Senior Engineer


July 2018 Reading List

Here're some books I've read/listened in July 2018. Reading some titles, one might say "oh wow these are classics, I've read them 1000+ times.". Right, but the goal and expectations for reading the book are different each time you pick it up from the bookshelf.

Lifehack - if you don't have time to read a paper book, try the audio-book, Audible gives one free during first thirty days of trial.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Some people, and I am not an exception, are getting stuck in their tracks when they hit an obstacle in their work or life. This book is a mantra and an excuses-eliminator. It allows you to move forward instead of whining/complaining/procrastinating.

I can't count how many times I've had to abandon a great project just because I've thought that I'm blocked, or I didn't see a way forward, or someone criticized my work.

This book puts you in a right mindset on dealing with friction and setting yourself and your projects for success.

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised)

This book is a never-dying classic, but we often forget the lessons from it.

Re-reading this book once again enabled me paying much more attention to details of inter-human communication. The most important lessons from the book are: "Talk in terms of other people’s interests", "Don’t criticize", "Admit if you are wrong quickly".

At the early stage of my carrier, I didn't pay much attention to communication - the amount of work was relatively small, and I didn't have any problems accomplishing projects, sometimes doing the job alone. But at later stages of my carrier, when I've started to be involved in massive projects serving millions of customers, communication became a single most important thing - one needs a solid team and relationships with people to do things at big scale.


Everyone involved in internet businesses should read this book - not only entrepreneurs and C-level managers but also regular engineers and tech-leads.

It teaches you to build products people will love and work environments people will trust.

Two of my favorite quotes are: "That's not to say we're all created equal and you'll unlock star power in anyone with a rock star environment. But there's a ton of untapped potential trapped under lame policies, poor direction, and stifling bureaucracies. Cut the crap and you'll find that people are waiting to do great work. They just need to be given the chance." and "When you want something badly enough, you make the time - regardless of your other obligations."

We shouldn't forget that we and only we are responsible for creating environments which empower other people to do a great job - develop amazing products and create world-class user experiences. The more senior your role is, the more critical this responsibility will be.

Although one might disagree, a format of books by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson is pretty cool - it's a collection of blog posts, which makes it even more enjoyable to read. 

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