Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Which companies have the best blogs written by their engineering team?
451 points by carlmungz 235 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments



I actually really like many of the blogs at Microsoft. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but there's some gems in there.

Raymond Chen's blog[1] in particular was good enough to get me to buy his book (which definitely did not disappoint).

Other ones I subscribe to are the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog[2] , Mark Russinovich[3] and Games for Windows and the DirectX SDK[4]

And there's a few that have unfortunately not been updated for a long time, such as Larry Osterman[5], or have come to an end, such as Rico Mariani[6]

[1] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/

[2] https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/

[3] https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/markrussinovich/

[4] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/chuckw/

[5] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/larryosterman/

[6] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ricom/


Another one from a MS guy...

https://www.hanselman.com/


I'll have to second MS. I'll have to check out these individuals, but for sure some of the teams have been putting out really good reads. Recently with the chakra and DOM articles for edge, and I also enjoy the TypeScript and .Net blogs on a regular basis.


Depends what you want to get out of them. I find some are mostly focused around some of the more unique/cool challenges they come across (Google[1][2], Slack[3]), and others are more about how they solve the engineering challenges they face through software and/or about their dev process (Uber[4], Twitter[5]). Some are mix of the two (Dropbox[6], Netflix[7]).

[1] https://developers.googleblog.com/

[2] http://research.googleblog.com/

[3] https://slack.engineering

[4] https://eng.uber.com/

[5] https://blog.twitter.com/engineering

[6] https://tech.dropbox.com

[7] http://techblog.netflix.com/


Another one for Google that's really interesting is their testing blog: https://testing.googleblog.com/


Not an "engineering blog" in the traditional sense. Percona has been posting deep-dive high-quality pieces about database performance and the inner workings of InnoDB since around 2006, so more than 10 years now. If you've ever had to troubleshoot a weird performance issue in MySQL as an Ops guy or DBA, you've probably ended up finding this in your Google results:

https://www.percona.com/blog/

Disclaimer: I am currently employed by Percona, although that is not my motivation for sharing this.


+1 on mysql internals and deep-dives


What are peoples' thoughts on the marketing effectiveness of quality relative to quantity in blogging? We have recently started publishing what we consider to be very high quality material (the majority of them have front-paged on HN if that's any indication). Most of these have been published on [1] so far but we're in the process of transitioning to a more official company blog [2].

A close friend who really knows his way around marketing has been advising us to write more fluff pieces. We're really torn over this because we strongly dislike vapid content as consumers. I would be really curious to hear any anecdotes on the relative merits of the different strategies.

[1] - http://sangaline.com

[2] - https://intoli.com/blog/


The answer to this depends entirely upon who you're trying to reach with your tech-blog-as-marketing approach. If it's primarily recruitment-oriented marketing, or you're marketing a tech product (apologies, I haven't checked the link - but it's not relevant for this general advice).

If it's recruitment-focused or you're a tech provider marketing to technical customers quality is probably more important. The intended audience is educated enough to spot and dismiss fluff outright and anyone that doesn't isn't a recruit or customer you want.

If your goal is marketing to non-technical people who buy your product a technical blog is probably irrelevant at best and potentially destructive at worst. If the customer is non-technical and doesn't understand the material you present publicly, they may be scared off. Fluff pieces that demonstrate knowledge with lots of buzzwords that appeal to middle-upper management will be more effective with this audience.


Thanks, that meshes well with my thoughts on it. We're less concerned with hiring right now than with acquiring more clients, but our customers are generally developers at small to medium sized startups. We fall into that category ourselves so we've felt like things that would appeal to us would also appeal to our customers (and vice versa).


See Codeship's blog for a consistently published tech blog for a product targeted to a tech audience. They do a really good job with it.

https://blog.codeship.com/

Disclosure: I periodically write for Codeship.


As an unfortunately ex-codeship user, I can vouch for this - and for the quality of their product/support.


The blog seems to be down at the moment


From marketing standpoint, you might want to study the sharing pattern of your readers. Some people are excited about headlines and link baits. These people also have short and shallow attention. Some people like deep domain specific information. They might be your target audience.

You want your messages to reach the right audience organically.


Do both.

Put your really impactful content in your blog and your fluff pieces into its own section/knowledge base. (stuff people will probably search for but wont share). People who find your blog will just see the impactful stuff and will want to subscribe.


