People to follow on Twitter who actually tweet about Software Engineering

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Introduction

I admit it, the topic of this post is not very original. If you google for its title, you will find countless lists, some of them by large publications. I should know, because I tried to incorporate recommendations from these resources multiple times throughout my 8-year long Twitter journey. However, it always turned out that many of the recommendations are of little use for me due to one or multiple of the following reasons:

  • The recommended person is famous, but tweets very rarely or not at all.
  • The person is famous, but does not tweet about software engineering.
  • The person is CEO of a software company and their tweets are primarily advertisements or announcements related to the company.
  • The person tweets the same things as everyone else. In principle, there is nothing wrong with that, but if you follow a hundred people who tweet variations of the same 240 characters take, it can become a bit dull.

To avoid these pitfalls, I define the following criteria:

  1. Must tweet somewhat regularly, at the very least more than once a month.
  2. Must actually tweet about software engineering or at least closely related topics, such as the software startup scene.
  3. I (subjectively) find the tweets interesting.
With my list, you don’t have to rely on Twitter’s verification system (Source: xkcd.com)

With my list, you don’t have to rely on Twitter’s verification system (Source: xkcd.com)

Obviously, any such list is highly opinionated and will always represent only a very small subset of all the amazing twitter accounts out there. Nevertheless, I am confident that my list contains many accounts that most people working in software engineering will find interesting.

I try to fit the people into different categories for better readability. Please note that some people could easily fit into multiple categories.

The listed information is taken directly from the respective person’s Twitter account. Only if their description does not give information about their role, I give an additional line stating their position in italics.

I created the first version of this post manually, but as the list grew, this was no longer feasible. So I googled for a suitable Twitter API library and wrote a few lines of hacky Python code, that can generate the required Markdown:

import twitter
import re

# You have to apply for a developer account to get API credentials
api = twitter.Api(consumer_key='',
                  consumer_secret='',
                  access_token_key='',
                  access_token_secret='')

# In practice, the code below is in a loop
user = api.GetUser(screen_name=current_screen_name, return_json=True)

screen_name = user['screen_name']
name = user['name']
description = re.sub(r'\n+',  ' - ', user['description'])
# convert twitter handles to Markdown links
description = re.sub('(@[\w\d]+)', '[\\1](https://twitter.com/\\1)', description)
description = description.replace("twitter.com/@", "twitter.com/")
location = user['location']

print("[**%s @%s**](https://twitter.com/%s)  " %(name,screen_name,screen_name))
if description:
    print(description + "  ")
if location:
    print(location + "  ")
if('url' in user['entities']):
    print(user['entities']['url']['urls'][0]['expanded_url'])
print("\n---\n")

Software Engineers

Daniel Stenberg @bagder
Internet protocol geek. I write curl. I play with HTTP and QUIC within IETF. On team @wolfSSL. HTTP/3 is coming. I don’t know anything. Stockholm Sweden
https://daniel.haxx.se


Dan Abramov @dan_abramov
he/him
https://overreacted.io
Co-author of Redux and Create React App.


Armin Ronacher @mitsuhiko
Creator of Flask; Building stuff at @getsentry — writing and talking about system arch, API design and lots of Python / Rust. https://www.twitch.tv/themitsuhiko
Vienna, Austria
https://lucumr.pocoo.org


Nick Craver @Nick_Craver
Dad, Architecture Lead, Developer, Site Reliability Engineer & DBA. @StackOverflow. MS MVP. I build very fast things to improve life for millions of developers.
North Carolina
https://nickcraver.com


Scott Hanselman @shanselman
Code, Race, OSS, Dad, Open Web, Black Hair, STEM, Beyoncé, @TheOfficialACM, MSFT, #T1D. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu @Hanselminutes podcast=inclusive tech talk!
Portland, Oregon
https://hanselman.com


David Fowler @davidfowl
Partner Software Architect at Microsoft on the http://ASP.NET team, Creator of SignalR, Barbadian, Tennis Player, Father, and Husband of @symonefowler
Redmond
https://davidfowl.com


Chris Smith @aChrisSmith
Author of Programming F# and all-around nice guy. Employee #3 at @PulumiCorp. Ex-Googler, Microsoftie too, in case that matters. Opinions are my own, obvs.
Seattle, WA


Safia Abdalla @captainsafia
I help maintain the @nteractio ecosystem, make open source software at @microsoft, and write books and blogs. Dream big and follow through even bigger.
Seattle, WA
https://safia.rocks


