I love to read. Here are the books I’ve read, plan to read or are reading on my coding journey.
CODING – SKILLS
- HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett: This is a must read for any beginner. Simple prose, great layout and a valuable resource even after you’ve moved on.
- HTML 4 For Dummies, 5th Edition by Ed Tittel, et al: I read this book long before I fell in love with the idea of leaning to code. I was trying to learn how to do some simple maintenance on my WordPress blog and I started here. Great for beginners, but look for HTML5 for Dummies.
CODING – WISDOM
- 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts by Kevlin Henney: Meant for more experienced programmers, so put it off until you have the job.
- The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) by Chad Fowler: Like 97 Things above, this is a book for those already in the industry, although a little more accessible than 97 Things.
DESIGN – USER EXPERIENCE
- Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition by Steve Krug: Get this book today. Read it and then read it again. I think I could only read this book and still make pretty awesome websites. After I learned HTML and CSS of course.
- 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices That Matter) by Susan M. Weinschenk. Full of quick tips on how people see, read, remember, etc., that you can use to make better design. The hard part is remembering all the great advice she highlights.
- Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
by Nick Bilton: If you love soap operas and the creation of billion dollar tech companies, read this book. While reading about the personalities that brought us the little blue bird won’t improve your coding skill, it will make you realize we are all human and if they can do it, just maybe you and I can.
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone: I love Amazon. I love to read and when I want a book (real or Kindle) and I want a great price, this is where I go. But how Amazon became this well-oiled machine is a great book in itself. And by the way, Jeff Bezos kinda sounds like a jerk. But man does he have vision.
- Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone. Biz Stone is as cool as his name and while his biography/Twitter founding narrative lacks the punch of Hatching Twitter, getting to know him and his ideas about business and life success was worth the time spent.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. If you read one business book this year, read this one. If you are new to the business world some of what Ben talks about may not make sense or seem like it applies to you. Stay in business long enough and you will come to appreciate Ben’s insight. Just don’t curse like he does.
- Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian of reddit fame. Alexis is a cool cat and his journey from the founding of reddit to web activist is instructive, motivating and just plain fun to read.
- No Exit: Struggling to Survive a Modern Gold Rush (Kindle Single) by Gideon Lewis-Kraus is a long article in the form of a Kindle single. What I liked about it was the focus on Silicon Valley start-up culture from the perspective of an “average” company and not some billion dollar behemoth whose success seemed predetermined. This is all guts and little glory.
- How to Speak Tech: The Non-Techie’s Guide to Technology Basics in Business
by Vinay Trivedi: Quick introduction to technology using the process of building a web application as the back story.
- Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson: Anderson wrote “The Long Tail”, so yeah, he’s kinda a big deal. Makers deals with 3-D printing and the coming revolution in how things are made. Eye-opening and motivating to me personally as a new father. Forget going out to the shop to build a bird house. How about using that CNC machine to make a radio???
- The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, et al. Who knew a fictional story that helps explain DevOps and what improving programming workflow can mean to a business could be so entertaining. It shares similarities with the hugely popular The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (which frankly I didn’t care for), but told a better story and offered better lessons in my opinion.
These are just the books I’ve read so far. Next I’ll add the books I’m reading and eventually I’ll put up all the books on my TBR list. TBR = To Be Read. Just cool book nerd lingo.
Thanks for checking out my list and if you have any recommendations on books that have helped you on your coding journey leave a comment or send me a tweet at @feardatree.