  • http://www.WhatIsTesting.com Gaurav

    Thank you!
    This is a fabtastic list!!

  • http://www.projectsmart.co.uk Duncan

    A very useful list thanks, some great blogs I’ve not seen before.
    Keep up the good work!
    Duncan

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    This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

  • http://profile.typekey.com/jurgenappelo/ Jurgen Appelo

    Thanks for the nice feedback everyone, I really appreciate it!

  • http://wizcodersolution.com wizcoder

    it would be great if you could provide the opml, so we don’t have to subscribe one at a time.

  • http://www.catonmat.net Peteris Krumins

    Hi. What about http://www.catonmat.net?
    PR = 4
    TA = 231
    AR = 125,817
    Hits = 117
    Cmts = 280

  • Gerald

    You missed Dave Ward’s Encosia.

  • http://www.kleedmakers.nl/news_javra.html ashak

    I usually follow mike and stephan’s blog. thanx for the whole list. It would be an asset..

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    Great list of Blog there so much Information about Software Development and Development Manager .
    Thanks
    MAG Studios
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    Thanks for sharing list. It is really helpful!!

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    Exciting – This is a fabtastic list!! Thanks

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    A very useful list thanks, some great blogs I’ve not seen before.
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    A lot of these make a fair bit of sense, but didn’t Raganwald basically retire from blogging recently?

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  • http://www.talentsfromindia.com/ Nick J

    That is some number man….. 100 blogs of development managers.
    Seems like, Information and intellectual is in the air……