The world of IT is a vortex of products created by an industry with decades of exponential growth behind it. Arguably, this makes it one of the most challenging industries to keep up to date with professionally. Happily, help is at hand because to kick start the new year, we’ve put together a list of the best technology websites sure to make every IT pros’ job easier. We’ve included some news and review sites as well as some top tools. So get ready to get bookmarking.
Keep up to date with the latest IT security bulletins
If you manage IT systems, you need to follow security news and advisories. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can get that. Heimdal Security has a fairly recent list of really good sites, some of which, starting with Dark Reading and the blogs of Bruce Scheier and Brian Krebs provide a good mix of commentary and news.
If you’re busy and really need just the alerts, a good way would be to subscribe to e-mail alerts from The US Computer Security Response Team (US-CERT) and that of any other country that is relevant to you (in our case, NCSC-FI). If you’re like me and don’t really want any more e-mail, another way would be to follow US-CERT and NCSC-FI on Twitter and enable mobile notifications to always get security alerts on your smartphone’s lock screen from the Twitter app, or even via SMS.
Keep in the know with news and review
Much of what we try to communicate on this blog is about the importance of following trends in IT. Good reporting helps determine when fads and gadgets become solid tools and how IT infrastructure is changing. The internet being made of, well, computers, there have been many good web-based IT publications around since the nineties. Here are some of our favorite sources of information as of late.
CIO, as hinted by its name, is a news publication focused on giving a sleek, very business oriented top-down view of the tech industry.
Ars Technica publishes news and analysis and in-depth reviews in laid back, readable prose. Many know the site for it’s artful, almost book-length reviews of each version of Apple’s OS X operating system.
The Wirecutter is a sanity saver for geeks who are trying to focus their attention on business IT. The Wirecutter does the hard job of thoroughly reviewing and recommending the lesser evils in electronics, even in categories like those terrible smart TVs you really shouldn’t allow on your home or office network.
Harvard Business Review is perfect reading for someone who finds themselves in the peculiar situation of managing people. Published by a non-profit subsidiary of its namesake prestige business school, HBR offers something for most people who find themselves with the professional need to keep their minds busy with ways to improve how they go about helping people do their jobs. Because that’s what leadership is, right?
MIT Technology Review is what you’d hope for based on the association with the university. It’s indeed a popularized, yet deep thinking publication that mines the latest knowledge and insights in technology. One really good showcase of the publication is their coverage of automation, such as this story about its impact on the job market.
Smallnetbuilder is the site to go to before buying home and small business network gear. The sites features news, but is simply priceless for its in-depth guides and depth reviews of Wi-Fi routers, storage servers, switches and the like. Right now, we’re really digging their smart home reviews.
Anandtech is a long-running, in-depth site for tech people. Don’t read Anandtech to get the big picture. Rather, open it every now and then and look for interesting products to see them reviewed in massive detail. For example, Andandtech’s review of the iPhone 6S will probably teach you more about the market for mobile chips than other sites will for years.
Hacker News is a brilliant, community run site with user submitted links to the best stories on programming languages, industry trends and culture.
Keep on top of your systems
Pingdom makes it easy to get notified when something goes wrong with servers you need to stay available and working. The service can do a bunch of stuff, starting with just querying that a service running at a certain address and port is responding, to some smarter parsing of a certain URL that you want to return a certain status.
Pagerduty lets you go deeper into an existing team workflow, to make sure someone gets notified of problems. With its rich library of integrations and redundant channels of notification, it may be just up your alley if you’re working for a growing organization that quickly needs some sysadmin routines.
Needless to say, there are plenty of other fantastically useful websites out there. We’ll be showcasing more themed best technology websites in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if there are more you can’t work without, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.