Most engineers don't read books, in fact, most even go their entire career without reading a single book. Reading books isn't necessary to become a great engineer, but they do play a great role if you want to excel greatly.
In this article, I want to dive into how books have helped me, and why I think you should form a habit of reading books.
How books helped me
Reading books has helped me a ton. It has helped me excel in my career as a software engineer and also allowed my thinking to mature much quicker.
There are many things I have learned from books that I either would never have learned my entire career or would have learned much later in my career. Some examples that come to mind:
- Test-Driven Development
- The importance of domain knowledge
- Why architecture should be decoupled
There are many more things, but the point here is that reading books has made me learn things that many software engineers learn much later in their careers.
I think one thing many misunderstand with books, they don't just teach you things, but the more you read, the more the way you think changes. The way you see and think about things. You can start to connect different things together and relate how one thing works to another.
For instance, I wrote a blog post about professionalism in software engineering: This keeps you away from being a professional.
The things I mention there, I wouldn't have learned if it wasn't for books. Books have helped me see software engineering differently and set me miles ahead of others.
Form a habit
At the moment, I have a habit of reading for at least 30 minutes every day. I usually read more when I find time to do so, but every day I have blocked out 30 mins purely for reading.
This allows me to always be reading, even during my busiest days, because it is embedded in my life, and not something I choose to do when I feel like it. Kind of like brushing my teeth in the morning.
I can only recommend for those who want to take ownership of their career and excel, form a habit of reading. Beginning with it is 50% of the work. In my earlier days, I would read for 10 minutes every day, and slowly increase that.