BTW, I am a kind of reader who is interested in meta stories, i.e., stories behind the stories. Following you blog and I find the meta link on HN:

https://news.ycombinator.com/from?site=sangaline.com

It would be interesting to do some graph analysis on it.


Awesome, I really love meta-analyses too! Our product involves web scraping so it's a natural fit to write articles about scraping and analyzing data in general. A few of our articles so far [1,2,3] would probably be classified as meta-analyses and we have some more in the pipeline! Feel free to sign up for the newsletter in the footer of http://intoli.com if you would like to read those articles after they're published :-).

[1] http://sangaline.com/post/reverse-engineering-the-hacker-new...

[2] http://sangaline.com/post/the-stories-that-hacker-news-remov...

[3] http://sangaline.com/post/wayback-machine-scraper/


Perhaps you can use web scraping to build bots to read and classify these tech blogs. I am sure the API to these metadata graphs will have strategic values to VC, recruiters, tech consultants, etc.


Evan, I wrote something recently that might be helpful: http://www.gkogan.co/blog/software-companys-blog-not-journal...


Who buys your product? Blog with them in mind. If you are not selling to engineers, fluff typically works best.


I'd like to suggest my company blog: https://blog.serverdensity.com

As an example, our frontend engineering team just wrote up a series of posts about implementing graphing in React, migrating from Redux:

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/time-series-charts-react-redu...

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/building-a-color-engine-for-g...

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/lessons-learned-implementing-...

And I wrote about recent backend changes to our time series storage: https://blog.serverdensity.com/time-series-data-opentsdb-big...


Server Density was always a great blog. Second this one!



Haha, basically all the big names :) There are some gems spread out across them all for sure; such as "The Log: What every software engineer should know about real-time data's unifying abstraction" from LinkedIn.


A helpful list, but some (e.g. Bitly) haven't posted an article for more than 2 years.

Could be useful for archived content though I guess.


Twitter have moved to https://blog.twitter.com/engineering


Almost all web and ops :(


Digital Ocean has some quality posts I've found from Google, though I don't actively follow the blog.

https://www.digitalocean.com/company/blog/


Came here to upvote DO. Most of the companies mentioned here write articles about their products, infra & engineering marvels.What makes DO different is that their articles are written for the end user.They have some of the most helpful articles on setting up servers, from start to end, with examples. Although not all posts are written by their own engineers [1] (nothing wrong, just saying).

[1] https://www.digitalocean.com/community/get-paid-to-write


Their posts rank well, higher than Stack Overflow for 'how do I install this on Ubuntu' articles plus you know the instructions are highly likely to work without excessive featuritis (certain how to perfect server guides spring to mind).

Along the way one is likely to get a free-ish 'droplet' at some time and the combination of the articles and the occasional droplet use makes one a customer almost by a process of osmosis - it becomes hard to not like Digital Ocean.

I do feel that they may have lost the momentum on the articles though, or maybe I am just not doing so many Ubuntu setup things, whatever the reason I have not used their articles a great deal over the last year.

Does anyone else think they need a bit of a reboot and to update/crank out more articles?


Agreed. When we were setting up a server at work we found their how-to articles particularly useful.


I believe the digital ocean articles are community-written, unless they also have a corporate blog that I'm unaware of.


I have to agree that the posts I've read from DO have all been of the highest quality regarding ops-stuff. I think the bigger companies could use same kind of dedication to user-friendliness and focus more on making their communities better.


+1 for Digital Ocean.


Backblaze have a good one, with their annual drive failure survey being a highlight: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/


Thanks!


RiotGames: https://engineering.riotgames.com/

Autodesk Stingray (formerly Bitsquid): http://bitsquid.blogspot.de/


Glad you mentioned Riot Games. I stumbled on their dev blog this year and found their content to be excellent.

I personally really enjoyed their post about their messaging service: https://engineering.riotgames.com/news/riot-messaging-servic...


i've never been interested in video game development but one day i saw an article they posted giving a technical overview of their graphics pipeline [1] and i couldn't stop reading.

[1] https://engineering.riotgames.com/news/trip-down-lol-graphic...


First blog I thought of, although it's not a company: Dolphin. https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/

As for actual companies, as an embedded dev I think Atomic Object (https://spin.atomicobject.com) and Free Electrons (http://free-electrons.com/blog/) both do a good job.


