You are what you read - my favorite books and articles
There are a lot of inspirations in my life but books are certainly one of the most important one.
Books about work and life and everything in between
- Inventors Dilemma - quite repetitive but the key message was mind-blowing to me.
- Getting things done - I have my own way of task management which doesn’t have to do much with GTD but I did learn a lot from it for sure.
- The Lean Startup - my biggest influence waaaayyy back then. Still quoting from it on a regular base.
- Rework - work less but smarter.
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - after reading this I realized that I was of a “fixed mindset” in so many areas I’d always considered myself to be open-minded. Taught me that “talent” is an illusion and an excuse.
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose - funny, witty and honest. Taught me the value of team culture.
- How Google Works - yes, there is some self-marketing happening here, but it still worth your while.
- Drive - that one was a real eye opener for me. What motivates us? Certainly not carrot and the stick.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable - That one caught me of guard quite a few times. Realising that you’re showing those dysfunctions yourself can be a painful process
- Essentialism - Do less but better.
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
- Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity - Same author as “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics”. Brilliant.
Books about computer science
- Building Microservices- There are quite a few good books out there about Microservices, but I consider this to be the bible of microservices.
- Practical Object Oriented Design - probably the best book I ever read about OOP.
- Clean Code - I don’t agree with quite a few chapters (especially regarding source comments. Don’t do them) but overall still a very good compilation.
- Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby - I have no idea if this style would really work with kids but it seems like worth a try given how bad most didactic books are.
- The pragmatic programmer - yes, today this is heavily dated material. Probably nobody would object nowadays that using a SCM is mandatory. But still one of the best books about programming.
- Understanding Computation - very weird book. Not sure I really understood it. On my re-read list.
- Head First Design Patterns - best book about design patterns with awesome examples, especially for absolute beginners. Should be a mandatory read for early CS classes.
- 7 Languages In 7 Weeks - without that, I’d have never heard about this nice little language called IO and I certainly wouldn’t have started to look into Prolog which influenced me heavily.
- Metaprogramming Ruby - best book about metaprogramming Ruby out there.
- Continuous Delivery - Agile Development in practice.
- Ship it - Agile Development in practice, part 2. Highly influential and still relevant.
- Domain Driven Design - I didn’t like its didactic style (I think the book should have stuck with a couple of recurring, simple examples) but I loved most of presented ideas.
- Exercises in Programming Style - Syntax matters. Semantics matter. And yes, style matters.
- Domain-Driven Design Distilled - “Distilled” says it all. The best primer I have seen so far.
Books about science
- Superintelligence - Mindblowing.
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - A truly wonderful book.
- We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe - Popular science has never been better.
- Riemann’s Zeta Function - I’m still at chapter 2 after 2 years, but whatever.
Additionally to the books above, the following articles had a profound impact on me:
- What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team
- Three Questions To Ask Instead Of Saying “Nice Job”
- The Right Way To Praise Your Team’s Accomplishments
- Embracing Agile
- Why nothing is more important than reading
- Hire by committee
- Understanding Ruby’s culture
- Why is that company so big?
- Pre-merge code reviews
- 10 Modern Software Over-Engineering Mistakes
- Refactoring - not on the backlog!
- How to get started with machine learning
- Ubiquitous Language & the joy of naming
- 5 Mistakes Employees Make When Challenging the Status Quo
- How to have an honest one on one with an employee
- What dx Actually Means
- Why I work remotely
- Best support vector machine introduction out there
- How to conduct a good Programming Interview
The speed at which technology and startups progress and evolve is insane and keeping up with it is hard. I’m a huge fan of newsletters and have subscribed to quite a few - maybe you’ll find those useful as well.
Newsletters that focus on startups and tech in general
- Developer Economics
- Fast Company
- Y Combinator / Hacker News
- How To Geek
- Tech Beacon
- Tech Crunch
- The Next Web
- Venture Beat
Newsletters that focus on programming