A reading list for junior software developers that I wish I had

Introduction

A few things to note before we dive into the book list:

  1. I have consumed most of these books in an audiobook format. Given how time pressed we all are, I have found pairing audiobooks with a light exercise, such as walking, to be immensely satisfying.
  2. It is likely that the material covered in these books can be found in other places such as blog posts, lecture series, even other books. It is up to you to decide which format you choose. Personally, I have enjoyed reading these as books over other formats as it allows me to go deep into the author’s thought process.
  3. This list is meant for those of you starting out in the technology sector. The principles & frameworks in these books would be useful to your careers forever. However, you stand to gain the most in the first 3–5 years as you find your feet.
  4. It is very likely that you won’t relate with everything in these books. That’s expected and ok. Don’t force yourself to power through. My recommendation is to put an unrelatable book down now and pick it up again when the time is right!
  5. This list is in my recommended order of reading. If you reach a point where a book becomes unrelatable, I suggest you take a break. Read something else instead of skipping over a title and return to the list when you’re ready. Also, feel free to reach out to me and enjoy!

1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

So first things first — this book helped me understand where and why I still need to grow.

2. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni

3. The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

4. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

6. Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used by Peter Block

7. The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman and William Pentak

8. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

9. The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

10. Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart

More abstract

11. An Elegant Puzzle: by William Larson

12. Good to great: by James C. Collins

13. Turn the ship around: by L. David Marquet

14. Measure what matters: by John Doerr

15. Playing to Win: by Alan G. Lafley and Roger Martin

16. Drive: by Daniel H. Pink

There are so many other amazing books that have propelled me forward, from self-help to inspiring biographies and other thought-provoking stories that I have painfully left out. Hope this list is useful to several of you.

Director of Engineering at Top Hat. Worked at successful startups and large technology companies in various high responsibility roles.

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