A list of books and papers in various stages of my reading pipeline.
On the Radar
- It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. 9/10.
Another excellent entry from the Basecamp folks. No words wasted, and as
refreshing as it is inspiring. What a fantastic company and book!
- Database Reliability Engineering.
7/10. Lots of knowledge compressed into a relatively short read. As someone not
directly in SRE/DBRE/DBA, however, I don’t think I got much direct utility from
- Magnolia Story. 8/10. An enjoyable, entertaining
story. If you like the show, you’ll like their book.
- Streaming Data. 8/10. I much
preferred this content to Streaming Systems; in particular, I liked the
methodical approach and survey of each core component of generalized streaming
architecture. I recommend reading this before Streaming Systems.
- Mastering PostgreSQL 11.
6/10. Pretty good reference book on PostgreSQL, but seemingly very few ideas and
concepts specific to PostgreSQL 11. At times, it felt like an early release,
referencing features still on PostgreSQL 11’s roadmap. Nonetheless, there are
some really great nuggets of information here, particularly on performance
tuning and configuration.
- Streaming Systems.
7/10. Fantastic introduction (and history) to streaming systems. I particularly
enjoyed the unifying framework that the author presents, as well as key ideas
and mental models, like stream-table duality. I don’t know how well it will age,
but I’ll be sure to pick up following editions as new stream processing
paradigms are introduced.
- Kafka: The Definitive Guide.
8/10. Solid guide into Kafka. I’ll keep this handy on my shelf and will be
revisiting it when I need to tune Kafka.
- Designing Distributed Systems.
6/10. Eh, it’s a quick read. Some interesting design patterns for micro-service
architecture, but perhaps I didn’t appreciate it as much since I didn’t go
through the Kubernetes examples.
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications.
10/10. Best technical book I’ve read in quite some time. Absolutely fantastic.
- Guerilla Capacity Planning.
4/10. The concept is 10/10, but the material was pretty hard to slog through. I
recommend future readers just read perfdynamics.com articles to get the gist.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
9/10. Absolutely incredible read. A large chunk I couldn’t appreciate (advice on
hiring and managing executives), but even if you read the first few chapters
about Ben Horowitz’s journey, it’s worth a read.
- Radical Candor. 8/10. The concept
of radical candor was so enlightening to me that I made it a line item in my
personal leadership philosophy. This book should be required
reading for all teams, managers of teams, and managers of managers, alike. My
only gripe with this is that I think it could have been shorter; but otherwise,
it was a fantastic read.
- React Quickly. 6/10. Fairly
decent intro and walkthrough of front-end stack utilizing modern technology. It
definitely focuses on breadth over depth (not a bad thing), but my hesitations
are on the focus of the book on technology vs. design patterns. I could see this
- SQL Performance Explained. 9/10.
Should be required reading for application back-end developers! This was a
short, yet information-packed, guide to tuning databases and applications. I too
often see developers treat databases as black box abstractions; it’s refreshing
to see the author embrace full-stack ownership.
- Two Scoops of Django 1.11.
8/10. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience tucked away in this book. I
loved the opinionated take that the authors present, particularly on avoiding
pitfalls that might take developers weeks or months to learn the hard way. I
sincerely hope they release a new guide for Django >2.0!
- Think and Grow Rich.
I know this is a classic, but I just couldn’t get into it. A lot isn’t quite
relevant anymore, and the whole “follow these steps and you will receive riches”
was so repetitive. I feel like I can sum up most of the book by saying,
Other People’s Reading Pipelines
- Kevin Smiler (Melting Asphalt).
He was the inspiration for this page!