A Tech Blogger's Right of Passage

It seems that everyone who writes about programming topics in a blog format eventually writes an article on what books they feel are important to read to improve professionally. This shouldn't be surprising really. Generally speaking if someone is going through the trouble of actually writing an article on a topic, it's probably safe to say that they enjoy reading about the topic. Write what you know, etc.

The difficulty is that there are only so many programming books that are truly classics. While I appreciate and enjoy learning from well written Hibernate or book on the Google Web Toolkit, ultimately, any software book that starts to discuss a specific framework will quickly become obsolete. As one of my personal definitions of classic is a book that does not grow old with time, this means that a huge percentage of mass market "Learn how to gidazzle with widget fooxily" types of books will never reach the classic status.

Unfortunately, it seems that the dominant type of programming book that is on the shelf in your local bookstore are exactly the ones that will be out of date in a couple of years. This makes me somewhat sad as if the market is for books that quickly go obsolete, the number of people that will write books that go on to be classics will be smaller simply on a basis of supply and demand. I'm not sure where this leaves us. I like buying technology of the month books as well, so I help this. All in all, it's likely not a problem I suppose. I guess I just wish I could actually find Peopleware or the Mythical Man Month in print on a shelf somewhere.

So now I reach the real crux of the matter. If you are reading this, then you probably read other blogs by various guys in the software industry and they already have pretty much written about the books that you absolutely should read. More, most of you have probably read some of the books that Joel or Jeff have suggested in the past. So I'd simply be duplicating content listing the exact same classic books and suggesting that a serious programmer should read them.

So this has all been a debate as to whether or not to do that. You see, I actually enjoy reading reading lists, especially if there is a little blurb about why the book is good. Every once in a while a wholly new book turns up and I will add it to my 'to read' list and I am the wiser for it. Still, I think I can stand up to it and avoid actually creating a reading list of some form.

That about wraps it up for today, this was more of a random ramble than anything else. Back to actual geek topics soon enough.