The Codelitt team each recommends one book from their specialty

Constant Improvement

At Codelitt, we are always striving to do better. We are proud of our past and optimistic about the future. Honestly, we have to be, as our job is to invent the future for corporations.
We decided it would be fun for each of us to share a book that can help someone learn more about what we each do. This isn't any sort of definitive list of what we've read or what we're reading, just a fun recommendation to share with others. (There are no referral links here or anything of the like.)

Ben - Marketing & Design

Advertising: Concept and Copy

Marketing and advertising are two very different things, so why am I, a marketer, recommending an advertising book? Because more than anything, this book is an expert course on writing and strategy, two very important skills for anyone in charge of communications to master. The book delves into customer, product, and market understanding, storytelling, copywriting, and offers repeatable frameworks for executing effective creative, whether they be headlines, emails, or product descriptions. What I find most valuable about this book is the lists of questions it often provides, which help lead the reader to insightful answers to their questions. It’s also written in a way that assumes nothing of the reader, so it’s an incredible first book to pick up if you want to learn more about being effectively creative.

Brian - Technology solutions analyst & HR

The First 90 Days

I consider his book as a guide to helping anyone to start strong with a new job or project. The book stresses the importance of learning how to promote yourself, how to learn your role faster, choosing the right strategies, how to make good things happen and how to build a winning team.

First impressions are important. How we meet, interact, and work with our coworkers can make a significant impact on our success within the organization. As a result, I consider this book a must-have for everyone who wants to make that strong first impression.

Abel - Head of AI, ML, and Robotics

Introduction to Electrodynamics

This book not only introduces physics concepts, but also forces an engineer to gain better understanding of the spatial interpretation of many algorithms. Being able to visualize mathematical formulas is a great advantage in both AI and ML. The book also provides the reader with a great base on which to stand when analyzing electronics.
Surprisingly, it’s not the most complex book. The physics is simple and the math is straightforward.

Cody Littlewood - CEO

The Personal MBA

If you don’t have an MBA or didn’t have a business degree and want to start a business, then you should read this book. I’m not saying one needs a formal education in business to succeed in business, but I do believe that one should understand certain non-common sense fundamentals, terms and principles. This is a great overview of those. Although it is shallow and by no means a complete education, it gives the reader a good jumping-off-point. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that founding a startup is the new get-rich-quick scheme in the eyes of many young people. More entrepreneurial activity is something I think we can all get behind, but because of the amount of people currently diving into these ventures I believe a book like this is very valuable to those masses. For this reason, I’m recommending The Personal MBA this year.

Andy - Senior Project Manager

Objective-C Programming

Being a productive project manager requires a rather broad skill-set, but none is more important than the ability to effectively communicate with the client and your team. In dealing with modern technology projects, there are languages being spoken that are grounded in ones and zeros vs the common alphabets that we've grown accustomed to. I am of course, referring to programming languages. Being able to grasp the high-level concepts of how they work is extremely important if communication efficiency is a top priority. Aaron Hillegass, a former employee at NeXT and Apple, provides a fantastic introductory-level book to getting your hands dirty with fundamental programming concepts. The book assumes no prior knowledge of software development & starts you out with the basics of C - a robust and powerful language that other modern programming languages are built upon. By the end, you'll have a solid foundation that will go a long ways when working with a technology team, no matter the position.

Luis - Senior Software Engineer

Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change

I read this book early on in my programming career, and it helped shape my thoughts about software development going on. Besides being a classic of Extreme Programming, there are many golden nuggets of wisdom contained within its pages. Something that will always stick with me is a little chapter revolving the 20-80 principle (Pareto’s principle) and what it means for software development. Basically, the principle states that the relation between causes and effect is non-linear, and learning this early in my career was a really “a-ha!” moment for me. Now the book is in its 2nd edition, so it might be a good time for me to revisit it.

Diogo - Software Engineer

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Writing clean code is as important as writing code that works. It’s important to always think about the future because at some point someone will need to dive into your code to make a change. What will they find? Readable and maintainable code, or awful, hacked together messy code? Uncle Bob's book helps developers build better code by providing tips such as using meaningful names, defining readable and elegant functions, writing useful comments, formatting code to improve readability and clarity, and how to choose when to use smart objects and when to use dumb data structures. The book also provides tips for higher level tasks such as error handling, interfacing with third-party code and systems, building unit tests, and more.

