The Codelitt team each recommends one book from their specialty - 2018

It's that time again

Last year we made a post where everyone from our team shared a book recommendation. It was fairly popular, many books were read and many discussion were had. All in all it was a great experience for everyone.
So of course we couldn't leave well enough alone, and did it again.
So check it out! There's something here for everyone (and of course, there's no referral links or paid recommendations or anything like that).

Ben - Marketing

The Obstacle Is The Way

This book is comprised of very short chapters, each with a quote from an ancient stoic and some commentary about it, without being too “self-help-y”. This book is a great introduction to the philosophy of stoicism, which is very much focused on the belief that perception is everything, and that it can be controlled. Actually, the “serenity prayer” is a great parallel to stoic philosophy. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” In work, it’s helped me prioritize things, accept when issues arise and try to figure out how to use them to my advantage, and try to see the “facts” of things, removing my perception of them. More importantly, it’s changed my everyday life by taking to heart the title of the book, the obstacle is the way. I’ve realized that the things I least want to do are often the most beneficial. I don’t want to go to the gym, so I must. I don’t think it will be easy to talk to this person, so I must. And it’s just as useful to flip this around and avoid the things that I most want to do. Eating that ice cream? Skip it. Taking a nap sounds fun. No, do your work.

Cody - CEO

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*

I’ll admit that the title and the first chapter are a bit sensationalist and crass, however, what this book really ends up being is a realist’s guide to minimizing stress, refocusing on our values in life, and remembering how important personal responsibility is. I would have never imagined I would enjoy a book like this, however, I had a dear friend (who I don’t consider to be the puff piece type) recommend it. Instead of “harnessing the power of positivity” or some other guru-imposed gullibility tax, this book focuses on the grimier parts of life. He frames that aiming for total positivity isn’t practical, adjusting priorities from frivolous tangibles to larger intangibles, accepting failure, and not becoming wrapped up in one’s ‘identity’. In a time when almost all major success dog-whistles are some form of distraction from the real world, I found this to be a refreshing approach and one that I believe our grandparents and their elders had a much better grasp on. I’ve recommended it to all of my direct reports to help combat stress and encourage more satisfying lives.

Diogo - Software Engineer

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design: A Brain Friendly Guide to OOA&D

At the beginning of my career I was searching for resources to learn more about object oriented design and I found in this book what I needed to have a better understanding of subjects like inheritance x composition.
I would recommend it only to beginners, more experienced developers may find it boring and simple.

Vicky - Creative Director

Do Fly: Find your way. Make a living. Be your best self.

Gavin Strange (senior designer in Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, etc) is an explosive ball of positive energy who inspires everyone in his path. This book isn’t about design, but rather it’s Gavin condensed to paper form: a sun-filled rad journey that teaches you how to value your time and to channel your energy into doing work you love, do passion projects, and encourages everyone to pursue awesomeness because life is too short to not be doing what you love. It’s exhilarating and wonderful, and I highly recommend it to everyone, designers and non designers alike!

Bruno - CTO

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

Refactoring is one of those classic books that provides such good content that even after a decade it is still relevant and used as a reference in its area. Martin Fowler describes this book as the one he is proudest of, and it’s not too hard to understand why. The book clearly describes how to maintain an existing code base, make significant architectural changes, and reduce the risk of introducing new errors, which is no easy task. This book had a huge impact on my learning path, and I keep a copy of this book at the top of my bookshelf. Refactoring occupies a top position in every single must-read technical list that I’d recommend.

Kaio - Software Engineer

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Extreme ownership is not a software engineer book. You won't learn how to code or find any engineering tips here. This is not a book for programmers, but rather, for human beings. You will learn about dealing with daily challenges like: teamwork, working under pressure, communication, and a lot more. This is the only book which I recommend for everyone, no matter their age or job. If you just started programming this book is for you, if you have 10 years of experience this book is for you, if you don't care about technology this book is still for you.
Leif Babin and Jocko Willink are both Navy Seals that fought together in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq. In this book they go through their field experiences and show which leadership skills were used in order to succeed in their missions and bring as many men as possible.

Vincent - COO

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

For me, this book was an introduction to minimalism. Although the book itself focuses on decluttering and organizing your home, many of the lessons learned have applied to various aspects of my work. One such aspect is task management. One could easily replace the concept of possessions in the book with the tasks on a to do list. We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule and most of us recognize the fact that we focus too much time of the remaining 20%. This book provides the reader with some actions that can be taken to focus and prioritize. The teachings of this book (and minimalism in general) have also helped me in managing products. It is easy for us to get caught up in the grand vision of what we want our products to be but much of it ends up being unnecessary clutter. Amongst other things, the book recommends to take a step back and work towards remaining with just the things that you(or your users) love.

Roxanne - UAT Lead

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

This is a must read for women in the workplace! Written by Sheryl Sandberg (the COO of Facebook), I highly recommend this book because it provides real world insight and research about successful women in the workplace while empowering readers with helpful tips and strategies for every stage of their career. Jumping from a legal background to the tech field (both male dominated industries), this book was incredibly valuable in helping me forge my own career path and goals!

