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King, Harari, Bryson and Pink – 4 essential authors and books for hungry (aspiring) software developers

Short text about how non-development books can positively influence developers (and their daily routine)

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The Shawshank Redemption is currently smiling from the top of IMDB. Few know that this prison flick is written by Stephen King – that scary stories guy. His book “On Writing” is THE book you should salut if writing is your forte. Explaining complex things in simple terms, public speaking, mentoring others – all has deep roots in writing skills. Stephen King deconstructs these concepts while his pages are saturated with tales of alcohol-influenced typing, near-death experiences and good ol’ advice about storytelling. Consider this book like an intro to writing (and writing as an intro to your soft cushy skills).

“Sapiens” swept away popular non-fiction books and landed as a staple science read for non-science readers. This NY Times bestseller follows our civilization from stone-bashing to social-media age while pointing at one explicit thing – without evolved cooperation, we would not be here. Harari’s main argument is that (Homo) Sapiens came to rule the world ‘cause it is the only animal that cooperates flexibly and in large numbers. Book is an exquisite source of social mechanics – something to read on if you’re building a dev team culture or just creating a next-door cult.

Bill Bryson, another non-fiction author is a bearded face behind the third book you should read – “A short history of nearly everything”. It’s a journey in how inventions and knowledge came to be. More precisely, it’s “angle” is not about WHAT we know, but HOW we know it – an essential question that every designer, developer or aspiring inventor asked himself during late nights, staring at a blank photoshop canvas.

And while you stared at the blank canvas, you probably thought to propose some ideas to your boss, apprentice or spouse. That’s where Daniel H. Pink kicks in, an author of “To Sell is Human” with his theory that most social interactions are in short, sales. You probably witnessed a gut wrenching effect when anybody starts to talk sales, but here’s the thing – you’re into sales more than you know it (and you’re probably good at it). Mr. Pink debunks myths of loud & extroverted salesman and proposes that there are more paths than “Better Call Saul” can think of.

p.s. this post was intended as a writing practice as to condense as much info into one Instagram post. The character limit is 2200 i.e. around 360 words. Leave a note in the comments if this is way too short 🙂 > https://www.instagram.com/kreshomir_/

Krešimir Končić
Krešimir Končić Owner at Neuralab

Ex QBASIC developer that ventured into a web world in 2007. Leading a team of like-minded Open Source aficionados that love design, code and a pinch of BBQ. Currently writing a book that explains why ‘coding is the easier part’ of our field.


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