This is a collection of software engineering and engineering management books that I have read and would recommend to others.
Books that I recommend to anyone, engineer or manager.
- The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter. When joining a new company, your perception is shaped massively in your first 3 months and it takes a lot of work to change that perception later. This book is a practical guide on how to be conscious in focusing on getting up to speed, faster. (My rating: ★★★★★)
These are books I learned a lot from, as a software engineer.
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftmanship A reference book of coding best practices/patterns for a healthy codebase with some case studies. I read this book after having about five years' professional coding experience. It changed how I approached code readability, testing, and maintenance.
- Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries - An eye-opening view on considerations going into building a widely used public API or reusable library. While the book focuses on the .NET framework, many of the conventions apply to maintainable and reusable components, in general. This book had an outsized impact on me as I read it when I was a mid-level .NET developer.
- C# in Depth. C# is the language I probably understood down to the nitty-gritty details. Just when I thought myself of being an expert - knowing all that is to know on memory allocation, garbage collection, LINQ - I read this book. It made me realize how many things I did not know. I found the parts on how C# implemented generics under the hood and the sections on covariance and contravariance especially memorable.
- Software Architecture Patterns by Mark Richards - a lightweight introduction to common design patterns that can be read in one sitting. Covers layered, event-driven, microkernel, microservices and space-based architecture.
(Engineering) Management Books
These are books that helped me level up, being a tech lead and engineering manager.
- The Goal - a timeless novel on what management is about. Written in the '80s.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - a hard to put down story about a company stroggling and how the leadership team comes together under a new leader, doing small things that end up making big differences.
- Turn the Ship Around - a novel on empowerment, teamwork and breaking down the hierarchical structure. All of it taking place onboard a nuclear submarine (really!).
- The Phoenix Project - a novel inspired by the Goal, this time playing inside an enterprise in 2010.
- The Manager's Path - a short reference handbook for managers at all levels.
- Not everyone gets a trophy - Tips and observations on how to manage the Millenial generation better. Some of these I found insightful, some were less of a surprise. Read my longer review here.
- First, Break all the Rules - Gallup interviewed thousands of high-performing teams and managers and found a dozen of things each of these teams had in common. While the insights are good, the content itself was quite dry for my taste.