unit and acceptance testing, automation, productivity

4 books to kick start 2018

Over the past year I read a lot of books for my standards. That was in part due to getting into Audible and making the most of commute and housework times. I'd like to recommend the following 4 to kick start your 2018 in the best possible way.

Note. The links below point to, but are not referrals. These are 100% genuine recommendations. I'm not trying to get a few dollar out of you buying any of them. These books have inspired me and helped me grow. I truly hope will do the same for you.

1. Deep Work

In our economy, in particular for software developers and other knowledge workers, the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task is the key to succeed.

Unfortunately we live in a world of continuous distractions. Push notifications, social media, infotainment websites, Slack, and a work culture of "being busy" make it harder and harder to stay focused. Worse, this lifestyle is literally rewiring our brains to keep seeking distractions, making it harder and harder to focus.

In this book Cal Newport argues why the ability to focus and to work deeply is important, and defines a framework to reach and maintain the level of focus required for it.

For me it was an eye opener on many toxic habits I had, like checking Twitter while waiting for Xcode to build. It set me on a path not only to be more effective at work, but also more present with my family.

2. The Obstacle Is The Way

This is a book about philosophy. Don't close this email yet! It's not a pointless rant on the essence of humanity, but rather a down to earth and practical guide to building a mindset that will allow you to thrive in front of adversities.

Ryan Holiday looks at the teachings of the Roman Stoics through the lives and achievements of more recent important figures like John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs, Ulysses S. Grant.

This book changed my mindset towards a number of things in my personal and professional life. It gave me the tools to make the most out of any situation and challenge.

3. Extreme Ownership

"How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win". In this book two ex Navy SEALs leaders, now working as business leadership consultants, share the 12 most important lessons they learnt through their deployment in Iraq.

The great things about it is that you don't have to be a team lead or a manager to apply these lessons. Everyone can, from C level executives to junior team members.

4. The Inevitable

Kevin Kelly has been around the block. In this book he share the 12 deep trends that will shape our economy and society in the near future.

Only time will tell how accurate these predictions are. Regardless, they provide a lot of food for though, and are definitely worth reading. Start the year by opening your horizons and keeping some things on the radar.

I hope reading these 4 books will help you build a positive mindset and effective lifestyle to achieve your goals in 2018. If after reading them you'd like to chat about them, or if you have read books that have been insightful and valuable and would like to share them write me a line at [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you.

Happy New Year! 🎉

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