Reading

I used to be an avid book reader. For some years, university education made me hate reading for fun, but since graduating I’ve started enjoying a book again.

Here’s a list of books that I’ve read since early 2019, along with tweet-long comments. Titles in bold are ones that I would highly recommend.
Hope you can find something interesting here as well!

2020

Technical

Non-Technical

2019

Technical

  • Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann
    A masterpiece. Whether you’re designing distributed systems, want to learn more about how databases work, or are just interested in software, it’s a must-read. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but it tied together so many ideas in a beautiful way.

  • Building Microservices by Sam Newman
    I read it immediately after “Data-Intensive Applications”; the two had some material overlap so I was drawing comparisons. Honestly, it was a bit scrappy, overall meh. I didn’t enjoy the style, but still conveyed some cool ideas in an approachable way.

  • The Go Programming Language by Alan A. A. Donovan, Brian W. Kernighan

  • The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks
    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen people recommend “The Mythical Man-Month”. I borrowed it from a friendly library, and blasted through it during the January vacation. It indeed is “the classic book on the human elements of software engineering”.

  • Cracking the Code Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

  • The Pragmatic Programmer
    It’s one of the books I wish I had read a few years earlier. I crunched through one of the earlier editions; while the tech mentioned might be outdated, I feel it still is one of the must reads for anyone trying to enter the field.

  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Non-Technical

  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
    If possible, go through it without being spoiled (don’t even read the back cover). I enjoyed the original translation as it was able to maintain a lot of exotic elements of the author’s native chinese and didn’t read like “just a book in English”.

  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
    This book changed the way I see my career, and software engineering in general. It helped me create a mental path of who I want to become, and how to achieve the goal to hone my craft and become an expert software engineer (it’s a long conversation).

  • Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord

  • L’Étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus
    A small book I read during a car trip. It put me in thoughts and provided hours of conversations. What more could I ask for?

  • ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession by United States Government US Army
    A little too militaristic at times, but it was actually very well written, and with minimal-to-none self-help crap. I was impressed that I could relate to both good and bad leadership examples that I’ve encountered in the real world. I would definitely re-read it.

  • Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual by John Sonmez
    A little more self-help-y than I’d like; I will admit I gave up on the last chapters about hitting the gym etc. But as far as building a career, and a name for yourself, I’m glad I read it soon, and wish I had read it even sooner.

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by by Dale Carnegie
    I had avoided reading this book, solely due to its title. I still cringe a little when I see it on my bookcase, or when recommending it to people; but I’m actually recommending it! After all these years, it continues being relevant, although many times I thought to myself “this could be summed as be a good person”. Don’t feel guilty about skimming over some of the example the author poses to strengthen their advice.