And a huge part of being well rounded is educating yourself on a lot of different topics that make you better.
You can be the best programmer in the world, but if you don’t know how to find work, communicate your skill to others, work effectively with a team, or keep your wits about you in stressful situations, then it doesn’t matter.
Here’s an shallow attempt to quantify my education based on books, talks, blog posts, or anything else that’s helped me get where I am today.
This list isn’t exhaustive. It focuses on both the most important resources and the most currently relevant.
- The Power of Full Engagement. Early in my career I worked long hours till I learned it isn’t about working hard, it’s about using your energy effectively. Go out and have some fun, your work life will be better for it.
- The Effective Executive What separates highly effective people is their ability to prioritize the right things.
- The Power of Habit Learning how to manipulate your habits leads to plenty of power over your life.
- James Clear’s talk on getting better. If you want to be the best, it’ll happen through one small tweak to your life at a time.
- The Pragmatic Programmer This classis is a classic for a reason.
- Clean Code I read this as one of my first programming books, and have never not been a stickler for readable code.
- Advanced Swift One of the best books on a specific programming language I’ve ever read.
- Cracking the Coding Interview - The best preparation book you’ll find for getting a job in tech.
- Design for Hackers - As programmers, we often work closely with design, and it’s important we understand the basic mechanics of how they do what they do.
- Logo Design Love - A deeper look into the process of how a designer uncovers all the important research and exercises a designer will leverage to represent a brand through logos.
- The Boron Letters - The best work on learning how to sell through writing which you do ALL THE TIME in emails, presentations, and more.
- How To Sell Anything to Anybody - We often associate salesman with sleezy snakeoil sales, but this book reveals, when done right, good sales are more about trust and relationships.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People - One of the most effective things a programmer can do to stand out is be an enjoyable person to be around.
- Improv Classes - Doing improv for two years nearly removed my social anxiety entirely, taught me how to be more fun to be around, and how to communicate in stressful situations without feeling stressed.
- The Obstacle is the Way - “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way” - Marcus Aurelius
- Tao Te Ching - An excellent book to keep at your bedside for wisdom before sleep.
- Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (Documentary) - An inspiring Documentary on Jiro whose mastered the craft of Sushi.
- The Conquest of Happiness - Bertrand Russell’s lays out how he believes happiness is achieved in a early twentieth century writing that feels remarkably contemporary.
- Alain de Botton’s talk on Pessimism - As someone whose always identified as an optimist, this talk first made me want to reject it, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve agreed with it.
- John Cleese talk on being serious - There’s nothing wrong with being serious and having serious goals as long as you don’t take them too seriously.
- I Will Teach you to be Rich - Despite it’s scammy title, the most practical book I’ve read on personal finance.
- The Truth - A great look at creating a lasting relationship for wildly ambitious people.
- 4 Hour Body - The best diet and workout program is the one you sustain.
- The Prosperous Coach - Knowing how to coach and teach others professionaly is a huge way to make yourself better at the thing you’re teaching.
- Show Your Work - An easy read book that will help you to find strategies to GET YOUR WORK OUT THERE.
- Outliers - Also a fun read that teaches how success really happens.
- 48 Laws of Power - This book might make you feel uneasy after reading (as it did me), it’s important to understand the power games being played around you.
- Crossing the Chasm - Probably the biggest reason most promising startups fail.
- Disciplined Entrepreneurship - Perhaps the most scientific take I’ve read on creating a company from scratch written from the perspective of MIT grads.
- The Lean Startup - More than just showing how effective entrepreurship works, I feel this book can be applied to just about ANY business process.
- Lean Analytics - One of the absolute best look at building a company by interviewing customers and looking at the right metrics.
- Running Lean - Another fantastic book on interviewing people and staying nimble when creating a company yourself.
- Zero To Launch (Online Course) - I don’t often take online courses, but this one is amazing for learning to separate yourself as a thought leader and creating a business through content.
- Sam Walton: Made in America - Biography - While his company Walmart has come to be something we hate, Sam Walton’s worth ethic and approach to life is inspiring.
- Steve Jobs - He was an imperfect human, potentially even worth despising, but his life is a fascinating read.
- The Score Takes Care of Itself - One of the best books I’ve written on Leadership and achieving Mastery