Learning something insightful is harder, you have to read something clearly above your current level. You need to find writers who are more knowledgeable on a particular subject than yourself. It’s also how you get smarter.

~ Farnam Street


  1. 97 Things Every Engineering Manager Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts (Camille Fournier)
  2. An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management (Will Larson)
  3. Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager: How to Be the Leader Your Development Team Needs (James Stanier)
  4. Building Microservices (Sam Newman)
  5. Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Marty Cagan)
  6. Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance (Marcus Buckingham)
  7. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Marty Cagan)
  8. Leading Without Authority: How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration (Keith Ferrazzi)
  9. Mythical Man-Month, The: Essays on Software Engineering (Fred Brooks)
  10. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time (Jeff Sutherland)


  1. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps (Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble & Gene Kim)
  2. The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change (Camille Fournier)
  3. The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (Gene Kim, Kevin Behr & George Spafford)


  1. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)
  2. The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and Out of Prison (Jacques Pauw)


  1. Buffett: The Biography (Roger Lowenstein)
  2. Sense and Sensuality: Jesus Talks to Oscar Wilde on the Pursuit of Pleasure (Ravi Zacharias)
  3. The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives (Ravi Zacharias)


  1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (Gary D. Chapman)


  1. God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty (Rice Broocks)


  1. Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell)
  2. Outliers: The Story Of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)
  3. The Google Story: Inside The Hottest Business, Media And Technology Success Of Our Time (David A. Vise)
  4. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell)


  1. It’s Our Turn To Eat: The Story Of A Kenyan Whistle-blower (Michela Wrong)


  1. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (Barack Obama)
  2. Michelle: A Biography (Liza Mundy)


  1. Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood For Jesus, The Ultimate Jesus Freaks (D.C. Talk)

  1. 2006-2010 were my undergraduate years. I read no material outside my academic curriculum. School was hard, and that was enough reading for me. My priority was just getting done. Sidenote, the Internet wasn’t easy to come by back then, especially in campus, so I didn’t get much reading online either.
  2. 2011-2012 were my Samsung days. First job out of campus, I was busy getting used to work and distracted by the money that comes with it. I’m not surprised that I didn’t get much reading done. What changed in this period is that I got a smartphone, Internet became ubiquitous, I had access to the Internet at work and had enough money to afford mobile data outside of work. My reading shifted to online sources (mostly on mobile) because the Flipboard news app aggregated a lot of the news that I was interested in.
  3. In 2013, I resigned from Samsung to become an entreprenuer in a tech startup that I co-founded. I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. Most of my reading was on the technologies that I would use to build the service that the business provided. And so I read a lot about programming, particularly on Ruby and Internet infrastructure.
  4. Admittedly, I’m not sure that the books listed in 2013 were actually read in that year. However, in hindsight, it does make sense if they were. At that point I was trying to understand all I could about success (from a personal and business perspective). So I’m not surprised that those books piqued my interest at the time.
  5. 2014-2015 were my postgraduate years. I was reading enough papers. I really didn’t see a need to add more to the pile.
  6. Towards the end of 2015 I got a job that flung me right into DevOps. I read a lot about DevOps and I learnt a lot!
  7. 2016 had me still focused on DevOps and settling into a my new career and other personal transitions.
  8. 16th December 2016 I renewed my commitment to pick up a habit to reading books without giving excuses (refer to excuses 1-7). We’ll see how it goes.