Books Every Software Engineer Must Read in 2023

Coding (Software architecture)

Enhance knowledge in data-intensive applications, clean code, software architecture, and more

Imagine you’re on a roller coaster ride, soaring through twists and turns, feeling the rush of adrenaline.

Now, picture yourself on that same ride, but that never changes.

A predictable loop that offers no excitement or surprises.




Which one would you choose? Most likely, the first one.

Similar to the euphoria of a roller coaster, a web developer’s career is a continuous journey filled with opportunities for growth and advancement.


However, to embrace this journey and progress in your career, it’s crucial to learn new skills and stay up to date with the ever-evolving web development landscape.

Why is it important to learn and stay up to date?

Well, let me share a story with you.


At my first job as a developer back in the day I was living in the South of Italy, and I met one of my first bosses.

He was a talented web developer named Riccardo. 

He was highly skilled in his craft and had a strong foundation in various programming languages. 

Riccardo thought they had it all figured out, comfortable in his knowledge and expertise.

However, as time went on, Riccardo began to notice a shift in the industry.


New technologies emerged, new demands for frameworks, and the demands of clients and users changed. 

Suddenly, Riccardo’s once-rock-solid skills seemed outdated and less relevant.

And our whole team was affected by it.

To stay relevant and excel in this dynamic field, it’s essential to cultivate a mindset of continuous learning. 


By regularly acquiring new skills, exploring emerging technologies, and staying up-to-date with industry trends, you position yourself for career growth, increased job prospects, and the ability to meet the evolving needs of clients and users.


In this article, I’ll share a few evergreen books that keep me relevant after 10+ years in this industry.

Let’s get started.


Book 1: “Designing Data-Intensive Applications” by Martin Kleppmann

Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann is a practical guide for web developers looking to build robust and scalable data systems.


Kleppmann covers essential concepts like data storage, scalability, and fault tolerance, offering insights into choosing the right data models and architectures. 


All the basics you need to understand to become a good developer.

With a blend of theory and real-world examples, the book provides developers with the knowledge to make informed decisions when designing and implementing data-intensive applications.


Kleppmann’s accessible writing style and passion for the topic make this book an engaging read for both experienced practitioners and aspiring web developers.


Book 2: “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin

Clean Code is a classic.

I read it at least 3 times and every time I find new little gems on it.


In this book Robert C. Martin, one of the most popular software engineers and the author takes a deep dive into the art of writing clean and maintainable code. 


The book serves as a guide for developers seeking to improve their coding skills and produce high-quality software.

Martin highlights the importance of code readability and its impact on the overall maintainability of a project. 

He argues that writing clean code not only benefits the individual developer but also contributes to the success of the entire team and the longevity of the software.


Throughout the book, Martin provides practical techniques and best practices for writing clean code. 


He discusses topics such as meaningful naming conventions, proper code formatting, organizing functions and classes, and effective commenting.

By following these principles, developers can create code that is easier to understand, modify, and extend.

“Clean Code” offers valuable insights and real-world examples that help developers navigate the complexities of software development. 


It encourages developers to prioritize clarity and simplicity in their code, which can lead to increased productivity and reduce technical debt.


In the next section of this blog, we will explore another major work by Robert Martin: “Clean Architecture.” 

This book is the sequel to “Clean Code: and delves into the realm of software architecture and its impact on the design and structure of our applications. 


Book 3: “Clean Architecture” by Robert C. Martin

Robert C. Martin again, I learned a lot from this guy.

Building upon the concepts introduced in "Clean Code," "Clean Architecture" dives deeper into the realm of software architecture. 

In this book, he presents a comprehensive guide to designing scalable, maintainable, and testable architectures for software systems.


The core idea behind Clean Architecture is to separate concerns and dependencies, allowing for independent development and evolution of different parts of the system. 

The book introduces a set of principles and patterns that help architects and developers create architectures that are flexible, robust, and aligned with businesses' needs.

The author underlines the importance of designing software that is independent of frameworks, databases, and external dependencies. 


By defining clear boundaries and abstractions, the architecture becomes more adaptable to changes and allows for the easy replacement or upgrade of specific components.


Clean Architecture promotes the use of solid design principles, such as the Dependency Inversion Principle and the Single Responsibility Principle, to achieve loosely coupled and highly cohesive code. 


By adhering to these principles, developers can create systems that are easier to understand, maintain, and extend over time.

The book also explores topics like testing strategies, component communication, and the role of frameworks and tools in architecture design. 


It provides real-world examples and case studies to illustrate how the principles and patterns can be applied in different contexts.


