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Cover image for What was Your Book That Shape You
Max Ong Zong Bao
Max Ong Zong Bao

Posted on

What was Your Book That Shape You

While I'm awaiting in anticipation for my The Pragmatic Programmer: your journey to mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition book to arrive through mail.

I'm wondering what is the book that had made a huge impact on your life? For me it was by far 4 Hour Work Week that had played a huge role in my life.

Which had shaped me in becoming a voracious reader of books. It had even allowed me to embark on the path of entrepreneurship & startups after more than a decade in reading it.

So what was the "book" that had made a huge impact on your life?

Top comments (62)

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dumazy profile image
FrΓ© Dumazy • Edited on

Clean Architecture by Uncle Bob. It helped me focus on the SOLID principles and made me apply TDD more and more in my day job.

I'm currently reading The Pragmatic Programmer's new edition as well and it's really good so far.
I'm keeping short notes on every topic while reading it, on how I've experienced that topic so far, what to look out for, etc.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Nice I can't wait for it to arrive.

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pjcalvo profile image
Pablo Calvo • Edited on

WOW. I have been thinking about it lately.

This is totally not tech related but "Stephen King's IT", really shaped my life. I used to be a fat boy until I read the book and I realize I was behaving like fat kids does, there is a pattern. I used to wear jackets even on summer just to cover my man-boobs. That was 10 years ago, now I am 12% body fat, with a six pack and doing ultra runs.

β€œHe thought that fat boys were probably only allowed to love pretty girls inside. If he told anyone how he felt (not that he had anyone to tell), that person would probably laugh until he had a heart-attack.”
― Stephen King, It

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Wow, that's really great. I recently read a book called "Can't Hurt Me By David Goggins".

Which is a bad ass that I believe is a really good read as well.

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murrayvarey profile image
MurrayVarey

Fantastic book. Goggins is one scary dude!

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Yeah he is I'm reading living with a seal. It's funny as hell with lot's of swear words.

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murrayvarey profile image
MurrayVarey

It's funny as hell with lot's of swear words.

Glad to hear it! I'll give that one a try sometime.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - many thoughtful insights on life, work, values, quality and how different people look at all that. It helped me understand that I’m not alone and I’m actually doing good.

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Yes, I loved that book too. I read it and wanted to buy a motorcycle right away. haha.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

A motorcycle is a kind of symbol there) my laptop became my motorcycle)

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Dam that is like the one of the popular philosophy book.

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nicolasini profile image
Nico S___

Here are some books I've found very useful:

The Manager's Path, by Camille Fournier bookdepository.com/Manager-s-Path-...
She describes the career path from Senior Developer to Manager, what you might encounter and what you need to learn at each step. Is very useful to me since Im on that career path.

Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, Gene Kim, et al bookdepository.com/Accelerate-Nico...
This is a great research, with actionable advice, about how to run Dev Ops, and the real impact it has in businesses.

Currently reading An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management, by Will Larson amazon.com/Elegant-Puzzle-Systems-...
This one is a bit for management a bit more advanced that where I am now, but is great to start looking into the future if I progress in this path

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canu667 profile image
Canu667

The Manager's Path - this... I would give you another upvote if I could. If I only had read it earlier... It is not only an insight into what will you face on each career step, but also gives you some pointers, what you should expect from your managers and higher-ups. While reading the whole TL chapter, I felt as the author just took it from my life...

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author • Edited on

That's really nice :) will look at it and devour it fully :)

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Nice I had heard of the managers path it was like a recommended book for developers working towards it.

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olask profile image
Ola Sk

C++ Primer my first book on programming. It was definitely one I thought will make me a genius. It worked... partially.
It was one of the greatest experiences, I was so committed to reading it.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Nice that makes me want to read that book as well.

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murrayvarey profile image
MurrayVarey

Tough (and great) question. Recently it's Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. It gave me confidence to stop hiding -- it's the reason I joined Dev.to. Even the title is inspiring.

And I second/third/fourth The Pragmatic Programmer. The first programming book I properly read, and still the best.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author • Edited on

Nice i read a older copy 6 or 8 years ago and i always wanted to buy one after i had loan it from the library.

So now it was a good chance to get it.

When i heard it in "Test & Code" episode that they had released a new edition and this lead me to crowd source the book with 3 others to have it delivered to Singapore to reduce on the delivery cost of the book.

