I love winter break. It’s my chance to recover from final exams, visit family and friends, and spend time doing things I’ve had to put off all quarter. This year I got a lot of reading done in between interviewing for summer internships and watching Stanford CS 193P lectures. Here are the books I read, and a quick review of each of them:
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson: Though I think Isaacson’s unfamiliarity with Silicon Valley was detrimental to the biography, his unprecedented access helps give the reader good insights into the complex person that Steve really was.
Hackers and Painters, Paul Graham: PG is a visionary and a gifted writer, and Hackers and Painters is a brilliant collection of essays about what it means to be a hacker. This is one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory.
Getting Real, 37signals: In this precursor to Rework, 37signals lays down their philosophies on the design, development, and business of web applications. It’s a short read and well worth the time of anyone looking to successfully create and launch a new product.
Being Geek, Michael Lopp: Advertised as “the software developer’s career handbook,” Being Geek aims to educate us nerds about the aspects of our jobs that lie beyond the computer. There’s a lot of great advice in this book, but it seems most applicable to fairly experienced engineers.