At the beginning of 2018, I wrote the following post where I said that I would track the books I read, the podcasts I listened to, the movies I saw, etc.... At last the results are there, and I must say: it was an interesting experiment. The biggest problem I encountered was keeping track of everything. For things like books it's easy, but for podcasts, it was much harder because the consuming volume is much higher than with books. Also, I listen to podcasts during running and most times I forgot to register them. It's the same thing happened with films.
On a side note, I switched to Overcast because it's way better than using the native Apple podcast app.
For the results in 2018, I have read eight books, listened to six audiobooks, a lot of podcasts, watched a couple of films, listened to four talks and read no papers.
I made a list by category of the things I recommend.
Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations: one of the books that surprised me this year. I wrote a book review about this book, but if you are working in the computer industry, I highly recommend to read this book.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products: Ever wondered how social media apps work? How they hack your brain to make you addicted? Then you should read this book in which Nir Neyal explains "the Hook Model" and how to use it. If you are thinking about building a product, you should definitely give this book a try.
Refactoring UI: a book about how to design beautiful user interfaces by yourself. The book is filled with useful tips, and as a software developer, I learned a lot. I recommend it if you want to level up your design skills.
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: a detailed overview of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This is a must-read book for everyone. The book covers different concepts of artificial intelligence. What is AI? What is artificial general intelligence?
Not only does the book explain different concepts of artificial intelligence, but it also goes way more in-depth and tries to find answers to questions like "can AI and humanity co-exist", "should AI be our slave?" and "How will AI impact our society?".
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker: this book tells the story about the life of Kevin Mitnick. How he got started with phone freaking and hacking which eventually let him be arrested by the FBI. If you like this book, you should also read "The Art of Deception" which I read like 15 years ago and is still relevant today.
Lore Podcast: this is one of my discoveries in 2018. If you are into the supernatural and lore, I recommend this podcast. The production is outstanding and the host does an excellent job telling the stories. As so often humans are the monsters and this a recurring theme in all the episodes. It's hard to pick one episode because they're all excellent.
Recode Decode - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: 2018 was a bad year for Facebook because of all the scandals. In this episode, Kara Swisher interviews Mark Zuckerberg, and the interview offers an insight into the mind of Mark Zuckerberg. Highly recommended and I applaud Kara for asking tough questions. At a certain point in the conversation, she asked a question six times because Mark Zuckerberg was avoiding it.
The Tim Ferris Show - Seth Godin: there is something about Seth Godin and the way how he explains things. He is a great communicator and gives some great practical advice on work and life in general.
In 2019 I want to read more papers because in 2018 I almost didn't read any. Next, I am going to solve the problem of forgetting to register stuff. :-)
Maybe I am going to restart with listening to audiobooks because I stopped in the middle of the year. This is because I didn't seem to find any good audiobooks anymore. See you next year!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading!
** Cover photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash