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Three books for web developers (2024 edition)

I’m writing a short blog post about three books and asked GPT4 to create a featured image that you can see on the right. Now, drawing a backbone tie for “Coders” is a ROFL material, but having DALL-E convert “to sell” > “to L” and then attribute it to Stephen King is just AGI perfection 🙂

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First of all, ‘m constantly surprised how this book list is basically staying the same. But the one thing that’s changing is the reasoning on why you should read them so here we go …

1. Coders by Clive Thompson

The first is ‘Coders’ by Clive Thompson, who typically writes sharp technology columns for The Atlantic, Wired, or The New York Times. ‘Coders’ delves deep into the world of programmers and reveals how they think, how they solve problems, and why they started writing ‘code’ in the first place. The book is extremely good for colleagues who are not programmers themselves, but who need to actively work with them – which has proved to be a major challenge of the 21st Century.

Programming, after all, is a skill that has its own subculture and ‘ethos’; it is permeated throughout the entire BigTech sector which today – for better or worse – shakes the whole world. Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Apple (MAAMA) at the time of writing are worth nine trillion dollars – which is about the sum you get when you add up all publicly traded companies in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Translated, working with programmers is not only inevitable, but also an opportunity since through better communication and collaboration far more quality digital products can be made.

2. To sell is human – by Daniel H. Pink

The second book is somewhat related to the issue of communication, and it is ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel H. Pink. It’s wise to read the book at the beginning of your career as it talks about how the majority of actions we perform during work are actually ‘selling’ in the broader sense of the word – seeking a budget for a business trip, proposing a technological approach for a project, describing the necessary resources for a future team, and of course educating colleagues about potential solutions are all actually sales activities.

What the author also points out well is that most people are actually good at sales, but due to the influence of American pop culture, sales have been portrayed in a distorted way. With this, he also breaks the myth of the extroverted alpha male who in the style of the Wolf of Wall Street is the only one who can sell that well-known pen.

3. On writing – by Stephen King

The third book is by Stephen King, but it’s not about ‘Shawshank Redemption’ or ‘Green Mile’, but about a work that describes the process of writing. ‘On Writing’ clearly and concisely lists the foundations of the written word, and points out well the philosophy that writing and storytelling are the basis of all intellectual activities – especially those that will enable someone’s business, career, or project advancement. For example, the skill of good writing allows you to quickly compose a complex email about the issues of a project; to do good research and preparation for the next public appearance; or to form documents that will provide your colleague with clearer navigation through team tasks.

But what the book concludes excellently is that writing helps most in one’s own learning of new things because only when you try to write down your own knowledge on paper, you realize how little you know and understand.

p.s. this article was first published by Lider Media in a print format.

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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