By adopting Clean Architecture principles, developers can create software systems that are not only easier to work with but also more resilient to changes and scalable in the long run.

Do you want me to write a full summary of these 2 books write a comment below!


Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash


Book 4: “Learning DevOps” by Bill Benefield

DevOps is a beast for every web developer, myself in Primis.


“Learning DevOps” is a comprehensive guide that explains the world of DevOps and provides practical insights into implementing DevOps practices in software development and operations.

What is DevOps?


Short for Development Operations, is a set of practices and cultural philosophies that emphasize collaboration, automation, and integration between software development teams and IT operations teams. 

It aims to break down silos, streamline processes, and foster a culture of continuous improvement and delivery.

In this book, 


Benefield takes a hands-on approach to help readers understand the fundamental concepts of DevOps and how it can revolutionize software development and deployment. 


He covers various aspects, including infrastructure automation, continuous integration and delivery, configuration management, monitoring, and collaboration tools.

Benefield provides step-by-step instructions, real-world examples, and practical tips to guide readers through the implementation of DevOps practices. 


From setting up automated build and deployment pipelines to managing infrastructure as code, the book covers a wide range of topics essential for modern software development teams.

Moreover, “Learning DevOps” emphasizes the importance of collaboration, communication, and shared responsibility within cross-functional teams.


It highlights the value of breaking down barriers between development and operations, fostering a culture of trust, and aligning the goals of different stakeholders.

By adopting DevOps practices, businesses can achieve faster delivery cycles, higher quality software, and improved customer satisfaction. 

This book served to me as a great resource to embrace the DevOps mindset and transform their software development and operations processes.


In conclusion, “Learning DevOps” provides readers with the knowledge and practical skills needed to implement DevOps practices effectively. 

It serves as a guide to navigate the world of DevOps and unlock the benefits of collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement in software development.


Book 5: “Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software” by Eric Evans

I first heard about Eric Evans during the first lockdown (now it seems ages ago).

Initially, I bought “Domain-Driven Design Quickly” a 100-pages summary of his concept.

As soon as I finished reading it I knew I needed to know more about DDD.


“Domain-Driven Design” is THE book that introduces the principles and practices of Domain-Driven Design (DDD), a software development approach aimed at tackling the complexity of business domains and building high-quality software systems that align closely with real-world concepts.


DDD emphasizes a deep understanding and modeling of the business domain to drive the design and implementation of software. 

The book delves into the core concepts and techniques of DDD, providing a comprehensive framework for developers to build robust, maintainable, and scalable applications.


At the heart of DDD is the concept of the domain, which represents the problem space, the business rules, and the entities and relationships that exist within it. 

Evans guides readers through the process of identifying and defining the domain model, capturing essential concepts, and mapping them to software components effectively.


The book covers various topics, including strategic design, tactical design patterns, aggregates, repositories, bounded contexts, and ubiquitous language. 

It explores techniques for modeling complex domains, handling bounded contexts, and integrating disparate systems while maintaining a clear and consistent understanding of the business requirements.


DDD encourages a collaborative approach, promoting close collaboration between domain experts, developers, and stakeholders. 


By adopting DDD principles and practices, developers can gain a deeper understanding of the problem domain, leading to more effective communication, improved software quality, and increased agility in responding to changing business needs.

The book serves as a guide for developers seeking to enhance their software design skills and create highly maintainable and domain-centric applications.



Back to our story.

Feeling stuck, Riccardo realized the importance of continuous learning.

He embarked on a journey to expand his knowledge and skills, diving into the latest trends, tools, and practices in web development.

It was challenging at first, but soon Riccardo discovered the transformative power of staying up to date.

By embracing new technologies and learning modern approaches, Riccardo became more versatile and adaptable.

He now gained a deeper understanding of emerging frameworks, optimized his workflows, and delivered more innovative solutions to our clients.

Since I left Italy Riccardo’s career soared to new heights as they confidently tackled complex projects and attracted exciting opportunities.

The story of Riccardo serves as a reminder that the world of web development is ever-changing.


As a web developer, it is crucial to prioritize continuous learning and self-improvement by delving into relevant books that expand your knowledge and skills. 

The world of technology is ever-evolving, and staying up to date with the latest trends, practices, and concepts is essential to progress in your career.

Books offer a wealth of wisdom, insights, and practical guidance that can significantly impact your growth as a software engineer.


Remember, reading is not just a leisure activity; it is an investment in your professional development and a catalyst for your success as a web developer. 



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