You are what you read, watch and listen to
My scratchpad to keep track of my biggest inspirations in terms of books, newsletters, articles and videos.
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
- Vector Calculus: Understanding the Gradient
- Open floor plans suck
- Don’t hire jerks
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
- Exponential View
- Tech Beacon
- Tech Crunch
- The Next Web
Newsletters that focus on programming
- DB Weekly
- Postgres Weekly
- Devops Weekly
- Elixir Radar
- Golang Weekly
- Ruby Weekly
- Python Weekly