Technical Books read in 2020

This annual post is one of my favorites. In last years post I mentioned that the number of technical books I read had dropped from seven in 2018 to three in 2019. For 2020 that number is zero.

Since turning pro, it is the first year in which I have not read a book on a language, framework, tool or something with a tenuous link to programming. It wasn’t planned but I had noticed that technical books alone were no longer helping me grow as much as they had in the past.

So instead of this year I am proud to present a collection of YouTube videos, Podcast episodes and Pluralsight courses that have taken the place of the books I would have normally been writing about.

YouTube

Don’t add features, solve problems was for me the key message from Rich Hickey’s Hammock Driven Development keynote.

Scott has been delivering a series of superb YouTube videos under the collective heading of Computer stuff they didn’t teach you and at the time of writing he had 17 videos published. Watch any one and you will get a better understanding of the topic under discussion.

Podcasts

Akimbo The Hedonic Treadmill I could have chosen any of this years episodes from Seth Godin’s thoughtful and generous podcast but I chose this one because it is a timely reminder on why you don’t need to turn it up to eleven.

The 6 Figure Developer Episode 144 – Database Stuff with Brent Ozar Brent makes SQL Server go faster I chose this episode because of his balanced views on where to store “stuff”, where business logic should go and how solving a problem others are facing could help you start a side project.

Hanselminutes I’m gonna cheat with this one. Choose any episode and you will enjoy the show and learn something.

Pluralsight

Deborah Kurata Angular Getting Started Deborah has a course for almost every major feature of Angular but this was the first one I took and one I recommend for those new to the framework.

Billy Hollis Creating User Experiences: Fundamental Design Principles Although this course was released in 2012 and some edges of it might be looking dated, the design principles that Billy discusses are timeless and there is a lot of gold here waiting to be mined.

Troy Hunt Ethical Hacking: SQL Injection I’m a big fan of Troy’s work such as Have i been pwned?, his insightful blog posts or seeing him talk at NDC London. If you want to know more about the entry perennially at number one in the OWASP Top Ten this is the course for you.

Summary

What I have learnt this year is that I am lucky to work in an industry which has many different mediums that can scratch the learning itch and when one isn’t working for you try another.

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