Albert Einstein once said ‘Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.’ This, in my opinion, also applies to reading programming books. However, it seems that programmers today have stopped reading books. Instead they use sites like StackOverflow side by side with their IDE and feast on collective wisdom of the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I like sites like StackOverflow and they helped me many times, but the impact of using solely this approach to solving problems without any deeper thought or further studying has certain crippling effect on us, programmers. In one of the most legendary books in our field, Peopleware, authors DeMarco and Lister uncover ugly truth that:
The average software developer, for example, doesn’t own a single book on the subject of his or her work, and hasn’t ever read one. That fact is horrifying for anyone concerned about the quality of work in the field; for folks like us who write books, it is positively tragic.
For me, reading books is a great way to improve my skills and to absorb the knowledge collected by more skilled and advanced professionals then I am. But reading alone is not enough. To truly advance one must be able to question his believes and put them to the test to see what is really best and also be willing to change. This process takes time and effort but the resulting improvement is a great reward for this investment. Books are usually best resources to study and advance since a lot of afford and collective knowledge were put in their production. By reading good books one can explore the minds of great people in our field and explore their way of thinking and solving problems.
Having said that I welcome you to my collection of reviews of the books I have read. I hope this will help you decide whether something is worth reading or not or simply provide a helpful tips for some useful books to read.