Jason Sultana

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Three and a half Audible books for Programmers

21 Mar 2021 » other

G’day guys!

A couple of months ago, I gave you a list of reasons why I think that Audible is a great tool for career development. Today I wanted to follow up on that, and give you my personal list of Audible books (or audio books, technically) for programmers. These are all audiobooks in my personal library that I’ve either read (listened to?) or am reading.

1. Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual

This was the first programming-related audiobook that I found on Audible, and I listened to it all the way to the end pretty quickly. Its written and narrated by John Sonmez, who gives out a ton of practical advice on (as you can tell from the title) soft-skills related to software engineers. He talks about networking and building your own personal brand; one of the practical pieces of advice from that section was to create a blog, which is incidently how this blog started. He talks about diet, exercise and nutrition; investing and being smart with your money, and how to land your dream job. It’s a bit lengthy at 13 hours, but definitely well worth it in my opinion.

2. The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition

This book probably needs no introduction. The original Pragmatic Programmer is a pretty famous book that came out in the late 90s, which had been on my list of books to read for some time. You can imagine how delighted I was then, to find that the second edition was available on Audible! The authors David Thomas and Andrew Hunt cover a lot of technical content spanning pretty large array of aspects related to programming, and offer advice on how to approach that aspect in a pragmatic way. Even if you don’t necessarily learn any new information (which is doubtful!), the book definitely makes you think critically about the scenarios that the author presents, and relate them to your own practice. I listened to this audiobook primarily while taking my morning walk in the park, and was constantly in a state of self-reflection, asking myself do I do that?. Definitely recommend.

3. The Healthy Programmer

This one is a bit different. It’s not a book about how to write software, or even about your career in general (at least not directly). While not written by a doctor (it’s actually written by a fellow software engineer, Joe Kutner), the audiobook addresses many common ailments that plague software engineers, from back pain to obesity to RSI. Every chapter includes an example of an engineer’s story relevant to the issue at hand, and includes hard facts backed up by science. While this was definitely a motivator to get in better shape and take better care of myself physically, the audiobook does include a fair number of physical tests that sadly I couldn’t do at the same time as taking a stroll. I still think it’s definitely worth a listen though.

4. The Clean Coder

The first ever book I purchased for career development was Robert Martin’s “Clean Code”. I thought it was the best money I’d ever spent on a book, and it really resonated with me and my attitudes to software craftsmanship. I was super excited then to discover that Martin’s next publication (The Clean Coder) was available on Audible! Disclaimer: I actually haven’t read this one yet. But if you’re on the fence about joining Audible and are looking for a big hit to push you over the fence, then this one may be it.

If you’re not convinced though (or are looking for some other options), have a look at the results for “Programmer”.

Have you tried any of the titles above? What did you think? Anyhoo, I’d better stop recommending Audible before I get accused of having shares in it or being paid by Amazon to promote it! So I think I’ll wrap up here.

Thanks for reading! Catch ya!