Reading is a great way to learn, but it’s also a fantastic way to open yourself up to new ideas and experiences. As a developer, I believe reading is important to my continued growth and advancement. If you believe that too, you might enjoy these ten books that I find particularly interesting.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear
Clear’s main idea is that habits are more powerful than goals, and this book offers practical advice and techniques to build systems to support (or even stop) habits.
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, Kelly McGonigal
Kelly McGonigal is a Stanford University psychologist that teaches classes on willpower. This book is a glimpse into her curriculum. If you are curious about what the latest research says about willpower and how to increase it, this book is a must-read.
Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware, Andy Hunt
The first of two Pragmatic Programmer books on this list. This book provides a framework for how to think and grow as a developer.
The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey To Mastery, Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt
This is the other Pragmatic Programmer book. I believe this book should be required reading for all developers. Some of the concepts in this book have helped shaped my mental model of code and have helped me grow in my ability to communicate effectively with code. I recommend the new 20th-anniversary edition.
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Martin Fowler
The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst
I have an obsession with typography, and this book is something of a typographer’s bible. Most of the internet is typography, so this is probably a good thing to have in your back pocket.
The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
The stories alone make this book a worthy addition to anyone’s library. The bonus is learning important animation fundamentals that will inform your UI and help you communicate with designers.
The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman
Don Norman, one of the founders of the Nielsen Norman Group, pioneered much of modern User Experience Design. This book dives into Norman’s thinking process, and will forever change how you look at department store doors.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
This book marries psychology and economics to create a new framework for looking at both fields. It sparked my imagination and began my interest in behavioral economics, and is probably the most fascinating book I’ve ever read.
I hope that you find these books as interesting as I do. And if you have some interesting book recommendations, please let me know on Twitter, and be sure to check out some free online books I’ve previously written about.