Books, newsletters, and podcasts I Enjoyed Reading 2022
An enumeration of some of the books, newsletters and podcasts I have read and found interesting
Reading is one of the activities I enjoy, being sci-fi and fantasy books or textbooks around my career or other science and society-related topics. The same applies to newsletters and other types of well-researched opinion articles about science, tech, business, and philosophy. There are some excellent podcasts that I follow and listen to the choice of episodes or every episode they publish.
The majority of my reading, when it comes to books, is in form of listening. I choose which books I want to read and which ones I am going to be listening to depending on the availability and type of content. Most technical books I read and most non-technical I listen to. Newsletters are generally reading material and would need sitting and dedicated time. And podcasts are all listening as the name applies. Some podcasts come with accompanying episode notes with references and other textual materials which I check when I need to develop a better understanding of the subject or the reference made in the episode.
Below I am listing some of the books, newsletters, and podcasts I read/started to follow and read during 2022.
- Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow: I read the book to understand why organizations are shaped the way they are, and why are there value streams, centers of excellence, platforms, and specialty teams. I would recommend this to anyone working in a more traditional enterprise.
- Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software: The second edition of an excellent book about how computers work, from the ground up. This is not a book about microservices or leadership or cloud and so on, but rather a deeper look into how computers work. From AND/OR gates to CPUs. Reading it back to back is about 20 hours of well-spent time.
- Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most: The previous book I read by Greg McKeown was essentialism, I went to reading this one with similar expectations, and I am not disappointed. Most of the content is around setting the right mindset and implementing habits and routines for approaching harder/bigger tasks. Along reading the book I felt most of my own routines are validated and I took the note of combining routine and involved work together rather than having a combination of easy/easy or hard/hard per working timeslot.
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win: Excellent book about leadership, mission, ownership, and collaboration. The book is authored by two U.S. Navy SEALs so there are parts that are referring to/talk about war which I imagine is unavoidable in a book authored by SEALs. Sometimes it felt the book is slow and repetitive but it can be easily skipped over or listened to at 1.25 speed. The more recent book from the same author, The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win, is on my list for 2023.
- Resilient Management: A short book covering management and leadership practicals rather than concepts and ideas. For someone already in a leadership role, it is just reinforcement and validation and for someone starting the journey, the book comes with a lot of practice and actionable advice.
- Good Strategy Bad Strategy, The Difference and Why It Matters: It is a good read to have the necessary vocabularies and knowledge not only to work on developing a strategy but also to look closer and evaluate an already existing strategy.
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications: A longer and more in-depth book about databases of all types and scales. How they work, what kind of challenges they address, and what are their possible use cases in a bigger data-intensive software system. I would highly recommend it for anyone trying to understand why Apache Cassandra, Apache Kafka, MySQL, and MongoDB exist and what can be their role in a software system that requires real-time event streaming and aggregation down to storage of such events.
These are the newsletters kept or started following. Most of these are paid subscriptions but they provide free content as well which is as high quality as the gated content.
- The Pragmatic Engineer Newsletter: Quoting the author: “A weekly column with advice, observations, and inspiration across the software engineering industry.”. Every installment is well researched and stands to scrutiny, being news or the more in-depth technical overviews. I read every installment of this newsletter.
- Lenny’s Newsletter and Podcast: Focused on product and career development. I read a selection of articles and listen to a selection of podcasts that are more resonate with my interests.
- Stratechery: The newsletter and podcast provide an “analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media and the impact of technology on society.”. I rarely skip a daily update and listen to a select set of interview podcasts he publishes.
- Rational in the Fullness of Time: Sparse installments but excellent reads around leadership and information technology as a whole.
- Elad Blog: Technology, venture, and leadership content. I read some installments of the newsletter/blog not all.
Over the years some podcasts came and gone and I added and removed shows that I am following. Below is most of what I have in the podcatcher today.
- o11ycast: A podcast about observability. I listen to some episodes that I found more relevant to my interests. I listen to an average of one episode per month.
- After Hours: Business and society roundtable type of discussion and I listen to some episodes. I listen to an average of one episode per month.
- Azeem Azhars Exponential View: Guests with different expertise discuss subjects involving technology, business, and society and how they interplay and direct one another’s development I listen to an average of two episodes per month.
- Thoughtworks technology podcast: In-depth technical discussions on different subjects. I listen to all episodes of this podcast.
- The InfoQ podcast: In-depth and technical, from architecture to hardware. I listen to most episodes of the show.
- Engineering culture by InfoQ: The other side of software craftsmanship. I listen to most episodes.
- Goto - Today, tomorrow and the future: Topics from all around software engineering I listen to this occasionally and depending on the topic of the episode.
- Coaching for leaders: I have been a listener of this podcast for some years now. Topics are all around leadership, mentoring, management, and anything in around and between.
- Hard Fork: A relatively new podcast by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton. The two very avid tech journalists talk about changes in the tech world. This is the latest addition to my listen-to-all-episode podcast.