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What are your must-read tech books for 2018?

phillie profile image Philly ・2 min read

Hey there!

Though New Year’s resolutions have never played an important role in my life, I am now taking this occasion of a new year to purposely resolve to read more books. I already love reading, but the goal for 2018 is to read a new book every week. As I am interested in too many disciplines to focus on one specific area, I need a wild mix of recommendations.

That's why I'd like to hear from you

what are your must-read books about the tech industry (in general), computer science, programming, web dev, software engineering, digital culture and so forth?

Feel free to post anything that is in any way related to tech, computer, software, and algorithms ..... Technical and non-technical.

I'll publish a curated list afterwards, if you'd like. I too browsed through the different book related posts here on dev.to (like programming books, software books and technology related books), which I will include in my miscellany of recommended books.

So far the list includes the following top-2018-books that were recommended by twitter fellows and techie-friends (if any of you is interested):

Software & Web Dev

  • Progressive Web Apps
    by Dean Alan Hume

  • Camel in Action
    by by Claus Ibsen & Jonathan Anstey

  • Programming Pearls
    by Jon Bentley

  • Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions
    by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Math

  • A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley

Tech Industry und The Digital & Information Age in General

  • Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley money machine
    by Antonio García Martínez (previously Facebook and Twitter advisor)

  • Weapons of Math Destruction
    by Cathy O'Neil

  • Pax Technica
    by Philip N. Howard

  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created The Digital Revolution
    by Walter Isaacson

  • This Machine Kills Secrets
    by Andy Greenberg

  • The Open Organisation
    by Jim Whitehurst (Red Hat CEO)

  • Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
    by Nick Bostrom

  • The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
    by Nicholas Carr

  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
    by Tim Wu

Data

  • We Are Data: Algorithms and The Making of Our Digital Selves
    by John Cheney-Lippold

  • Being Digital Citizens
    by Engin Isin & Evelyn Ruppert

Management and Leadership

  • Brave Leadership
    by Kimberly Davis

  • The Greatest Gift
    by Victor Antonio

  • High Performance Habits
    by Brendon Burchard

  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
    by by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister

Other

  • Event Driven: How to Run Memorable Tech Conferences
    by Leah Silber

  • Robot-Proof - Higher Education in the age of Artificial Intelligence
    by Joseph Aoun

Reading a book every week is a lot easier than you think. This is a very cool write-up, in case you're interested.😊

Discussion

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jess profile image
Jess Lee (she/her)

I really like The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim. It's been on a few reading lists but I think it belongs on all of them 🙃

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mattlancaster81 profile image
Matt Lancaster

Jess, this book really should be on everyone's list. It's common sense but is rarely followed by most companies. I had a fun time reading this book, and even lol'd a few times. Definitely a captivating and insightful read.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

So, The Phoenix Project now def got a number one place on my list.

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matt profile image
Matt Seymour

The phoenix project should be a must read for all techies.

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mattstratton profile image
Matt Stratton

I do think that it should come with a trigger warning for anyone who has spent time as a sysadmin in a large company! The first third of the book was REALLY hard for me to read, as I’ve literally lead that life.

After you’ve read The Phoenix Project, you should really read The Goal. The audio book is great - it’s like a radio play.

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tuxbsd profile image
Josh Stephens

The Phoenix Project is such a great book. I can't remember how many times I have read it but every time I pick it up I can't stop reading it.

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khushboop09 profile image
Khushboo Parasrampur

Just finished reading this. It's so spot on about managing the workflow and basically everything!

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dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

I loved this book so much so that I purchased two copies

  1. for IT director
  2. for my PM

They liked the book and waiting to see if I can slowly introduce changes :)

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antonrich profile image
Anton

When I googled that book I immediately had the urge to put on top of my reading list. Thanks.

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annymccartney profile image
Khushboo Agarwal

Just finished reading this book. It's so spot on about managing the workflow and basically everything!

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alvarocavalcanti profile image
Alvaro Cavalcanti

This is a great list, and goes along with mine! Just add these:

Also, you or any other fellow coder can add me on GoodReads.com, as I try to keep it up to date: goodreads.com/user/show/25825857-a...