If you're interested in front-end development, there are a few companies which focus on that:

- Apollo/Meteor: https://dev-blog.apollodata.com/

- Auth0: https://auth0.com/blog/tech/

- Chroma: https://blog.hichroma.com/

- LogRocket (my company): https://blog.logrocket.com/


I really like the segment engineering blog. https://segment.com/blog/categories/engineering/

They run a pretty modern cloud stack using fun technology like terraform, which gives me serious envy as well as inspiration. They also have some ridiculously high quality posts with open source code included such as: https://segment.com/blog/the-segment-aws-stack/ (highly recommended reading).


StitchFix do lots of interesting ML stuff, such as Chris Moody's lda2vec. Their algorithms page is really cool: http://algorithms-tour.stitchfix.com/#recommendation-systems


Thoughtbot, in addition to having a really good blog, is at least in the running for one of the best names (Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots).

https://robots.thoughtbot.com/

I love it because the articles are often small, one off tips re: vim, the command line, ruby, etc. Really neat stuff.


> Really neat stuff

Pun intended?


Great design + engineering teams = Awesome products

Instagram (https://engineering.instagram.com/)

Stripe (https://stripe.com/blog/engineering)

Airbnb (http://nerds.airbnb.com/)


Does https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com or Kaspersky's secure blog count? https://securelist.com/


Project Zero is always a great read.


The Cloudflare blog is top-notch. If you skim past all their product and data center announcements, there is a ton of good technical content.

https://blog.cloudflare.com


OkCupid has great statistical into their data: https://theblog.okcupid.com/


we also have a tech blog that we are revitalizing!

http://tech.okcupid.com


Disclosure: I'm an Editor at the Toptal Engineering blog.

Toptal has extremely active and wonderful blog for developers[1], designers[2] and finance experts[3].

The reason I can make that claim is because Toptal's blog posts are contributed by members of our network, all of whom are verified experts in their fields, and we guide them through the entire process to help them write the perfect blog post.

We publish new articles almost every day! We invest a lot of love into maintaining our publication and try to publish the most useful content for fellow experts.

[1]: https://www.toptal.com/developers/blog#contract-just-respect...

[2]: https://www.toptal.com/designers/blog#contract-just-respecte...

[3]: https://www.toptal.com/finance/blog#contract-just-respected-...


I really like Stitch Fix blog :http://multithreaded.stitchfix.com


GitHub: https://githubengineering.com/

Really surprised it wasn't mentioned yet. They do really in depth posts and show metrics too.

Example: https://githubengineering.com/how-we-made-diff-pages-3x-fast...


in my biased opinion, the Cockroach Labs, Inc. blog[1] (the team behind cockroachdb/cockroach[2]) fares pretty well.

[1]: https://www.cockroachlabs.com/blog/

[2]: https://github.com/cockroachdb/cockroach


My personal upvote for the Google Cloud Platform blog: https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

...a pretty mixed bag with some product & PR posts inside, but the gems inside (especially SRE / CRE life lessons) are pretty awesome.

Also, we're getting started ourselves with some quality tech material - not too much there yet, but our Debugging Postgres post got a lot of love from the community: https://www.justwatch.com/blog/


I love Gitlab's open source culture.

They have a blog where they share many things, for example their database incident when an engineer deleted the backup and production databases : https://about.gitlab.com/blog/

On a not-only-engineering topic, they also share a lot about what they do through their handbook : https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/



Khan Academy's engineering blog is great if you're into Google App Engine, React, ...

http://engineering.khanacademy.org



Deis blog:

https://deis.com/blog/

Especially @rimusz, who is not technically part of Deis engineering team (?) :

https://deis.com/blog/2016/first-kubernetes-cluster-gke/

Partially self-serving post because I'm also published here:

https://deis.com/blog/2016/cheapest-fault-tolerant-cluster-d...

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an index of the posts on one page! There are links to relevant posts on the sidebar and both of those have good relevant links.

These guys I worked with for a long time, to get my post out! It kind of stung a bit when the v1 PAAS was officially deprecated before I got to put it online. But in terms of support, the newer solutions are only better. The lessons learned putting this post out are still valid, even if the specific product of the tutorial is no longer relevant. (I used this process to create my own CoreOS bare metal cluster, and I don't actually use DigitalOcean in my day-to-day work.)

But the other content on the blog really was a good, focused introduction to Kubernetes and friends for me. Deis is the team that created Helm and it was subsumed into Kubernetes (and Helm Classic, which was another iteration before it was part of Kubernetes proper.)