Rémy - Front-end intern

Game Programming Patterns

There are many books out there about design patterns, so why have I chose this one? Several reasons. First, the central idea of the book is quite interesting: See how we can use familiar design patterns in a game programming context. The book not only provides ideas on how we can adapt design patterns to video games, it also shows how we can improve them to make them even more effective. Secondly, it provides inputs on memory management, which has become even more relevant in all the disciplines around programming, not just games. The formatting of the book is another selling point, with really wide pages and margin on the sides, so we can take notes and write code ideas as we go along. Everything is explained with really clear examples so we can immediately see the goal of every pattern. Plus there are additional patterns that we don’t often find in other books.

Kevin - Product Manager

How to Win Friends and Influence People

80% of business is dealing with people. If you can master the art of managing and leading people, you can succeed in almost any role. As a Product Manager, you have to work with clients, developers, designers, and other managers. The fundamentals are covered in this book, which make it easier to handle clients and manage the team to get things done efficiently and effectively.

Spencer - Junior Software Engineer

Go In Action

"Go in Action" is a great place to start for any intermediate developer who is interested in learning Go. The book approaches the language in a comprehensive and idiomatic way that makes it easy to understand and remember. The book covers Go's syntax, type system, concurrency, channels, testing, and the reasons that Go may be a great solution for your business.

Anthony - Junior Software Engineer

You don't know Js (Series)

JavaScript is a language that allows you to build a lot without a deep understanding of it.
The "You don't know Js" series of books provides an indepth look at all aspects of the language.
I found that some of the most important takeaways from this series are what not to do when trying to solve specific types of problems.
If you're already familiar with Js, I would recommend starting with the Async and Performance book as it will give you tools and techniques
to better work with Api's and also offers a better understanding of how libraries leveraging async techniques work.

Lua - Software Engineer

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

For those who don't know agile methods yet, this is a quick and very pleasant introduction to one of the most methods. Written by the co-creator of Scrum, the author teaches his method while also writing a little about how it was created. The book also gives many examples of how Scrum applies not only to your work, but to your life.

Agustín - Software Engineer

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction

Before coding starts, decisions regarding architecture must be made. This book described the mechanisms of designing and building high quality software solutions, starting from the projects foundations. This is not a handbook specific to any language or technology. Instead, it offers a collection of programming experience collected over the years. Topics include writing more effective programs, keeping big projects under control, and avoiding future problems by making early decisions.

David - Software Engineer

Big Data: Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems.

This book gives a good overview of big data and it covers both theory and technical solution for building real-time big data applications with Lambda Architecture. It describes a scalable, easy-to-understand approach to big data systems that can be built and run by a small team.
It was essential to me because I was skilled in real-time operating systems, but I needed to know the BigData paradigm at breakneck speed for new startups' challenges.

Paul - Software Engineer

Domain-Driven Design – Tackling Complexity in The Heart of Software

Domain-Driven Design Distilled

Implementing Domain-Driven Design

Reactive Messaging Patterns with the Actor Model

These four books deal with the same subject, but at the same time complement each other as they are full of concepts and approaches to building reactive and highly adherent business software solutions.

You'll delve into hundreds of technical approaches to solving complex issues that emerge during the development of a solution focused on domain logic.

Modeling business objects in a cohesive way through a ubiquitous language and learning to delimit contexts are of special value and must be absorbed as well before embarking on any of the technical solutions proposed in these books to make it possible.

This books marks a watershed in my career and I believe it is a must read for anyone who is interested in delivering robust software focused on the needs of the business without giving up on simplicity.

Leandro - Strategic Account Executive

Never Split the Difference - Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Chris Voss opens up on his experience gathered by decades of work as an FBI hostage negotiator.
I love Voss’ ability to easily explain why basic emotional intelligence insights and techniques (built iteratively through in-field experience) are more effective in getting results than mathematical well-dress up negotiation theories.

I strongly recommend the book to everyone who wants to widen their persuasion skills, not only in business, but in everyday negotiations as well.

Pablo - Software Engineer

Zen to Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System

Even though it’s not a technical book, this book really helped me out when I started working with remote teams. Whether you’re an organized person, or a disorganized one, this book helps you change your habits to become more organized, get things done and accomplish your goals. It focuses on identifying the steps you need to take to accomplish any task, and avoid procrastination. It’s oriented for someone who runs a business, or work in an office environment, but you can apply it in any real life scenario

Ian - Software Engineer

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

To me, this book is a must-have for any “software involved” professional. It was fundamental in improving my transition from Structured programming to Object-Oriented. It provides real-world problems that you will face and how to deal with them. I use it as a reference sometimes and come back to read it at least yearly.
“Once you understand the design patterns and have had an "Aha!" (and not just a "Huh?") experience with them, you won't ever think about object-oriented design in the same way. You'll have insights that can make your own designs more flexible, modular, reusable, and understandable” - (extracted from the book’s preface) - to me, this is how helpful this book is.

Adan - UX/UI Designer

Don't Make Me Think

Computer interaction and web usability. The book's premise is that good software program or web site should let users accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. It's mostly focused on web and by extension mobile applications (digital interfaces). It also covers the importance and basics of usability testing.

And thats it! Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on any of the books recommended, let us know!

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Written by
Ben Ferster 25 Jul 2018

Ben is a marketer, music producer, filmmaker, and visual artist who's interested in consumer behavior and the economics of everything.


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