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Remember those summer reading lists you (sometimes begrudgingly) finished when you were in grade school? Well, the concept of a summer reading list to boost your knowledge remains popular, and while it’s not the same as reading To Kill a Mockingbird for ninth grade English class, this time of year offers the perfect opportunity to learn something new for your professional development and make yourself more marketable for the future. Even better, now you get to choose what you want to read!

With this in mind, we decided to see what our fellow Relics are reading this summer to boost their own technical and professional skills (you might remember our Relic Reading List from earlier this year). Just in time for the long holiday weekend, check out the summer edition of our Relic Reading List!

For some not-so-light tech reading...

Working Effectively With Legacy Code by Michael Feathers

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler

Recommended by Jennifer Hammond, Senior Software Engineer: “Both are not exactly what you’d call light summer reading, but you’ll definitely level up your development skills!”


The Little Schemer by Daniel P. Friedman and Matthias Felleisen

Recommended by Amy Boyle, Senior Software Engineer: “The Little Schemer is a fun introduction to functional programming through Scheme. Really got me to get my head wrapped around using recursion as a replacement for loops.”


Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems by Sam Newmann

Recommended by Brendan Kucey, Technical Support Engineer: Building Microservices covers the design patterns of setting up a system of microservices, and some best practices, thus doesn't include code snippets.”


Or if you’re looking to amp up your business skills…

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

Recommended by Sean Carpenter, Senior Product Manager: Good Strategy, Bad Strategy is the best business book I’ve ever read. It is so full of insights based on a practical framework, it’s just fun to read. And each time you read it, you rediscover those insights, and find more advanced ones hiding in plain sight.”


Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister

Recommended by Joshua Tompkins, Senior Software Engineer:Peopleware is a great book on what makes software teams tick. Whether you’re a manager or just interested in how things can go wrong (and how they can go right!), it’s worth a read.”


Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Recommended by Marko Nikolovski, Senior Technical Training Specialist: ”Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson are a pair of MIT professors researching the dynamics of automation & AI and its effects on the economy and have already released two economics-focused books, Race Against the Machine and The Second Machine Age (I recommend both as an intro to their ideas). Geoffrey West is a rad, world-renowned physicist working on a scientific model of cities (Here’s his TED talk). Scale is his first book attempting to widely disseminate those ideas and apply these so-called natural laws of scaling to everything from organisms and people to cities and companies.”

These two books are complementary—Machine, Platform, Crowd lays out the digital world that emerges as and after companies make digital transformations, and Scale lays the ground rules for their growth.”

And, finally, if you want some “traditional” light summer reading…

Stop Chasing Carrots: Healing Self-Help Deceptions With a Scientific Philosophy of Life by Chris Masi

Recommended by Shreyans Parekh, Product Marketing Manager: “The book explains how every year Americans spend more than $10 billion annually on self-help and personal guidance products and services yet still don’t feel happy or fulfilled. Stop Chasing Carrots provides readers with a scientific approach towards re-examining self-fulfillment, prioritizing tasks and events, and finding joy in work—highly recommended summer read!”


Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Recommended by Brendan Kucey, Technical Support Engineer: “The discussions are fantastic! Gödel, Escher, Bach explores the relationships between math, computations, cognition, and biology.”

As for me, I was initially planning on reading Fifty Shades of Grey this summer, but instead I think I might pick up one of the books above so I can impress other people on the beach!

Got a great book recommendation of your own, technical or not? Share with us @NewRelic using hashtag #RelicReadingList.