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imthedeveloper profile image
ImTheDeveloper

I've recently bought the first 2 on this list and have to say there are so many comments which crack me up. It's refreshing when the authors give a bit of "let's get real" and explain the theory vs the reality.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

YAY! Thanks for your list - aaaand the links. I put them on my wish list immediately; just in case Amazon decides to give me a Christmas present or something! 😄

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nickpolyder profile image
Nick Polyderopoulos

Glad that my list got on your wish list.

Happy reading.

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mshel profile image
MikhailShel

definetely +=1 for Design patterns.

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terceranexus6 profile image
Paula

Thanks for the titles you spotted, I'll totally check some of them. I would take a look at Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld which is a book by Jeffrey Carr (O'Reilly) about the modern tech context in politics around the world aaand Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age by Pekka Himanen, with prologue written by Linus Torvalds. It describes a new "ethic" or value system from the hackers' point of view.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

I just googled them. And oh yep, both of them seem to be a pretty good read about the complex domain of cyberspace, and the players and strategies involved.

Makes me even more excited about all the books I'm gonna read. 😁

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chiangs profile image
Stephen E. Chiang

Computer Science Distilled - Learn the art of solving computational problems by Wladston Ferreira Filho.

ngBook2 - fullstack.io

react native - fullstack.io

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

I am really curious about Computer Science Distilled as it is described as a "walkthrough of computer science concepts you must know. Designed for readers who don't care for academic formalities, it's a fast and easy computer science guide." ✌️

The books I had to read in university were .... ehm, I don't know, partly outmoded?! 😅

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chiangs profile image
Stephen E. Chiang

I'm really enjoying it so far, but I'm still in the early parts of it. Perhaps I'll post a review of the book once I'm nearly through with it.

For the price and length, there isn't a lot of risk to getting it and keeping it in your travel bag or work desk.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Writing a review is a great idea. 👌 I always read reviews before buying a book, since most of them are pretty expensive.

But you're right; for this price and length, there isn't a lot of risk to getting it. Agreed! 😄

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chiangs profile image
Stephen E. Chiang

One thing to note is that even though it's free shipping at the moment, I had to pay an customs tax when it came in from the US. It wasn't a lot, probably the rate of local shipping.

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wladston profile image
Wladston Filho

Hey! My first post on dev.to. That's my book :) I'm so honored you mentioned it! Please, let me know how you liked it after you're done reading. Rebecca, it was designed primarily for people who are having their first contact with computer science. Still, more advanced coders have read it and enjoyed, because it provides a nice overview of important topics. If you read it, please send me your feedback as well :)

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

No way? Wow, that's stunning. 😍 Yes, as soon as I'm through with it, I'll send you my feedback for sure.

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mattlancaster81 profile image
Matt Lancaster

Rebecca, I'm always looking for great books too, and while searching I came across this site:

dev-books.com/

It compiles the mentions of said book on stack overflow and lists them as most mentioned to least. I've bought most of the top 10 and read the following:

-Head First Design Patterns
-Design Patterns
-Code Complete 2

I've also go these in the queue:

-Working Effectively with Legacy Code
-Clean Code

Now, this doesn't mean these are must-reads, but so far I haven't been disappointed.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

I've never heard of dev-books.com/, but just browsed through it. It's brilliant! I will def have a second look at it. 🙌

True, must-reads are always ... ehm, how you say it, impartial?! .... depending on ones personal liking, though there are some classics that everybody should've read, I think! 😊

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kimsnj profile image
Karim Senhaji

Similarly I recently came across Reddit favorites, which collects mentions within Reddit.

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aurelkurtula profile image
aurel kurtula

I've started my "resolution" in August 2014, to read more books. Since then I've had amazing experience with books. '15-'17 I've read 100+ books each year.

But I'm ashamed to say none tech related!

Reading more tech related books has been a plan of mine but never found the idea more compelling than reading non technical books.

Thanks for the list. This might be just the list to get me reading more!

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

WOW! 100+ books each year? Stunning! 👏

I once read that it doesn't matter what kind of books you read, as longs as you read.
But anyway, you're welcome! 😊

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aurelkurtula profile image
aurel kurtula

Oh yes, if anyone reads this and is thinking about getting into reading, I highly recommend reading books that aren't related to the tech field. Fiction and non-fiction, even if you love tech books.

