A few brief book reviews, not only from September 2021. I don’t read that much.


Press Reset by Jason Schreier ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A book about the ups and downs of working in the games industry. Each chapter follows the story of a different game studio. They often interlink. If you have even a passing interest in how computer games are made, this book is fascinating and horrifying. I have huge respect for people who develop computer games, but I never want to work in the industry.

Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A popular book about global politics. I’m not really sure why, but I struggled to finish this. It was fairly interesting. My takeaway from this book is that the USA have a lot of military bases around the world.

Staff Engineer by Will Larson ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

If you’re interested it what a Staff Engineer role is, this is the book for you. I found it really useful. Partly to understand the types of staff role and partly to figure out which direction I wanted to go in. Particularly useful are the interviews with real staff engineers. They were full of advice, real life experiences and great suggestions for reading material.

Become An Effective Software Engineering Manager by James Stanier ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book is essential reading for new software engineering managers or anyone considering going down the management path. I found it incredibly useful as it’s so full of actionable advice.

The Passionate Programmer by Chad Fowler ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book contains just over 50 tips for building and maintaining a career in software development. It’s split into several sections; choosing your product, investing in your product, executing, marketing and maintaining your edge. Each tip is only a few pages which makes it very digestible. It’s not a slog to get through. On the whole I though the book contained some really good advice. I enjoyed, and got more from, the earlier sections than the latter sections. The only small downside is I found the total number of tips a little overwhelming.

The Managers Path by Camille Fournier ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book is great for new engineering managers. It’s a succinct overview of how to be a manager and contains useful insights into the mysterious world of senior management.

The Salt Path and The Wild Silence by Winn Raynor ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Without giving away what happens The Salt Path and it’s sequel, The Wild Silence, is a very moving real life story.

The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A novel with good software practice woven into it. I was surprised by how enjoyable this book was to read. I thought it would be very dry, but not at all. The story was engaging enough to make me want to keep reading. Plus, the context provided by the narrative did a great job of illustrating the benefits of good software development practices.


I, Robot by Isaac Asimov ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Science fiction. A number of short stories which play with Asimov’s three laws of robotics. Fairly enjoyable, but not as good as I remember from when I was a kid.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Fantasy. It’s fair to say I love pretty much all Brandon Sanderson books.