Although I don't like them, Cloudflare have a really good blog.

https://blog.cloudflare.com/


Curious why you don't like Cloudflare.


http://cryto.net/~joepie91/blog/2016/07/14/cloudflare-we-hav...

If you're interested this guy has a really good response to exactly that question


One reason to dislike them is that they're the NSA's favourite MITMiddleman.


Do we have proof?


This is an American company that strips SSL from many, many medium value targets; if they aren't thoroughly owned then the surveillance state is being negligent.

A paranoid man would go even further than that and assume that monitored DDoS-proofing goes hand in hand with targetted, state-sponsored DDoS attacks.


I don't dislike them because of shitty services or customer support or anything. In fact, in those regards they are pretty awesome. It's just a privacy thing. For details see the other responses.


Please include a disclaimer when defending your employer.


How is that a defense?


If you are looking for a database-related blog, SlicingDice's is a good one:

https://blog.slicingdice.com/

This series of posts below describes in details how they built their database engine from scratch and the data warehouse service.

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-1-in...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-2-s1...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-3-s1...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-4-in...


Pusher: https://making.pusher.com/

Disclosure: I work there and have written articles for the blog.

At the moment we mainly blog about our experiences with Golang (our language of choice right now). But really it's open to any topic someone in our engineering team is interested in writing about.

We aim to keep things visual, interactive and example-based. For example Jim Fisher created an interactive animation of Golang's GC algorithm here: https://making.pusher.com/golangs-real-time-gc-in-theory-and.... We also managed to embed Golang's trace visualiser within one of the posts: https://making.pusher.com/go-tool-trace/#tour-of-the-go-tool... (using some pretty dirty tricks).




If anyone here is a Feedly user, I keep a list of around 300 software engineering blogs in a shared collection: http://feedly.com/karllhughes/Engineering%20Blogs

A lot of the blogs in this thread are in there.


The Caktus team has a great technical blog with many posts about Python and Django. I've also really enjoyed visiting with their people at PyCon over the years.

https://www.caktusgroup.com/blog/



Square have an excellent blog: https://medium.com/square-corner-blog

Square put out a lot of fantastic libraries, and much of their output is basically essential for Android.


crossfilter.js is incredibly useful for building interactive dashboards


http://www.fittedcloud.com/blog/

FittedCloud is a small start-up that does automatic cloud resource optimization. They post regularly and go into topics ranging from technical details of machine learning to cost optimization for AWS resources (EBS, EC2, DynamoDB, etc).

As far as I can tell, they are the only company around that can automatically scale up and down EBS resources in a way that the customer only pays for what he or she uses, rather than paying for over-provisioned, unused storage...all without downtime or performance hic-cup. These guys know a lot about the cloud and storage.


Since there are a lot of examples here, I'll mention HighScalability [0], which takes many talks and writes it out as text.

[0] http://highscalability.com/


I really like Civis Analytics, which is here: https://www.civisanalytics.com/blog/


We recently started an engineering blog at Doximity [1] that I think is good (though it has less heavy technical content than others). I'd be really interested in what you all think is effective for both blogs-as-recruiting-tools and for giving back to the community. For our particular product, basically (users)∩(blog readers)=∅ so content is created solely for the software community.

[1] - https://engineering.doximity.com/



Why do people insist on calling these dumps of all links they can find/get submitted in PRs "curated"?! It has almost 600 entries, with no extra content or structure...


I tried to submit a few a while ago and they said they weren't rigorous enough, so that's curation enough for me.


Agreed. Personally I think asking for general blog recommendations is not helpful. I just google topics I'm interested and start to create that list myself.

Also - I think the idea of creating blog followers is becoming less popular. I use aggregators like this to help collect the content and I can filter on my own.


From time to time, I'v enjoyed Spotify's blog: https://labs.spotify.com/



The developer blog at StitchFix is excellent: http://multithreaded.stitchfix.com/blog/

Most Scala consultancies/companies have their own internal blogs and most are excellent, for instance, underscore: http://underscore.io/blog/


Knewton (where I once led marketing) flew mostly under the radar as a tech company because (a) NYC and (b) education, but the data science shop it built up a few years ago was killer, and the people who left went on to top tier companies. As a result of that talent, the tech blog there -- modeled after Netflix -- was solid.

https://tech.knewton.com/


Scylla's blog has some excellent technical content, though it's intermixed with lots release announcements. http://www.scylladb.com/2017/01/02/top-5-blog-posts-of-2016/ has some of the highlights.


