Jeremiah Flaga My thoughts and experiences on programming, life, atbp.

Why read?

Ryan Holiday

(from “How To Read More — A Lot More”)

Perhaps the reason you having trouble is you forgot the purpose of reading. It’s not just for fun. Human beings have been recording their knowledge in book form for more than 5,000 years. That means that whatever you’re working on right now, whatever problem you’re struggling with, is probably addressed in some book somewhere by someone a lot smarter than you. Save yourself the trouble of learning from trial and error — find that point. Benefit from that perspective.

Colin Jones

(from Advice for early-career developers)

There are innumerable ways to gain knowledge: articles, books, papers, MOOCs, conversations, experimentation, project documentation, access to experts who are willing to answer questions, and many more. Quality and efficiency vary across these and other mechanisms, and many of us learn in different ways. Personally, I’ve gotten a ton of value out of reading books and applying what I’ve learned.

Reading blog posts like this one is a baby step: hopefully it’ll help a bit, but it’s the tip of the iceberg. I’d really recommend concentrating your reading more on classic books that’ll help you throughout your career. Book authors have spent many months, maybe years, distilling their years of experience into a well-crafted format that you can inhale over a few weekends.

Being willing to read is a superpower in our industry. It really is.

What to read…

If you think there are already too many patterns books to study, don’t worry. Follow the advice of Jerry Weinberg. I once asked him how he keeps up with all the books that come out. He said, “Easy — I only read the great ones.”

— Joshua Kerievsky (from chapter 3 of Refactoring to Patterns)