But since I already read, it be cool if 1 out of 5 was a tech book :)

Though, the best advice on how to get more reading done is to read just what you like reading and sooner or later you'll get around reading the "must reads" (if there are such books)

Personally I'd love reading more on this topic, keep it up :)

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antonrich profile image
Anton

You didn't read the tech books because we kind of read them more thoroughly? I feel that I need to dive deeper if the book is technical. It's like reading 100 fiction books and 100 technical books are two different challenges and reading 100 books is more challenging. At least that's how I feel.

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aurelkurtula profile image
aurel kurtula

Maybe, but honestly not. I read non-technical non-fiction. I read few classic philosophy books, like Plato's republic and so on. The truth is I found them to be very interesting and personally useful that spending time reading tech books when I could read these other books always felt like a waist of time. Not saying it is a waist of time but honestly that's how I'd explain the rational behind my decision.

Technical books might be more challenging but I haven't even tried to read them !

We are talking about non coding books, right? We aren't talking about books like eloquent javascript, they are "a must", they are just long form tutorials (like, if anyone knows if there's a book on Elm, please let me know)

It's like, if you love coffee, the idea that you could be drinking something else that would have the same effect doesn't even interest you.

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antonrich profile image
Anton

There are a couple books on ELM, I'm writing a post about ELM where I want to share my recent discoveries. It will be ready tomorrow or maybe a little bit later. I found a couple of books and a couple of great video courses about elm.

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aurel kurtula

That's cool, I'll definitely check that post out.

Since you seem to know about this: I found a video series on Elm on youtube, does the fact that it's a year old (I think) matter? Even the books must be based on earlier versions of elm, would I still benefit from them?

Thanks

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antonrich profile image
Anton

I made a post. There are a couple of video courses that are fresh you can check them out, as for books I think you can start reading Elm in action. It's not even finished yet, so it's fresh.

P.S. No, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm beginner. But I feel like I'm moving in the right direction that I'm learning Elm.

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Eduardo Lavaque

I would recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport "Rules for focused success in a distracted world". Just in general good for getting into better productivity habits.

The Leprechauns of Software Engineering by Laurent Bossavit. Dispels some myths about the software industry, and teaches his own methods to do the same.

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John Van Wagenen

If I could only recommend one book whenever anyone asks, that book would be The Anatomy of Peace. It changed my mindset and made somethings that maybe should be obvious but aren't really clear very practical and apparent. I highly recommend it. I can change your life.

Along those same lines, I'd also recommend Crucial Conversations, The Power of Habit, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, and The Happiness Advantage.

I haven't read very many technical books, to be honest. Clean Code is really good, but between school and work, I don't really want to spend more time reading technical things than I already do. That should change when I graduate, though. Even still, I'm hoping to dive into Clean Architecture this year.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Wow, that are some fascinating and refreshing books. Thank you! ✌️

Clean Code & Clean Architecture seem to be some classics, since they are recommended a lot. Gotta give it go then! 😊

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Sung M. Kim

I've read all "Clean" series by Uncle Bob.
Clean Architecture has been mostly challenging due to having so many acronyms thrown here and there.

CodingBlocks guys has covered the almost entired book in their series of podcast episodes.

CodingBlocks Clean Archiectecture tag

It's easier to understand those eps if you had skimmed through the book

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justinctlam profile image
Justin Lam

​The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz and Kevin Kenerly

  • Learn how a tech CEO thinks and why certain decisions are made

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton and Will Damron

  • Learn the story how dark web, bitcoins, software and ideology can change a person's life

Blood Sweat Pixel by Jason Schreier

  • Learn the complicated and exhilarating nature of game development world ​

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by David Thomas, Andrew Hunt

  • Timeless advice about doing your job as a software developer, ideas written in 1999 still relevant today

Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual by John Z. Sonmez

  • Our work is more than being technical
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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Wow, Justin, thanks for this list. They do sound interesting, and I'm especially curious about the Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual.

I heard a lot about The pragmatic programmer, so I think I have to have a closer look at this classic one. 😏

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Wahib-Ul-Haq

I went through the list to see if anyone recommended "The pragmatic programmer" or not :) I am almost done with it and its really enlightening. It forces you to revisit those basic fundamental topics with a very different perspective.

