Books for software engineers and managers

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Hacker News Books

by Brian

Categories:
Tech Lead,
Star Engineer,
Startup Founder

Summary

Hacker News is a forum spawned from the Y Combinator startup incubator.

Hacker News book threads happen every couple weeks, with commenters adding their favorite books in response to questions like:

  • What books have you learned the most from?
  • What are your favorite technical books?
  • What software engineering books should every developer read?

Below is a list of books that Hacker News commenters mention over and over as their favorites.

Designing Data-Intensive Applications

The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable  Systems

by Martin Kleppman

Designing Data-Intensive Applications

Recommended: 7 / 10

Designing Data-Intensive Applications is always mentioned by the Hacker News technical audience. In DDIA, you will learn about highly technical details like database internals, the intricacies of system clocks, and data replication.

See top ideas from Designing Data-Intensive Applications

The E-Myth Revisited

Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About  It

by Michael Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited

Recommended: 8 / 10

The E-Myth Revisited particularly popular with the developer turned consultant crowd on Hacker News, those developers looking to start and grow their own company. If you want to learn about startup growth, check out High Growth Handbook.

See top ideas from The E-Myth Revisited

The Manager's Path

A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth &  Change

by Camille Fournier

The Manager's Path

Recommended: 9 / 10

With so many software engineers on Hacker News, you’ll find many developers who have tried their hand at engineering management. In summary The Manager’s Path lays out the roles and responsibilities as your career grows, from software engineer through engineering manager, director of engineering, and CTO.

See top ideas from The Manager’s Path

Staff Engineer

Leadership Beyond the Management  Track

by Will Larson, CTO of Calm

Staff Engineer

Recommended: 7 / 10

The Staff Engineer book by Will Larson sets expectations around technical leadership. It’s a nice counterpart to The Manager’s Path, which focuses on people management.

See top ideas from Staff Engineer

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

The Difference and Why It  Matters

by Richard Rumelt, Emeritus Professor of Business & Society at the  UCLA

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

Recommended: 8 / 10

Startup founders and product managers on Hacker News rate Good Strategy/Bad Strategy highly. As an engineering leader, I also found this book instructive for developing technical strategies.

See top ideas from Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

Working Effectively With Legacy  Code

by Michael C. Feathers

Working Effectively With Legacy Code

Recommended: 7 / 10

How do you improve legacy code? Many Hacker News readers, especially engineers joining a new company with existing codebases, need help understanding and refactoring and this book is here to help.

See top ideas from Working Effectively With Legacy Code

High Output Management

by Andy Grove, 3rd Employee and former CEO of  Intel

High Output Management

Recommended: 9 / 10

Andy Grove’s classic book on management is a common read for first-time engineering managers learning how to navigate their new job and increase developer productivity.

See top ideas from High Output Management

The Phoenix Project

A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business  Win

by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford

The Phoenix Project

Recommended: 10 / 10

The Phoenix Project and its counterpart The Unicorn Project are novels about IT, demonstrating the application of concepts from books like Accelerate and The DevOps Handbook. Hacker News readers highly recommend all four books but if you’re short on time, The Phoenix Project is the best place to start.

See top ideas from The Phoenix Project

System Design Interview

An Insider's Guide

by Alex Xu

System Design Interview

Recommended: 7 / 10

How do you prepare for a system design interview? Practice designing complex systems! System Design Interview book is great for both interview candidates, interview teams, or any developer building complex and distributed systems.

See top ideas from System Design Interview

Never Split the  Difference

Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On  It

by Chris Voss, Former FBI Hostage  Negotiator

Never Split the Difference

Recommended: 9 / 10

Salary negotation skills aren’t something software engineers typically excel at, but Never Split the Difference has guided many Hacker News readers through these difficult conversations.

See top ideas from Never Split the Difference

Hacker News Books