My 2020 in books

In June I decided to challenge myself to read at least ten books by the end of the year. I surpassed that goal by reading eleven books and I just started reading the twelfth (but I am sure I won’t finish it by the end of the year). Here is the list of books I liked the most (and that I recommend) with some considerations.

I read most of my books in English, but sometimes I like to enjoy reading in my native language. This list features only books that are either only or available in English.

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhou

This is one of those books I wish I read sooner. Julie Zhou had been the first intern at Facebook and became manager at 25. In her book, she shares the fears and challenges she faced, thus giving examples and advice on how to deal with different situations in which new managers may find themselves.

I think every tech worker should read this book because they can get better at relating to colleagues, and get some skills that transcend a management role.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game by Paul Midler

I have always been fascinated by how China is the world leader in the production scheme of most consume goods. This book gives an insight into what happens when a US company decides to shift production to China. Midler tells a funny story about southern factories, their controversial manufacturing techniques, and the way they interact with foreign customers.

I got this book lent from a friend of mine and read it in just a week during the summer break. It was very interesting because you get a story from the direct experience of the author.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Either if you have heard of Thanos and Elizabeth Holmes or not, you should read this book. In 2014, a start-up named Thanos had the ambition to change the way blood testing was performed. This ambition led to the creation of a tool that anyone could have in their home, aimed at replacing needles and avoiding going to laboratories to have the results analyzed. The problem was that this tool did not always work, and when it worked, it gave poor results. Holmes was so adept at making people believe she had a brilliant idea, that for years she still managed to get investments for her company. Eventually, rumors about the tool’s failure and the terrible working conditions of the employees led to an investigation by the author John Carreyrou, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, who published all the material obtained in the book.

I also read this book during the summer break, and I could not put it down, because it was like a thriller.

I’m OK – You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris

This is an informative psychology book about Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne and describes how the three ego-states (parent, adult, and child) affect our lives and how we relate with other people.

It has been suggested to me by a soft skill teacher and I enjoyed reading it because it is very easy to understand even for those who did not ever study psychology. It changed the way I relate to people and allowed me to understand some behaviors, especially in the workplace.

Kubernetes: Up and Running: Dive Into the Future of Infrastructure by Brendan Burns, Joe Beda, Kelsey Hightower

I wanted to get an insight into how Kubernetes works and how it changes the way applications are built and deployed. This book covers everything you need to know to build and have your cluster operational, even with just two Raspberry Pis. It is a great book if you want to get familiar with Kubernetes, even if you do not have much knowledge about infrastructure management. I read it because I wanted to learn more about this technology.

Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions (6th Edition) by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

I bought this book because I wanted to have a comprehensive source of algorithms and exercises. It was also very interesting to read about how big tech companies conduct their interview processes, how to answer common questions about attitude, and what interviewers aim to understand from the candidate.

These were the books I wanted to share with you. I hope in 2021 to read many more (I currently have a very long wishlist on Amazon).

What are you currently reading? Do you want to suggest me a book? You can reach me on Twitter 📚