Good Reads On Software

10 February 2013

  • Ted Dzubia's blog. Dzubia used to describe himself as a professional programmer troll; he often posted blogs with titles like NodeJS is cancer". Nowadays he's a bit more relaxed. He's a Python expert, but I first came across him when reading a great article on Bash scripting called "Taco Bell Programming". A lot of his old posts are no longer available on his website, but you can still find them on his GitHub.

  • Zed Shaw, the angriest man in software. He writes about a broad range of topics, but he's at his best when ranting about our tendency to accept inelegance and imperfection. Good reads: Programmers Need To Learn Statistics Or I Will Kill Them All, The Master, The Expert, The Programmer, and The Web Will Die When OOP Dies.

  • Kalzumeus Software by Patrick McKenzie. McKenzie's an interesting guy: he started a SaaS side project while working a day job in Japan. When his project became profitable, he quit and started working on it full-time. He's full of incredible insight into how to run a one-man software startup, and he's particularly good on topics that are not necessarily software related: A/B testing, sending customers emails, metrics tracking - that sort of thing.

  • Destroy All Software by Gary Bernhardt. Bernhardt is a Python and Ruby programmer who produces biweekly podcasts on programming technique. DAS screencasts tend to be pretty good, but they're also very dense. Don't try to watch them when you're tired.

  • Paul Graham's Essays: long-form essays on programming and startups by the founder of the most prestigious startup accelerator in the world. PG's thinking has been enormously infuential on the current wave of startups, both in California and around the world. His work is compelling, but sometimes overly glorifies technologists. Still, do not try to work at a startup without making your peace with him.

  • Coding Horror by Jeff Atwood. Atwood, the cofounder of StackOverflow, has been writing about both programming and programmers since the 90s. Like many people on this list, he's a readable, intelligent writer. I particularly like him because in many of his posts, there's a lingering sense of astonishment at his own success.

  • Joel (Spolsky) on Software. Spolsky is the other cofounder of StackOverlow, and he's also been writing about programming since the 90s. (Half of his anecdotes start with, "When I was working on the original Excel...") While some of Spolsky's advice seems dated, it's also remarkable how much of what he says is still current. Since he's too important to actually program nowadays, he's also become a great source of advice on how to manage programmers.

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