Hello fellow nerds, how are you all doing today? In this blog post, I’ll be doing something a little different and share with you some book recommendations to improve your skills outside of coding. While it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be the greatest programmer you can be, it’s also very important to improve your character. These book recommendations will help you do just that and can improve your success in the workplace, your happiness, and your life in general. If this is something that interests you be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on future blog posts.
Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual by John Somnez
To start, this is the book that’s most applicable to you guys. This book covers how you can improve your soft skills in many areas of your life as a software developer. It starts with the career side of things like finding a job, excelling in personal branding, and how to learn new skills rapidly. Then as it goes on it covers topics that you might feel are less relevant to you as a programmer but are still certainly helpful for a developer or anyone in general. These include physical health, finances, and even a little bit of the spiritual side of life. Even though the later portions of the book might leave you thinking why would a software developer necessarily need this, I’d say it’s definitely worth the full read to keep you well balanced. Remember that being a software developer doesn’t just mean you are a coding machine, you also need to maintain the other aspects of your life. Many of the ideas or thoughts I’ve written about in this blog so far have been influenced by this book so if you enjoy my content you should enjoy this too.
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
How could I not recommend to you this classic book for improving your people skills? This book has been around for a long time and has been a success in helping many people improve their social skills and handling of people. Looking through my copy of the book, I can see I highlighted many sentences of useful advice I wanted to keep for future reference. The advice it gives ranges from good first impressions, handling difficult people, being a leader, how to convince people of things, and how to be well-liked. Along the way, this book goes through many examples of well-known people using the techniques it preaches.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
This book might be a little harder to read for many because of how old it is but its lessons are timeless and very important in the world we live in. This book is one of the very pillars of stoic philosophy, a philosophy designed to teach you emotional mastery and to best use your time. Some parts of it might be a little dry but there is a lot of wisdom in this book. Each time I’ve read it I’ve picked up new ideas or pieces of wisdom to guide me in life.
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
This book is really good for anyone who is lacking assertiveness and struggles to deal with others. The book outlines healthy ways to set boundaries with other people to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of yet at the same time open to trusting others. While this book is very Christian
, its lessons transcend any religion if that would be an issue you with.
The power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
To finish this guide I’d like to discuss my favorite non-fiction book ever, the power of now by Eckhart Tolle. While this book might seem a little crazy, hard to understand at first, and be irrelevant to a programmer, the lessons it gives are very powerful for anybody. This book is very spiritual but is neutral to any religion. Although it does make some references to Christianity and Buddhism along the way to help those who follow that religion. The lessons it preaches are admittedly hard to implement but are designed to help you find inner peace and most effectively use the present moment. I had to read this book multiple times to gain a deeper understanding of it but each time I did it was a powerful experience.
With that, you should now have a good foundation for books you can try out to improve your soft skills. There are more books like these that I have collected over the past year but there is only so much I can fit into this guide and some are more specific to myself. If you want some direction of other good self-improvement content to read after these, I’d recommend stoic philosophy as a strong foundation. If you happen to have good book recommendations or would want more from me feel free to let me know in the comments below. Happy reading!
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