Books for software engineers and managers

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Hacker News and Y Combinator  Books

by Brian

Startup Founder

Although I’ve been a member of Hacker News for 13 years, I knew surprisingly little about the Y Combinator program and its founders.

After reading these, Y Combinator felt less mysterious and more like a grad school program for startups with Paul Graham serving as professor.


The Launch Pad

Inside Y Combinator

by Randall Stross

The Launch Pad

Recommended: 8 / 10

The Launch Pad answers the question, “What is it like to apply for and be accepted into Y Combinator?”

Randall Strauss follows 64 startups through Y Combinator, describing their application process, interviews, product development process, conversations with YC advisors, and presentations on Demo Day.

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Hackers & Painters

Big Ideas from the Computer  Age

by Paul Graham, Cofounder of ViaWeb and Y  Combinator

Hackers & Painters

Recommended: 8 / 10

In Hackers & Painters, Paul Graham describes the type of people he sees as ideal startup founders – hackers.

Beyond programmer personalities, Graham digs into the ideal startup locations programming languages for hackers.

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20 YC Lessons

A Reference Guide (Vol.  1)

by Dave Goldblatt, CEO of Wavechat

20 YC Lessons

Recommended: 8 / 10

20 YC Lessons is a collection of presentation slides from Startup School.

This book is not polished, but provides a lot of surprising advice from successful YC startup founders.

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Founders at Work

Stories of Startups’ Early  Days

by Jessica Livingston, Cofounder of Y  Combinator

Founders at Work

Recommended: 9 / 10

Founders at Work is a series of interviews between Jessica Livingston and successful tech founders like Steve Wozniak, Joel Spolsky, Craig Newmark, Caterina Fake, and many others.

I love that Founders at Work is a direct collection of thoughts from successful founders.

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Hacker News and Y Combinator Books