Jeff Triplett @webology
Python, Django, Docker, Engineer, Partner at @revsys - Affiliations @ThePSF @defnado @djangocon @djangoproject - Interests 🏀 ✨ 💪 🏃‍♂️ 🤖 (he/him)
Lawrence, KS
https://jefftriplett.com


Sarah Lim @sliminality
I want to talk to you about the affect and aesthetics of computing.
she/her/她
http://slim.computer


Max Stoiber @mxstbr
Maker https://t.co/lDhfGoK9Ke https://t.co/86uNp5ZSzr Δ - Eng @gatsbyjs, prev @github (acq @withspectrum) 💼 - Created styled-components, react-boilerplate… 💅 - https://t.co/565oxi5nr2
Wien, Österreich
https://mxstbr.com


Jonathan Carter @LostInTangent
I build dev tools and services @ Microsoft (Codespaces, Live Share, IntelliCode) and maintain some OSS VS Code extensions (GistPad, CodeTour, GitDoc)
Ballard, Seattle, WA


Alex Russell @slightlylate
Chrome Project 🐡 & Web Standards TL; Blink API OWNER - Named PWAs w/ @phae; probably making her ☕ - Tweets are my own and do not represent my employer’s views.
San Francisco, The Internet
https://infrequently.org/


Natalie Marleny @NatalieMarleny
✏️ Application Engineer (Independent)
London, England
http://github.com/nataliemarleny

Indie Hackers

The people in this section are mostly software engineers as well, and many could also be described as founders. However, I feel like the theme of their tweets is quite different from those other categories and deserving of its own section.

Monica Lent @monicalent
Latin major turned software engineer 💖 JS, FP, U2F, Linux, and embarrassing myself in German on a daily basis. Building @affilimateio 👩🏻‍🚀
Berlin, Germany
https://monicalent.com


Nikita Voloboev @nikitavoloboev
Make @LearnAnything_. Love animals. Vegan. http://github.com/nikitavoloboev http://instagram.com/nikitavoloboev
London
https://nikitavoloboev.xyz


Caleb Porzio @calebporzio
Launching Soon: http://MakeVSCodeAwesome.com. Co-Host of @noplanstomerge | Creator of @LaravelLivewire & @Alpine_JS
Buffalo, NY
https://calebporzio.com


Umar Hansa @umaar
• I tweet developer tips and tricks • Made http://ModernDevtools.com@GoogleDevExpert member • Developer tips http://umaar.com/dev-tips/ • Previously web developer @shazam
London
https://numaar.com


Francesco Di Lorenzo @frankdilo
Founder. Hacker. Building @mailbrew to fix how we stay informed online.
Milan, Italy
https://mailbrew.com


Chris Achard @chrisachard
Building @meetingplace_io. Teaching everything I know about: React, Rails, JS, Node, at https://t.co/F6LJmRvN4t; online instructor @eggheadio
Carmel, IN
http://chrisachard.com


Daniel Vassallo @dvassallo
Becoming self-employed is easy, staying so is hard. I tweet about how I’m doing it. Building https://t.co/CP5YrWTk2Y. Creator on https://t.co/Ua6JqF8zb7.
Seattle, WA
https://danielvassallo.com

InfoSec

Troy Hunt @troyhunt
Pluralsight author. Microsoft Regional Director and MVP for Developer Security. Online security, technology and “The Cloud”. Creator of @haveibeenpwned.
Australia
https://troyhunt.com


SwiftOnSecurity @SwiftOnSecurity
Systems security, industrial safety, author http://DecentSecurity.com + http://GotPhish.com , write SciFi, sysadmin, & use Oxford commas. they/them/tay
Cyber, USA
https://decentsecurity.com
Taylor Swift parody account tweeting about InfoSec topics


Matthew Green @matthew_d_green
I teach cryptography at Johns Hopkins.
Baltimore, MD
https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com
Professor for cryptography at Johns Hopkins

Initially, I wanted to do a section with Academics. However, it turned out that I do not actually follow a lot of university researchers. Dou you know of any that would fit the criteria given in the introduction?