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Igor Moura

My favorite books, without any specific order or category:

  • Sedgewick's book on algorithms
  • Cormen's book on algorithms (a bit more math-heavier than the one above)
  • Structure and interpretation of computer programs (SICP), by Harold Abelson
  • K&R C book
  • Computer Organization and Design, by Patterson and Hennessy
  • Tenenbaum's books on networks and operating systems
  • Cracking the coding interview
  • Competitive programming 3
  • The art of electronics

Those may be a bit CS/CE focused, but are highly recommended books everywhere :)

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

CS/CE focused is great, I like those books. 😄
Thanks for this awesome list. 😊 I'll def have a closer look at those.

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Johan

Practical object oriented design in ruby

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Siddarth Iyer

For the coming year, here's what I have so far:

  • The Pragmatic Programmer, by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas. I've heard so many good things about this book, and it seems like it's a must-read for programmers the world over. Can't wait to get started on this.
  • Code Complete 2 by Steve McConnell. A book on clean coding practices, highly endorsed by Jeff Atwood (of StackOverflow fame). Sometime last year I actually got through about 25% of this book, and reading just that much opened my eyes enough to give me the realization of "man, my code looks like crap." Looking forward to finishing it as soon as I can.
  • Effective Java by Joshua Bloch. A friend recommended this to me as a step to taking my Java to the next level.
  • The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks. Again, a must-read, from what I hear.

Apart from these, I have plans to learn more on design patterns, and probably a couple more languages, so I'll keep having more books to read :)

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

I've heart a lot about these books as well! So yeah, we should probably read aaall of them. 😊
A friend of mine got 'The Pragmatic Programmer' as a christmas present, I already asked him if I could borrow it for my upcoming 2018-book-project. YAY! 😊

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Guy

Might be a bit heavy but I really liked:

  • The Shellcoder's Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Holes by Chris Anley
  • Modern Operating System by Tanenbaum
  • Computer Networks by Tanenbaum

I know the last two are about subject being taught at a CS degree but those books covered it in a higher level

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

I like challenging books! 😏 Will def give it a try.
Thank you!

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay! Thanks a lot.

I already bought Algorithms to Live By, but eh haven't read it yet. 😅 I'm really excited about the other ones you recommended, especially Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech.

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naren profile image
Naren Arya

I think you should read these two wonderful books from o'reilly in 2018.

First one discusses machine learning from scratch. Second one has knowledge of bitcoin & blockchain in depth. For all developers looking to improve their future skills, these are good

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Tara Taybah

Hey Rebecca!
These are the two books I'm looking forward to the most:

  1. Serious Cryptography - Jean Philippe Aumasson I've started this one and I find it to be a very good intro to crypto for developers who haven't been exposed to it.
  2. Attacking Network Protocols - James Forshaw
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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay Tara! This sounds good. 😊 I'm bound to read both of them .... particularly 'Serious Cryptography'. I haven't been exposed to it as well, but it's like all the cool kids are doing it, so yeah, I'll check it out. 😄

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Alex Gascón

The healthy programmer. Because often we forget that being healthy is one of the most effective boosts to our development career.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yep! Couldn't agree more ... for my part, I do lose sight of it, unfortunately. So thanks for reminding. I'll definitively have a look at this special book. 😊

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Rushal Verma

My list consists of:

  1. Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann
  2. Domain Driven Design by Eric Evans
  3. Continuous Delivery by Martin Fowler
  4. Clean Code by Robert Martin

Also apart from these, I will go through some non-tech books so that I may get a habit of reading.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yep, Domain Driven Design is def on my list, too. 😏 Thanks for the other ones, I'll have a look at them.

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Dave Jacoby

I read Cathy O'Neil's Weapons of Math Destruction last year and endorse it.