Vicky - Creative Director

Design for Real Life

I read this book after meeting Mr. Meyer in 2015 at Generate Conference, where his talk really stood out to me. He recapped one of the most painful experiences in his life, and how crucial information he needed at a time of crisis was not easily accessible to him because the resources he needed weren't designed in a way that made things easy to find for a user in a highly stressed state.

The book encourages taking a compassionate approach to designing interfaces to make them more human. Most importantly, it reminds us that the users we design for are people, who can be in any number of situations we might not have considered when they're using our products, and that we need to be kind and design with empathy.

Bruno - CTO

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

Don't let the title fool you. This book is not just another boring write up on the regular good practices for programmers (comment your code, write tests, clean up your bedroom). In fact, its practical approaches for real world problems can (and should) be incorporated to several other areas as well. Effective communication, proper planning, and smart testing are some of the topics that are covered in a pleasant, insightful way.
Although this book is most useful to experienced developers, it should definitely be on every single programmer's bookshelf. A beginner will also find usefulness in its pages, it and should revisit the book multiple times throughout his or her career.

Javier - Junior 3d/Graphic designers

3D modeling in Blender: Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Starting out in 3D can be quite overwhelming. With so many 3D packages out on the market, it's hard to choose one. 3D packages are similar in the sense that the tools produce similar results. With that in mind, even if you learn the tools in one program, you can use that knowledge in a different one. Blender3D is a free 3D package which is great for beginners and pros alike. It's a very powerful package with tons of tools, the mastery of which will help you create amazing things. This book is inexpensive , and contains a breakdown of each tool the software offers with pictures to accompany the easy to read text. The content includes the do’s and don’t of modeling along with advice on how to be efficient with the tools you are given. If you are looking for a book to help you understand the modeling tools in Blender 3D, look no further.

Kaio - Software Engineer

Refactoring - Improving the Design of Existing Code

If you're a programmer, it’s likely that at some point you were cursed with having to deal with code that you didn't create and weren't able to understand. This is one of those moments where you wish that the person had read this book. The book not only gives examples of best practices when dealing with existing code, but also shows the reader how to improve their skills for writing more maintainable code.This book really helped me write better code which helps save time and headaches in the future when refactoring.

Gustavo - Software Engineer

Natural language processing with Python

This book provides a complete introduction on how to create awesome scripts that allow you to do incredible things with words. It includes techniques involving word count, two word count, document classification, and more. It offers a really insightful look into how machines can interpret human communication. The coolest thing about this book is that the entire thing is written in Python.

Vincent - COO

The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

Mom’s opinion of your business idea will always be overly positive. Well, she is probably lying. Not maliciously, but in her mind by telling you what you want to hear she’s helping you. So how do you get some honest feedback out of her? The Mom Test helps you ask the right questions to potential customers and users that ensure honest feedback, even if your mom is one of them. We tend to seek approval for our ideas causing us to ask questions that set up said approval. By focusing on user behavior rather than opinion you can avoid the echo chamber and focus on making sure your product will be used. This book is very useful in the early stage of product/startup development and it’s required reading here at Codelitt

Brandon - Unity Developer

Learning C# Programming with Unity 3D

This book is a great starting point to learn C# for Unity game development. It provides great start for beginners to learn the basics of C# coding within Unity and helps the reader establish a solid foundation for learning to program and to code their own game. This book does not teach complex designs (such as massively multiplayer online role-playing game) as it wants to teach individuals the basics and simple design principles. This book is great for beginners as the overview states "you start off with basic calculations, then move on to the logic that drives a complex game."

Cody - Software Engineer

Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought

This is a great book to improve your overall productivity, as long as you use Vim in the first place. It's opened my eyes to many interesting techniques that cut down on tedious work, and saves a lot of time, too. It doesn't really matter what field you're in, either; The book itself was written in in Vim. If you're on the fence about giving this editor a try, I can't recommend the book enough.

Daniel - Designer

The Shape of Design

This is an inspirational read on design thinking and how it can be translated to creative problem solving. The teaching aren’t limited to the design world, as the book connects with music, cooking, ancient haikus, and more. The Shape of Design is a resource for makers navigating the evil sea of guides and how-to tutorials. This is one to revisit and keep in that "motivational compartment" of any designer's toolkit.

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Written by
Ben Ferster 04 Jan 2017

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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