Why I'm reading less in 2023

    I read a lot. I know that ‘a lot’ is relative but I have found that in comparison to my colleagues, my two hours average reading a day puts me way above the average.

    In 2022, I read 8 tech books and while I learned a lot, on reflection, I sacrificed depth for quantity. For that reason, this year I will be focussing on only four tech books, two of which will be books I also read last year. The aim of this, is to glean as much value from each of these texts as I possibly can.

    So, with that said, which books will I be focussing my attentions on this year? As you will see in the following list, a theme appears again and again and that is testing. I know that this is an area in which I need to get better and have been making efforts in this direction for the past year, evidenced in my open source contributions but I still feel I have a lot to learn in this area until TDD becomes second nature as a practice that is integral to my workflow. I don’t do this because it is a trend but because I have seen first hand in my own work, the benefits of working in this way.

    Let’s get into the list;

    Extreme Programming Explained

    I’m a huge fan of Kent Beck’s work and this book has been on my reading list for quite some time. While I am familiar with the concepts of XP and have read much about it in the past, there is no substitute for the original.

    Modern Software Engineering

    This is the most recently released book in the list but is already being talked about as a future classic. I have been following Dave Farley’s YouTube channel for some time now and always find his content interesting and engaging. I’m not sure what to expect from this one but I am really looking forward to dig into it.

    Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns

    This is the first of two re-reads for this year. It was actually the second testing focussed book I read after another Kent Beck classic Test Driven Development. I really enjoyed this book first time around and it really helped me to understand the key differences not only between unit tests and other types of tests, but also about how to test, what makes a good test and also what differentiates classicist unit testing and London School style. There is more to glean from this book by re-reading for sure.

    Test Driven Development By Example

    The seminal text on writing software driven by tests. I read this one shortly after starting my current job and it was a great kick start into the world of TDD. I found the most value in the first and last sections. What am I hoping to gain from re-reading this one? I’m not entirely sure yet but I think with my experience now, I can probably take more away from the second section of the book where Beck implements xUnit in Python.