dmathieu - Overview of my 2016 books

Overview of my 2016 books

Thursday, 22 December 2016 in Books notes by Damien Mathieu Creative Commons License

Just like in 2015, I’ve kept habit of reading for an hour before I start working every weekday.

This year, I’m only writing about the technical books I’ve read. The fictional ones I read in the evening are a recreation, and I’m not keeping track of what I read this year.

Nearing the end of the year, I’ve also started taking formal notes for all those books.
The books from the beginning of the year only include a short summary. The 3 ones I took notes for include a link to those notes.

Slack

Being always busy is a bad thing. Giving people some slack, means increased productivity in the end.
Someone who is always busy will end up not having time if something unexpected comes up, or always be late to deliver.

The Healthy Programmer

Joe being my coworker, I wanted to give a shot at his book.
Our programming jobs mean we stay seated and not moving for long hours, which isn’t good for our health.

We need to make sure we take short regularly every day.
Exercising very intensely for a short time is also better than spending longer doing less demanding exercises

Thanks for the Feedback

Many companies spend a lot of time teaching people how to give feedback in a way that won’t hurt people. This is taking the problem the wrong way around. Instead, we should teach people how to receive it.

Managing Oneself

I read this short book twice this year. The second one was an experiment at taking reading notes for the first time.

You can find my notes for this book here: Managing Oneself.

The art of scalability

I didn’t finish this book. It is a very long one, and many things weren’t talking to me at this stage.

It talks through a lot of problems organisations face when scaling up. Whether it be with management, processed, architecture, …

Programming Elixir

Heroku has a few components written in Erlang, and for all my time there, I’ve been wanting to better understand it.
Going through elixir has been a great middle step to better understand erlang afterwards.

Stay tuned for a fun pet thing I’m currently finishing building.

Turn the ship around

David Marquet was given command of the worst US military submarine at the time.
In 18 months, he turned that ship’s performance around by empowering all of it’s crew to be leaders and not just followers.

Site Reliability Engineering

How does Google run production services at scale, and makes sure they remain up?
I was more interested in the architectural/organization details of the book than the technical low-level network chapters.

Still one of my favorite books this year.

Programming Phoenix

I’ve read this book following the Elixir one. But haven’t found the time to practice Phoenix on a test app afterwards, so I haven’t been able to go any further.

The mikado method

By splitting large problems into very small ones which depend on each other, we can decrease the risk of shipping changes a lot.

I’ve given a talk about the mikado method this year: Let’s Deploy on Fridays

The phoenix project

This is a fictional book about managing IT in organizations.

Bill gets dropped from middle management to the head of IT of an organization on fire.
Over the course of a few months, he applies methodologies to bring it back on it’s feet and start answering in a more efficient manner.

Spoiler: agility

Refactoring

One of the many Martin Fowler classics that I never got around to reading before.
Refactoring patterns and methods to make legacy code easier to read.

Start with why

Most organization only focus on what they’re building, not why.
As soon as they start focusing on the why, they can evolve and grow much easier, as they get a meaning to exist other than just to make money.

I find this book is getting old. Namely, the author often takes Apple as a reference when I believe they aren’t focused on Why anymore.

Ego is the enemy

History is full of egotism people. But that’s also not necessarily the ones we remember in the most positive terms.
Instead, focusing on supressing our ego to choose the wisest solution is the best way to achieve greater -shared- success.

Debriefing facilitation guide

A short essay by the people as Etsy.
See my note here: Debriefing Facilitation Guide

The 7 habits of highly effective people

It took me a lot of time to read this book as I was reading only one habit per week. It was totally worth it though.
I have actually ordered it as a printed book in French to read it again with my fiancée.

See my notes here: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

2017

I won’t share too much on what I intend to read in 2017, as it is very likely to change over the course of the year.

I’m very happy with the books I’ve read this year, as well as with the new habit of taking notes.
Before I started doing so, I was feeling I was just reading for the sake of doing so and it was hard to deeply assimilate things.

With the note taking, I need to think a lot more about what the book says to take notes with my own words. That’s proving to be an awesome plus.