I have Becoming Functional, React: Up and Running, Seven Languages in Seven Weeks and Git for Groups on my desk right now. Just need to throw time at it.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay! So I'm really curious about Weapons of Math Destruction. Seven languages in Seven Weeks?! Woah, that does sound interesting .... curious about the promised hands-on tour through each language. 😲

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sonht profile image
Son Hoang

Thanks for your list! My favorite book is Rework and currently I'm reading Grokking Algorithms: An illustrated guide for programmers and other curious people. It helps me a lot to understand and find interesting in algorithms.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay, that sounds good. Thank you! 😏

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steve profile image
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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Looks really good. 😁

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jayhawkchief profile image
Broc

I'm currently learning JavaScript and ran across this article yesterday about 100 days of code challenge. I may be only a beginner in programming, but I'm growing as fast as I can. My main goal is to land my first job in software development field in 2018.

Article is here: medium.freecodecamp.org/the-crazy-...

There were three books mentioned that caught my eye and I'm planning on picking them up.

The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battles
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

They may not be related to software development or technology, but those books develop the positive of habit and productivity. There are some days that I struggle to find motivation to get started on coding, or lack of focus. I'm sure I'm not the only one here. So, I feel those books will help me stay focused on my goal and code everyday. This could be great for beginners. Check out the article!

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Benjamin D Wakefield

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay, I just started that book, It got recommended quite a lot. 😏 I'm curious whether it lives up to its promise ...

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bdwakefield profile image
Benjamin D Wakefield

It was a pretty good read; and definitely made me think about some of my decisions in a different light.

Even picking up and trying a different Christmas beer at the grocery than the normal made me think of stuff from the book!

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Blaine Osepchuk

I just posted the books I read in 2017 with ratings and reviews: dev.to/bosepchuk/books-i-read-in-2...

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Yay, thanks for sharing. That is fantastic!

I highly appreciate it when readers take the time to rate and review the books they read ..... this helps me a lot when it comes to choosing the next one I'm going to read. So thank you! 😊

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brianbola profile image
Brian McNabola

For django two scoops of django is awesome. Also ditto to the Phoenix project.

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phillie profile image
Philly Author

Two Scoops of Django, that's an interesting one. I just started a new (personal) Django project. So i will def. have a deeper look at it. 👍

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Debdeep Ganguly

Effective Java new version coming out this late December! :D

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Kabue Charles

+i don't know how many i books will listen to (i hate reading), but at least i know the next one after The Millionaire Fastlane, its Solve for Happiness...

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Christian Kaindl

"You Don't Know JS" by Kyle Simpson
"Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman

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Pardeep Singh

Clean Code

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alinp25 profile image
Alin Pisica

For 2017 I don't have big plans, but on the reading side, i want to get these completed:
Code Complete
Introduction to Algorithms - CLRS
Cracking the coding interview
The pragmatic programmer

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Scăueru Cristian-Ștefăniță

Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design (Robert C. Martin Series)

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ardennl profile image
Arden de Raaij

"functional light JS" by Kyle Simpson - github.com/getify/Functional-Light-JS

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sria91 profile image
Srikanth Anantharam

"Understanding Software" by Max Kanat-Alexander

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damian profile image
damian

Not exactly a book, but a very very long essay. What Is Code? by Paul Ford

bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-f...

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blackbird profile image
Omkar Ajnadkar

Thanks for the list of books...
If anyone is related in Hacking related book,

  • Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick
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fzngagan

Hands on ML by Aurelien Geron..
Annotated Turing(currently reading)

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tkanos profile image
Felipe Dutra Tine e Silva

I don't know for 2018, but in 2017 I read the amazing books :

  • Building Microservices By Sam Newman
  • Managing Humans by Michael Lopp
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deltacharlie1125 profile image
Delta Charlie

Not a tech book but How to win friends and Influence people

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Jaime Rios

Great, thanks for sharing. I strongly recommend this amazon.com/Tribes-We-need-you-lead...

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L-Coroneos

Here's a couple I bought last month:

  • Access 2016 Bible by Michael Alexander and Dick Kusleika
  • Access 2016 Programming Pocket Primer by Julitta Korol
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phillie profile image
Philly Author

YAY!!! Thank you all a lot for your recommendations. 🙌

I googled all of them so far, and wow, 2018 is gonna be very interesting aaaand very informative. 😍

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Khwilo Kabaka

Apprenticeship Patterns

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Dmitriy Shekhovtsov

Clean Architecture is must