Blockchain

Vitalik Buterin @VitalikButerin
See https://about.me/vitalik_buterin Not giving away ETH. For inquiries about me advising your ICO, please email: [email protected]
Earth
https://vitalik.ca
Co-founder of Ethereum


Emin Gün Sirer @el33th4xor
CEO @avalabsofficial, Prof @Cornell, co-director @initc3org, currently on leave from the last two
Williamsburg, NY
https://hackingdistributed.com


Neeraj K. Agrawal @NeerajKA
comms @coincenter—the cryptocurrency policy think tank | [email protected] https://t.co/SASIdi6UWM
Washington, DC
http://coincenter.org


Elizabeth Stark 😷 @starkness
big fan of the internet. like building things. cofounder @lightning labs, fellow @coincenter. taught @stanford + @yalelawtech.
brooklyn + sf

Startup Scene

Paul Graham @paulg
https://paulgraham.com
Co-founder of Y Combinator


Garry Tan @garrytan
Managing Partner, @Initialized. Earliest investor in @coinbase @instacart @flexport & 100+ more—$36B in startup market cap so far. Forbes Midas List 2019 #21 🚀
San Francisco, CA
https://youtube.com/garrytan


Kate Clark @KateClarkTweets
Writing about venture capital & startups @theinformation | Tips to [email protected] | Signal & Telegram: 415-409-9095 San Francisco
https://techcrunch.com/newsletter


Andrew Wilkinson @awilkinson
Co-founder of Tiny, owner of @Dribbble, @MetaLab, and many others. Buying, starting, and investing in wonderful internet businesses since 2007.
Victoria, Canada
http://www.tinycapital.com


Sahil Lavingia @shl
Founder @gumroad, impending investor looking for QPs 👀
Portland, OR
http://sahillavingia.com


Suhail Doshi @Suhail
New: https://t.co/YYa4AbttbR, Founder https://t.co/EFNC6mZg4B - Pizzatarian, programmer, & music maker
Remote
https://mightyapp.com

CEOs and Founders

David Cramer @zeeg
building @getsentry
San Francisco
https://sentry.io
CEO of Sentry


Sid Sijbrandij @sytses
Legal first name: Sytse. Co-founder & CEO of GitLab. I love innovative projects, accessible education, all remote work, new cities, and macro economics. he/him
San Francisco, California
https://about.gitlab.com


Sam Altman @sama
ready player sama
Former president of Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI


John Collison @collision
Co-founder of @stripe.
San Francisco
https://johncollison.ie


Jeff Atwood @codinghorror
Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of http://stackoverflow.com and http://discourse.org . Abyss domain expert. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m talking about.
Bay Area, CA
https://blog.codinghorror.com


Jack Dorsey @jack
CEO of Twitter


Matthew Prince @eastdakota
A little bit geek, wonk, and nerd. Repeat entrepreneur, recovering lawyer, and former ski instructor. Co-founder & CEO of Cloudflare (NYSE: NET).
San Francisco, CA
https://cloudflare.com


David Heinemeier Hansson @dhh
Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp, NYT best-selling author, and Le Mans 24h class-winning racing driver.
https://dhh.dk


Tobi Lutke @tobi
@Shopify CEO by day, Dad in the evening, hacker at night. - Rails alumni; Comprehensivist. I like video games. (All tweets auto delete after 1y)
Canada
http://tobi.lutke.com


Austen Allred @Austen
CEO @LambdaSchool: A CS education with no tuition until you get a job. I have seen the “Memes” and I think they’re very good.
The Oasis
http://austenallred.com


Conor White-Sullivan @Conaw
Co-founder of @RoamResearch. Believer in tools for thought.
San Francisco, CA
http://roamresearch.com

Other Industry Professionals

Adrienne Porter Felt @apf
I like writing silly Tweets, but that doesn’t pay so I also make @googlechrome. 🇺🇸🇨🇷 she/her Mountain View, CA
https://adrienneporterfelt.com


Richard Minerich @rickasaurus
Unicorn Dad, Dinosaur Programmer, Fancy Types, Machine Learning, Physics. CTO at Safe Banking Systems (Part of Accuity). Tweets/Opinions are my own.
Hoboken, NJ
https://richardminerich.com


Amanda Silver @amandaksilver
CVP of Product for Developer Tools @ Microsoft. @code, @VisualStudio, @TypeScript, @dotnet, etc. Nerd of nerds. Momming hard. Opinions mine. She/her. 🌈 HIRING!
Seattle, WA
http://www.visualstudio.com


Reza Zadeh @Reza_Zadeh
Machine Learning @Matroid & @Stanford. Optimizing for Intelligence.
Palo Alto, CA
http://reza-zadeh.com

Conclusion

I believe that Twitter is a solid tool to stay aware of current discussions and trends in software engineering. Hopefully, this list helped you to improve your timeline. In case you are just starting with Twitter, consider following also people from other domains to create a more diversified Twitter experience.

Of course, suggestions are very much welcome, especially if they fit the above criteria.

Last but not least, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter, too. Currently, I tweet a lot about my side-project KeyCombiner.


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