Call me strange, but I actually enjoy spending time reading up on programming tools that I use regularly. I think of programming tools as tools in same way that a hammer or a saw is a tool. They both help you to get a job done. You need to learn how to use them properly. You need to keep tools well maintained. Sometimes you need to throw a tool away and get a new one. For my professional and personal programming I spend 99% of my time writing python with vim, and so I really enjoy learning more about them. Stuff I learned about vim: How I boosted my vim - lots of great vim tips (how did I not know about :set visualbell until now???) and plugins, which introduced me to... nerdtree - for file browsing in vim. It also reminded me to make use of the command-t plugin I had installed a while back. surround - for giving you the ability to work with the surroundings for text objects. Ever wanted to easily add quotes to a word, or change double quotes surrounding a string to single quotes? I know you have - so go install this plugin now! snipmate - lets you define lots of predefined snippets for various languages. Now in python I can type "def<tab>" and bam! I get a basic function definition. I wasn't able to get to PyCon US 2012 this year, so I'm very happy that the sessions were all recorderd. The art of subclassing - great tips on how to do subclassing well in python. why classes aren't always what you want - I liked how he emphasized that you should be always be open to refactoring your code. Usually making your own exception classes is a bad idea...however one great nugget buried in there was if you can't decide if you should raise a KeyError, AttributeError or TypeError (for example), make a class that inherits from all 3 and raise that. Then consumers can catch what makes sense to them instead of guessing. introduction to metaclasses - metaclasses aren't so scary after all! nice framework for building gevent services I liked the simple examples here. It introduces the ginkgo framework, which I'm hoping to have some time to play with soon.