I’ve decided to put together a list of books I’ve read so I can direct folks to this post when asked for something to read. Most of the programming books have free online editions, so get to it!
I’m also a huge fan of sci-fi, so I’ve thrown a couple of my favorites in at the end.
If you’re more visual, I’ve also made this list of talks I recommend.
Video games are an interesting problem space. From the game loop to asset management, there’s a lot to keep track of in even a simple game. Each pattern is presented with a couple of tangible examples making this a great reference for general programming.
This is a fun book with which you can learn the basics of Clojure, a very cool functional language. Finally understand all of those parenthesis! You might not be building anything big at work in Clojure, but the concepts of functional programming can help you write more resilient systems no matter what you’re working in.
Google has literally written the book on reliable systems. A lot of the framework that allows an organization to build and maintain a reliable system has far less to do with actual software than you might think. This is a great resource to dig into if you’re interested in what the heck dev-ops is all about.
The Commonwealth Saga - Peter F Hamilton
This is my favorite sci-fi series that I’ve read so far. It takes place nearly 400 years in the future where humanity has solved aging and harnessed wormhole technology to expand into the galaxy. With almost unhindered advancement for hundreds of years, humanity as a whole is starting to rest on its laurels a bit. The books start with a strange discovery just outside of the wormhole network that slowly wakes a sleeping humanity to meet it. Great world-building coupled with nice character development make this a really great space opera.
The Culture Series - Ian M Banks
As of writing this post, I’m on book three of this ten book series. The setting is similar to the Commonwealth Saga in that it is set post-scarcity , but each book is a totally self contained story playing with ideas within a shared setting. It’s largely exploring how alien societies might react to a society that, as far as it is concerned, has pretty much solved every imaginable problem - or how such a society would view those that have not. I really loved book two and this is definitely worth picking up.
Humanity’s Fire Series - Michael Cobley
While there isn’t anything groundbreaking going on in this series, it’s a very nice world that puts together all of the right pieces to make a decent space opera. Go into it with those expectations and it’s a nice adventure.