My Reading & Listening List

This is a collection of software engineering and engineering management books that I have read and would recommend to others.

Currently Reading / Reviews Pending

These are books I have either read and am writing up a review, or ones I'm reading.

Generic Books

Books that I recommend to anyone, engineer or manager.

Engineering Books

These are books I learned a lot from, as a software engineer.

★★★★★

★★★★☆

  • Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software - A useful read for more experienced engineers and those wanting to improve architecture and devops skills on designing and operating reliable systems. The content is excellent, but the book is not designed to be read in one sitting.
  • Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems - Hardcover & (free) online book - a good overview of SRE at Google. For those who worked at places with oncall, much of the first part of the book will likely be very familiar. Keep in mind that your mileage might vary: what works at Google scale, might not be the ideal fit for your use case.
  • 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. The book is a bit dated, but its contents are still valuable.

★★★☆☆

  • 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.

★★★★★

★★★★☆

  • Radical Candor - The definite book about giving good and candid feedback - and a very useful read for new(ish) managers. The book is a list of ideas around the theme of caring personally and challenging directly.
  • 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.

Newsletters

Curated newsletters are my preferred way to stay up to speed with what's new and relevant on software engineering. I've tried out many newsletters and here are my favorite ones, which I keep reading though every week. (Note: I also send a newsletter on engineering, tech leadership and distributed systems once a month).

Tech Leadership

  • Software Lead Weekly by Oren Ellenbogen, VP of engineering at Forter. Five articles per week on technology and leadership. 23,500+ readers.
  • Level Up from Pat Kua, Chief Scientist at N26. 15-20 interesting links on leadership, tech, organisations and processes.
  • The Weekly Hagakure by Paulo André, previously director of engineering at Hello Fresh. A weekly newsletter with 3 article, 2 video, and 1 book recommendations for technical leaders - and the occasional longer-form thoughts.

Software Engineering

  • High Growth Engineering by Stephen Whitworth, senior engineer at Monzo. One issue per week, with a deep-dive on a practice used at high-growth tech companies. Previous issues discussed static analysis, engineering proposals and scoping your work.
  • The Pointer. A reading club for software developers, curated by Suraj Kapoor, fullstack engineer, product person and former VC. 10-15 links with a concise tl;dr; for each article. 7,000+ subscribers.
  • Programming Digest, curated by Jakub Chodounsky, CTO at Hatch. One email per week, 5 links of programming, big data, architecture, development processes and databases. 5,500+ subscribers.
  • Software Weekly. The newsletter accompanying the Software Engineering Daily podcast, curated by Abdallah Abu-Ghazaleh. A recap of top episodes for the week and another 10 interesting picks on software engineering and architecture.
  • iOS Dev Weekly. A high-quality newsletter on everything iOS and Swift with lots of easily digestible content. 40,000+ readers.

Podcasts

I frequently listen to the below podcasts.

Tech Leadership

  • Scaling Software Teams by Woven Teams- stories on successes and failures from high-growth engineering leaders around the world.
  • Decisive Moments for Engineering Leaders - a weekly, 30-minute podcast on insights to become better engineering leaders.
  • HBR IdeaCast - an episode per week on a management topic featured in Harvard Business Review.
  • Programming Leadership - a weekly podcast to help great coders become skilled leaders.
  • The Heartbeat - a longer episode every few weeks, asking one question to a leader about their biggest leadership lesson learned.

Software Engineering

  • The Ladybug Podcast - a fresh take on the industry with three women software engineer hosts. Shorter episodes every week or two.
  • Software Engineering Daily - longer technical interviews on technical topics.
  • DevPath.fm - conversations with industry veterans about their software engineering careers and learnings.
  • Level-Up Engineering by Coding Sans. Talks with successful tech leaders.
  • Greater Than Code - a podcast with frequent software engineering guests from underrepresented groups. Weekly episodes on the human side of tech.

For more tech leadership resources (books, blogs, podcasts), see the Leadership Library by Philip Paetz.


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