Time for another top ten list. Today I’d like to share my current top 10 audiobooks for software engineers. This will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction books.
Full disclosure, I use Audible for all my audiobooks. I’m not sponsored by them but I do have an affiliate link if you’re interested in checking out audiobooks. Use it or ignore it, it doesn’t affect this list and how awesome these books are.
Alright, well let’s jump right in!
- #10: The Millennium Series
I’m already cheating a bit here since this is a series of books as opposed to one. The Millennium series has three books in total. There are two new books written by a different author so I won’t include them here. This series tells a fictional story about a hacker with social issues that gets involved in a deep murder mystery. I got into this book after watching the 2005 American film based on the first book. In this case the series of books is definitely better than the movie. I recommend this book if you’re into murder mysteries. Great way to include hackers in the mix.
- #9: Snow Crash
This was the first science fiction book I physically read. I didn’t really read novels growing up. I mainly read comic books, graphic novels, programming books and other tech related stuff. Years later I rediscovered this book via Audible. The narrator did a great job and sound effects between chapters are pretty cool. This is a fun yet complex sci-fi novel that really gets your imagination going.
- #8: Elon Musk
Elon Musk is arguably the most famous engineer in the world right now. His ambitions and accomplishments have surpassed what many tech billionaires have hoped to accomplish. There are other extremely successful engineers from the dot com days but none have taken on other countries in the new space race. So far, this is the best book about Elon Musk.
- #7: The Martian
The performance by the narrator of this audiobook is amazing. When I first listened to this book, I would sit in my car after a long commute home just to listen to the rest of a chapter. Great sci-fi story that is closely based on reality.
- #6: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series
This classic dramatized radio series will make you feel like a kid from the 50s sitting next to your parents old living room radio. I didn’t know this story until I saw the 2005 movie. After I listened to the book on Audible. I think the radio series is way better than the movie.
- #5: Reamde
This sci-fi story is from the same author behind Snow Crash. Even though it is less complicated and much longer, the story still keeps you caught in the story. The title is a play on a filename many software engineers are familiar with… README. Love the mix of hackers, terrorist, spies, gamers, farmers, tech mogul and an innocent refugee girl turn badass.
- #4: Ready Player One
This is a fun nostalgic 80s read that still manages to add a ton of modern day sci-fi. On top of that, it’s read by Wil Wheaton. Aside from the dystopian future, this book is probably not to far off on the tech side since VR and AR platforms are lining up to be the next big thing. I’m a big fan of virtual worlds both in media and tech. I suspect most software engineers are as well.
- #3: The Daemon Series
If I were to sort this list by the books I listen to the most, these two books would take the top two spots. These book do an amazing job of using modern day tech like daemon programs, AR glasses, autonomous vehicles, cryptocurrency and so much more to create a suspenseful thriller that really pulls you in. I listen to this book so many times. I’ll probably listen to it again in the next week or two since I’m running low on new books in my Audible queue.
- #2: Masters of Doom
This book tells the amazing story of ID software and the two young programmers who created a whole new genre of video games. I was a huge fan of Doom and spent many hours playing the original games. I had no idea the same company that was behind a popular BBS distributed game called Commander Keen. This is a great book that’s well written and fun to listen too since I got into programming because I wanted to create games. Of Course having Wil Wheaton narrate it is another plus.
- #1: Ghost in the Wires
This is the amazing detailed thrilling story of Kevin Mitnick written by the man himself. There’s so much tech details in this story and yet feels like a fictional techno thriller. The cat and mouse chase between the FBI and Mitnick reminds me of another true life audiobook I enjoyed called “Catch Me If You Can”. I love stories like this.
Well that’s it, my current top 10 audiobooks for software engineers. I was initially going to make this a top 15 list but decided to trim it down. Here are some honorable mentions: iWoz, The Accidental Billionaires, All The Rave and I’m Feeling Lucky.
Feel free to share your favorite audiobooks in the comments below.