Top 10 Audiobooks to Listen as a Software Engineer

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There's only so much a busy software engineer can do in a day. Even if you are a 'rockstar ninja 10x top performer', 24 hours is all you get. Audiobooks and podcasts are a great way of making the best out of those few precious hours that we spend commuting, doing chores, exercising (you do exercise, right?), etc. It may not seem like a lot, but it adds up pretty quickly!

Most software-related books have tricky code examples, extensive diagrams, and various schemas. Don't get me wrong - it's great! However, it also makes those books nearly impossible to consume in audio format. While services like Audible contain thousands of different titles, finding a worthy tech-related listen is usually not that easy. I kid you not - it took me several years of listening to come up with this list of 10 audiobooks that I would highly recommend for every software engineer.


The Phoenix Project

1
The Phoenix Project
by Gene Kim

The Phoenix Project is a novel about Bill - an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. Bill has to make the company's new IT initiative, named Phoenix Project, work. Otherwise, his whole department will be outsourced.

This book combines DevOps movement principles with an entertaining story that is very recognizable for anyone who works in IT.


The Unicorn Project

2
The Unicorn Project
by Gene Kim

The Phoenix Project is a terrific book. However, as a software engineer, I find this one even more relatable. The story revolves around the same Phoenix Project. However, this time, it's from a senior lead developer and architect Maxine's perspective.

The Unicorn Project is a story about fighting against bureaucracy, developers working together with business leaders, and racing against the time to innovate.


The Healthy Programmer

3
The Healthy Programmer
by Joe Kutner

Being a software engineer comes with a cost. To keep doing what you love, you must stay fit, healthy, and sharp.

The Healthy Programmer is a great book filled with practical knowledge for those who want to remain healthy for years to come.


Soft Skills

4
Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual
by John Sonmez

A lot of software engineers are experts at what they do. However, some of us tend to lack other equally critical non-technical skills. In this book, John Sonmez addresses a wide range of topics for a more satisfying life as a professional software developer.


No Rules Rules

5
No Rules Rules
by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Have you ever wondered why so many software engineers desire to work at Netflix? What makes it so unique? Why does Netflix pay sky-high salaries?

In No Rules Rules, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.


How to Win Friends

6
How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

Strictly speaking, this book is not tech-related. However, long gone are those days when software engineers could spend weeks without any human contact. Nowadays, software engineering usually revolves around working with people.

Go after the job you want and get it! Take the job you have and improve it! Take any situation you're in and make it work for you!


Algorithms to Live By

7
Algorithms to Live By
by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

Do computer algorithms apply only to computers? Can we make it work in our everyday lives?

Algorithms to Live By explains how we can use computer algorithms to solve common decision-making problems and illuminates the human mind's workings.


How the Stock Market Works

8
How the Stock Market Works
by Ramon P. DeGennaro

It's not a secret that software engineers earn decent salaries. However, it's equally crucial to make sound financial decisions. Otherwise, it's all for nothing!

This course introduces the stock market and stock investing for novices and experienced investors alike. Professor DeGennaro uses simple analogies to explain the origin of stocks and other securities and their relative risks.


Bad Blood

9
Bad Blood
by John Carreyrou

I'm a sucker for good stories, especially when these are riveting real-life stories about multibillion-dollar Silicon Valley startups and Enron-like corporate fraud. Does it get better than this?


Dark Pools

10
Dark Pools
by Scott Patterson

These days stock-market trading is less about people and more about machines. It's estimated that about 70-80 per cent of overall trading volume in the U.S. is generated through algorithmic trading.

Dark Pools is the fascinating story of how trading robots have hijacked global markets - many so self-directed that humans can't predict what they'll do next.


Thank you for reading. Do you know any good audiobooks this list is missing? I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

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