The software development field often changes. If you don’t keep up with burgeoning conversations, then these changes appear more rapid than they actually are. At my last company, many felt that Docker containers and Kubernetes burst onto the scene out of nowhere. People who were watching, had seen conversations around some of those technologies for 5+ years before they became ubiquitous. I have found the best way to mitigate this type of surprise is through having an “information feed” where people you trust or find interesting are offering their thoughts and opinions. Your goal isn’t to become an expert in everything that comes across the feed. It is to gain a broader perspective and be able to take note when certain items increase in relevance through their greater representation in what you are seeing or in who is noticing them.

As we would expect, over time even the technology behind these feeds has changed. When I started years ago, it was via Google Reader (now dead). I moved it over to Twitter (now dying). Currently, I use a Mastodon account on The death of Twitter as a meaningful news source in the aggregate may be a way off. But for our purposes, many folks in the technology field have left in favor of the Fediverse (and specifically Mastodon). I’m one of those; I removed everyone I followed on Twitter and moved them over to Mastodon where I could around the end of 2022.

Below, I’ve tried to list some good “first follows” on Mastodon in a few categories. To be fair, I currently follow 300+ people; the list below won’t be nearly that. There’s a bit of a network effect as you build out what is interesting to yourself. You don’t actually want everyone following the exact same people b/c then there’s little chance for cross-pollination. One way to build more people to follow is to pay attention when someone re-shares another person’s post. If you find something that was re-shared interesting, give the originator a follow. You can always drop them again later if it’s just too much of a firehose.

You will need to create an account on a Mastodon instance in order to start following people. For the most part, worrying about which instance to pick is unnecessary. You can follow people on other instances and even move your account between instances if you want.

One other interesting thing about the Fediverse is that some reasonably sized “islands’’ have developed. These are servers where a good number of people with similar backgrounds / interests / etc all joined the same instance. If you want to fill out your list in a particular area, it can be useful to scan the local, public timeline of those servers to find other interesting folks. Three main ones that come to mind:

  1. Hachyderm - has an infrastructure / operational focus
  2. Fosstodon - has a software development focus
  3. Infosec Exchange - security focus

There is also a Fedi.Directory. I don’t know how it is managed overall, but it does have folks listed in various categories. You can click on them and browse their posts to see if they seem like a good follow for you. Keep in mind that folks manage their feeds in different ways. Some will be all technology all the time. Others will have a good smattering of other topics. You can always just unfollow them if they aren’t meeting your goals.

The list (updated 2023-12-18) -


  • Mitchell Hashimoto -
  • Kris Nova - - RIP
  • Hazel Weakly -
  • dominic -
  • Malte Janduda -
  • Dan Slimmon -
  • Charity Majors -
  • Corey Quinn -


  • Python Weekly -
  • Python Software Foundation -
  • Brett Cannon -



  • Tim McNamara -
  • Rust Weekly -
  • Jeremy Soller -
  • Orhun Parmaksiz =


  • SwiftOnSecurity -
  • Lesley Carhart -
  • Tavis Ormandy -
  • Kelly Shortridge -
  • Brian Krebs -

General technology / software development

  • Martin Fowler -
  • GeePawHill -
  • Jessica Kerr -
  • Jason Gorman -
  • Brian Marick -
  • Ruth Malan -
  • Joshua Bloch -
  • Kent Beck -
  • Kelsey Hightower -
  • Adrian Cockcroft -
  • Scott Hanselman -
  • J.B. Rainsberger -
  • Bryan Cantrill -
  • Tim Bray -
  • Daniel Stenberg -
  • Ward Cunningham -
  • Tim Bray -
  • Julia Evans -