The Abyss

Reading List

I started taking books on development seriously around June 2016. Who knew books are really helpful! Well, I knew. I was reading books for as long as I remember and am a proud member of two reading clubs and never wash dishes without listening to a speculative fiction short story. But it took me a while to start looking for and reading good books about this new profession I'm trying to acquire. And my quality of life and code changed very swiftly. Feel free to recommend anything else, I'll add it to my never-ending list.


Rails Tutorial, Michael Hartl

This book delivers exactly what it promises. Well, maybe a bit more than that. I've done a rails tutorial or two in my time and that was fun but still left me almost completely in the dark. Michael Hartl is not going to leave things like this. He is extremely thorough, even going as far as creating and merging branches in every chapter, testing even smallest front-end details and being overall a lovely teacher by example. Reading this book I for a first time observed coding process of another person and it highlighted a lot of mistakes I was making. Also I finally understood what Rails actually does. Not bad for something called "tutorial".

Apprenticeship Patterns, David H. Hoover and Adele Oshineye

Great book for people who want to become better developers. For experienced folk there are going to be a lot of "duh" moments. However, it felt great to experience a very non-technical approach to what development can be - a craft, a life-long learning, a purpose. I felt great sense of belonging while reading it, for once my experience was very common, people all around the world try to build their life around typing code into editor screen. Software craftsmanship may not be for everyone, but this book is as much about SC as it is about just learning how to learn, always finding a way to improve and expand. I stumbled upon it by a very lucky accident and it changed my approach to development and building a career completely.

Eloquent JavaScript, Marijn Haverbeke

I was lucky enough to listen to Marijn Haverbeke at Berlin RustFest 2016 and he is just as thorough and composed (and tall) as his book would suggest. The difficulty curve of this book is rather unexpected. Around chapter 6 I even had to google whether what I was experiencing was unique. It turned out it wasn't. Indeed book which starts slowly and by forth or fifth chapter becomes very demanding of its reader. I wouldn't recommend it as a first introduction to JavaScript, but it is great for people who already "know" a thing or two. Reading it was a rather slow process. It takes several hours on average to get trough all code examples an exercises in any given chapter. But it's all worth it in the end.

The Book or the one being written right now

So I decided to learn a system language, so I decided to learn Rust. I went to RustFest where I met people who've created Rust and written The Book. It is called The Book because Rust is a cult of happy developers, who are worshipping their smiling crab god and working safely with memory.
And I am both terrified and intrigued. I think it is going to be a long uphill road for me, but even this tiny bits of Rust are infiltrating my JavaScript code already. And I haven't moved pass strings even.


Code Complete 2, Steve McConnell

This is am big one: literally and figuratively. From the very beginning it tries to deconstruct my existing understanding of what is this thing that I am doing. It also helps to reshape my thinking into patterns better suited for that thing that I am doing. Btw, this thing is called construction and it is just a part of software development. It should be done in a correct order, with enough preparation and proper technique. This book doesn't aim to answer all of the questions about development, but it sure does let you know that those questions exist in the first place.