Thursday, August 03, 2006


How many books can you read in a lifetime?

Want to hear something really scary? On average, a programmer reads just one technical book a year (Code Complete: Steve McConnell). It got me thinking; let’s be optimistic and say that the average every programmer reads 2 technical books related to their work each year. Now assuming you have a productive working career from the age of 20 to 60. That means you will read just 80 technical books in your entire working life! As a consequence, it means you should be very discerning about which ones you read. You may not have realised it but you just don’t have time to read any poor or out of date technical books!

OK. Now you have decided to only read useful books, how will you pick which ones you should read? Jeff Atwood put up a list of recommended reading for developers, and I’ve previously posted a list of recommended computing books. One that is on Jeff’s list that I really should add to mine is The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. You could probably read this book together with Code Complete and be well on the road to enlightenment!


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