My favourite four of 2010

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You know those end of year award ceremonies where organisations award people with prestigious titles? Well I thought it would be fun to list my favourites from 2010. They might not be prestigious titles, but they do make an impact on both my home life and my work life. I thought I would select one from each of the four different mediums that I consumed on a daily basis last year.

Best blog

I first subscribed to Nicholas Bate's blog a few years ago and since then it's been a consistent part of daily reading ritual. His posts focus on productivity and business, with most following a list format or a simple link to an important article. His Brill@BasicsOfBiz series was a highlight for me last year and there were many more great posts throughout the year. For this year, Nicholas has already kicked off the New Year with the start of a new series of posts on 2011 as the year of transformation.Nicholas also has a great list of mini-books for sale that cover topics from his blog such as personal success, sales techniques and performance.

If you're interested in one blog to keep you right on the topics of business and productivity then I highly recommend you make Nicholas Bate's blog part of your daily reading list.

Best tweeter

When I follow people on Twitter I tend to prefer to follow people that not only tweet about a topic I'm interested in, but also tweet about personal topics and people important to them. If someone simply tweets about the topic they're interested in, then I quickly lose interest in what they're saying.For 2010,
Patrick Rhone had to be my favourite tweeter of the year. Not only did he use Twitter to link up to great content on his Minimal Mac blog, his own website and his tumblelog and other places, but he also posted a steady stream of individual tweets that got me thinking about how I work.

Along with tweets on the subject of working, writing and creativity, Patrick also tweets about his day to day to life, family, side projects, hobbies and other things. His timeline is a great mix of subjects and ideas and one that I'm going to continue to follow in 2011.

Best podcast/screencast

Last year I spent most of my spare time building a Rails application for a local business. It's was never a project that could allow me to make a move to freelancing full-time so I worked on it when I could afford the time. Usually during a couple of quiet nights during the week and sometimes at weekends. Investing time in a project this way meant that I had to use my time wisely to explore new features and options in Rails.

This is where Railscasts came in.Railscasts is a weekly screencast by Ryan Bates that features tip and tricks on working with Ruby on Rails. Quite often I wanted to use a specific feature of Rails, but rather than reading the Rails documentation first and then figuring out what I needed I used the Railscasts archive of screencasts to find the relevant information to get me started. Quite often the relevant Railscast provided me with all the information I needed to get started, and there has only been a few times where I have needed to explore the Rails documentation further to get exactly what I wanted when implementing a feature or refactoring an application.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Ryan Bates has planned for Railscasts this year and I'm looking forward to eventually porting my Rails application to the lastest version of Rails with the help of Ryan's Railscasts!

Best book

As an ERP developer working to a single programming language, my career isn't exactly varied. Probably the most varied part of my job is the different customers that we have and having to adapt to each different business domain. Therefore trying to stay on top of my career can be a tad difficult. There isn't much scope for introducing other languages into my day to day job and therefore I've found it difficult to keep up with the programming languages that I am really interested in.

Then came along Chad Fowler's book, The Passionate Programmer. This book re-invigurated my career as a software developer. Now rather than focusing on the little tips and techniques that programmers are talking about on a day to day basis, I've my eye on the longer term goal than I'm willing to invest in rather than simply using job hopping as a solution. I'm still working through a plan I put together as a result of reading this book a couple of times and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of results I get in the year ahead.

That's my 4, what's yours?

So there you have it, my favourite blog, tweeter, podcast and book from 2010. Now that you've heard mine, do you have a favourite 4 from 2010?