Lift Engineering blog - not too technical but interesting b/c we all enjoy the product: https://eng.lyft.com/

start here: https://eng.lyft.com/matchmaking-in-lyft-line-9c2635fe62c4


https://blog.jooq.org/ is excellent if you do any SQL


For a data science flavor, see https://blog.dominodatalab.com

For web dev, Netlify posts frequently and even has podcasts: https://www.netlify.com/blog/



Awesome answers here. Some self marketing - I developed a parser for some engineering blogs. I did it for myself, and created a simple web app to serve content - http://kubiq.co. I'm going to add more companies soon. Enjoy!


Btw, I'm thinking to create iOS app as well. Anyone will use it?


Thanks for sharing! Search enhancement on web will be helpful. I will not use app.


My co-workers at End Point write some pretty useful posts, with a lot of practical ones around Linux sysadmin and devops topics:

http://blog.endpoint.com/

A bit self-promotional since I blog there too, but I'm greatly outnumbered.


General Electric are at the forefront of industrial engineering and quite good at blowing their own trumpet.


These two are in my bookmarks, and often have quite interesting reads.

http://www.gereports.com/

https://www.ge.com/digital/blog/blogger/ge

Any other interesting G-E sites I'm missing ?


Shameless plug for my company's blog: levvel.io/blog

Lots of DevOps focus currently but also contains some stuff we're working on with machine learning, blockchain, and we are working on a much broader range of content.

Plus we'd love more feedback on the posts :)


For those that have started a tech blog for your own engineering teams, how did you get people to write? How did you get buy-in from management?

I'm trying to get our tech blog off the ground but it's difficult to get buy-in from everyone.


http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/ - By Amazon CTO Werner Vogels

Thinking further on this.. Apple is totally not in the picture or i do not know.


http://planetpython.org/

It's not a corporate blog, but if you're interested in Python, go check it out for recent postings from Python-related blogs.


Trail of Bits! Topics include software security, control flow integrity, reverse engineering, program analysis, fuzzing, compilers, etc.

https://blog.trailofbits.com


Awhile back I found this curated engineering blog list https://github.com/sumodirjo/engineering-blogs


Sophos (security software) https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/ Not pushing their products. Sensible advice and news coverage.


Sysdig has had a bunch of nice posts over the last 2-3 years:

https://sysdig.com/blog/tag/technical/


OpenCredo is a good blog to read:

https://opencredo.com/blog/

On the other hand, Cloudflare, Stripe and Netflix have some awesome articles too.


The pre-acquisition Ksplice blog was fantastic. Now available at: https://blogs.oracle.com/ksplice


I like the Recurse center codewords publication https://codewords.recurse.com/


http://www.astronomer.io/blog all of their technical pieces are pretty on point



Best one in the nordics https://engineering.klarna.com/


I'm not impartial but I read every marmelab blog post:

https://marmelab.com/blog/


https://zapier.com/blog/ is a good place to visit from time to time.


My vote would go to Discord's blog -- https://blog.discordapp.com/


More geared towards front-end stuff - good stuff:

http://blog.rangle.io/



I like Badoo tech blog: https://techblog.badoo.com


I really like the packagecloud one: https://blog.packagecloud.io/

With posts like these one: https://blog.packagecloud.io/eng/2016/06/22/monitoring-tunin...


I think they appeal more to the bootstrappers than to the YC startup crowd - but I like everything from 37 signals.


https://product.reverb.com/

This is a good one



We just started a blog a few months ago at our company on a variety of topics such as mobile & BE development, as well as design [1]. Hopefully it's of use to the community :)

I also enjoy the Hacker Noon articles [2]

[1] https://blog.picnic.nl/

[2] https://hackernoon.com/


*Hacker Noon


Fixed, thanks!


Are there any good engineering blogs that are more hardware/manufacturing oriented?


OpsDash's blog has some interesting technical posts, esp. on Postgres and Go:

https://www.opsdash.com/blog/index.html


Have Blogs been superseded by Vlogs ?


Not for me or anyone else who commutes by train through areas where 4G coverage is limited and who has a limited data plan anyway.


I've never gotten into vlogs or podcasts. Why watch/listen something in an hour that can be read in ten minutes?


I like Google's deepmind.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: