When programmers ask “What to read?”, some very technical and programmer-only books are usually advised to be read. But what about non-technical, or maybe even fiction books? Such books, that can be fun and useful for programmers do exist.
Here, I offer my personal list of good non-tech books, that will affect a developer’s formation and career.
1. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”
by Richard Feynman & Ralph Leighton
Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize winner, was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. It happened so, he was a brilliant storyteller as well. In autobiographic anecdotes he explains life from a scientist viewpoint. This is very funny, fascinating and even philosophic. 🤔
For me, as a developer, these stories were enlightening and motivational. Reading about one of the greatest scientific careers gives you lot of food for thought.
2. The Martian by Andy Weir
In fact, I’m not a huge fan of Sci-Fi. Usually for me it is too boring and over nerdish. But this novel is an exception. Andy Weir immerses his readers into a world, full of cool scientific things, explaining every tiny detail of it.
The novel’s character is facing a problem, that seems to be unsolvable. But he does it. He splits it into a chunk of smaller problems and solve them one by one, demonstrating series of brilliant solutions. Reading this is captivating, and it made me draw analogies of how developers solve their problems.
3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
First part of the book is Stephen King’s autobiographic story – his thorny path of becoming a successful writer. The second part of the book is King teaching others how to be good at craft of writing.
Throw stones at me, but I did a metal trick while reading this – I just treated programming as an art, and drew parallels and analogies with the writing art. As a result I enjoyed that reading very much.
4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
In the school I was so passionate about math and programming, that learning of history has been hard won for me. So, to get descent grades at History class I crank up a “corrupt” deal with my History teacher: I do solve all Math and Programming assignments for children of her class, she – gives me good grades
Later after school, I started showing interest in history, and this book was a real discovery. The book makes an extensive but brief excursion in human history. It is explanatory and easy-to-understand for nerds like me.
What non-technical books do you like the most? Share your experience please.