3 non-IT Books That Help you to Become Better Programmer

I love reading books. It helps me to create much deeper and persistent neural connections than any other form of self-education.

These books accidentally help me to write more readable code, create understandable and smart architecture or manage open-source in more polite and leading way.

Are you tired of reading technical books? Take a rest with these 3.

(Ordered from the shortest to the longest, in both reading time and personal change.)


"Complain about the way other people make software by making software."


Steal Like and Artist by Austing Kleon

Evolution of art is based on stealing. So is software. Pattern are replicated through languages and frameworks. Just imagine how many frameworks are using MVC pattern.

Instead of describing ideas in this master piece, just see this 11min TedX video. Then you can decide if you like this idea just enough to open first page.

I'd like to thank Honza Černý who lend me this book about a year ago and helped me to build bridge between programming and art.

Btw, if you read this short book, there also second part: Show Your Work.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Isn't it only Hype?

I heard about this book from many friends (Czech only) just in the end of 2016. So many at once, that I was afraid of buy-but-not-read-hype. That's when everyone is talking about the book, buying it, but nobody actually read it.

Like Clean Code. It's really great book - well it was the best you could buy in 2008. But now it's obsolete, too verbose, not to the point and difficult to understand by anyone else than Java programmers.

What can you do better? You could reach for 80 % shorter and PHP-related Principles of Package Design or go to fresh clean-code repository on Github single page PHP yes/no examples-based which has over 3625 stars as of time writing this post. I help to maintain it, but main credits goes to @jupeter.

Imagine peace with combination of 5hour train trips, disabling twitter and other social networks on your mobile and computer and cutting of Facebook activity, it is powerful skill-set that will give you head start before any concurrency you have.

Again, instead of few bullet points that got my opinionated attention, check this 13min youtube video.

Protip - Skip the first third

The book will then drag you into the stories about 1st class plane trips that produce books over weekend.

Thanks to Tomáš Kazatel for lending me and selling me this book with this tip.

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert A. Glover

This book is more transformative then 2 before. It's related to family system, partners, about money you feel you deserve in your job or about your.

I see many nice-guys among programmers, un-happy with their work, payment, skill level or they spouse and children, thank to organizing PHP meetups in Czech Republic. I could relate to them with my own experience (Czech only).

This book helped my to take over responsibility for things I'm un-happy with and take the first step to unknown future hidden in fog. Pain worth it!

Here, I'm not aware of any useful youtube video, so I recommend to start with first chapter and then continue or stop based on your preferences.

Thanks to all my women and Jakub Lipus for recommendation.


And the last take away? If you want to read some book, let somebody recommend it to you. Your friend probably know you better then you know the book by the cover :)

Happy reading!



What do you think?