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murrayvarey profile image
MurrayVarey

Who read it first?

I credit Pragmatic Programmer for making me question the purpose of everything. Which is a weird thing to say about a software development book ...

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witchforest profile image
Trystan

The design of everyday things. I've never looked at human interfaces the same since - understanding that a clever solution is the not the same thing a usable one.

Also helped me remember I'm not an idiot because it took me a few minutes to figure out how the bizarre taps worked in my new office's bathroom.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Haha don't worry I actually had trouble in using my hostel's tap when I was in Scotland.

I had never used taps with hot and cold taps in my life.

As in Singapore we only had one for our home and the public toilets.

It took me a while to figure it out on getting the right temperature for my water in the morning.

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martinrojas profile image
martin rojas

To me, it has been the Phoenix Project. This is has a ton of good information in a great story format and honestly, it feels like it has every bad practice I run on corporate environments and how to fix them.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Nice I wanted to get my hands on that book especially in the area of DevOps It's quite a popular book.

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loufranco profile image
Lou Franco

I read Seven Habits of Highly Effective People around 1995 and I think about it constantly. The main takeaway for me is in the first few habits. To paraphrase (1) Realize that you are in control of your actions (2) Decide your principles/goals (3) Prioritize your actions to accomplish them.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

I always love the quote "You are master of your own ship, captain of your own soul"

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vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

Last year, I read The Four by Scott Galloway. This one book taught me so much about the big giants of our industry. How they tackled problems, what principles they used, how they started from nothing and impacted the world so much. I highly recommend this if you want to shift your focus from pure coding and want to know what happens in the real world.

Right now, I'm reading Hit Refresh by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella. Totally enjoyed every page of it!

Hit Refresh trailer

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Haha he is really good.

One of the key bets they are doing is actually voice assistants that might be a gateway to AI Assistants that compliment with Human Intelligence.

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vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

Yes! They're so into IoT, AI/ML and cloud! Also, they're the ones behind the Q# - programming language dedicated to Quantum Computing!!!

The Future GIF

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac, bar none.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author • Edited on

So in what way did the book impacted you?

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio • Edited on

You just have to MEET Jack himself...

youtube.com/watch?v=3LLpNKo09Xk

This is from the 'Steve Allen' talk show, '59. Steve was a cool cat on the piano. This is Jack (two yrs after the release of the book) when he was still a 'good lookin' guy before he became a belligerent red-nosed drunk.

OTR regularly comes up as Top 100 American novels.

His poetry is beautiful. Mexico City Blues and Tristessa are lyrical. I would read parts aloud to myself to get the rhythms right. Probably did the same with OTR.

The book made me want to drive fast across the country...

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Did you at least see the video?

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Erm.. Not yet will watch it when I'm free.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Alright, I watch it. It was really cool in steve playing the piano while conducting an interview and I had the vibe of being a man of action through the poetry.

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Yes, I think you are right. But he also had periods of meditation where he studied Buddhism.

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melaniephillips profile image
Melanie Phillips

I recently finished "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. Some of it gets a bit technical for his field but it isn't overwhelming. It can be applied to any situation and will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author • Edited on

Haha, that's great to me Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a gateway towards the drive to learn and raising financial intelligence and becoming an entrepreneur. Which lead to me making tons of choice to shape and help into who I am now. Which started with 4 Hour Work Week.

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omerxx profile image
Omer Hamerman

A bit of spirituality: "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, is one of the most life-changing books I've ever read. I've repeated parts of it 4-5 times. Life-changing perspectives and concepts we seem to be "unconscious" to (sticking with Eckhart's terminology).

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helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ«

Hello, Max! This is a great question!

The Highly Sensitive Persons Survival Guide, by Ted Zeff, has made a huge impact in my life. It made me understood how I was, why I was like that, and that there was nothing wrong with me.

It gave me lots of perspectives and exercises to create a safe space for me so I could control my stress and my reactions to external stimuli.

If you've even been told that you overreact, that you're too sensitive and you feel too nervous or anxious in this world full of stimuli we live on... Please consider this book and let it guide you and give you the first steps.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao Author

Hmmm...sounds really similar to Quiet by Susan Cain. I would check it out thanks for the suggestions

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