A brief summary of 12 books project
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A brief summary of 12 books project

So, naturally the 12 books challenge came to an end together with 2016 (what a year by the way!). Personally this year was quite challenging as I was involved in some crazy robotics projects, lead for a while an awesome team of engineers. OK, OK, enough blabling about irrelevant things, let’s focus on the 12 books challenge!

Failure

If we were to take the name of the challenge literally then I failed hard. This year I read just 4 technical books instead of 12 I was planning to read a year ago. 33.(3)% is not exactly a perfect score, in fact I’d claim it a …

Success

Just 3 programming books that I read (C# Step by step, Code Complete and C# in Depth) completely changed my perspective on programming and I feel made me a far better developer (in just 9 months!).

Another success related to this project is creating this blog and updating it every now and then (initially I started posting on medium.com but at some point decided to switch to github pages).

A side effect of the 12 books challange is my list of awesome technical books, mostly about programming and robotics that currently has 37 titles but will surely grow as I find out about interesting reads, which hopefully push me to keep reading and learning.

Lessons learned

There are many things I learned while completing this challenge, in no particular order:

  • It’s difficult (or in my case impossible) to read (by read I mean understand the text and follow examples) 12 technical books a year while working full time, doing side projects and still maintaining a balance (I figured it’s good to meet people sometimes)
  • At some point it all gets easier. At the beginning I had difficulty focusing on the text but over time it got much better
  • Googling answer/reading stackoverflow is helpful but it will rarely give you a thorough understanding on the topic unless you dig deeper
  • It’s important to keep the balance, I don’t recommend coming back from work and sitting down for 5 hours to keep going through the book (at least don’t do it too often!). Remember to sometimes take some time off and relax!
  • Exercise your new knowledge or take notes (I truly fell in love with vimwiki recently)
  • If you decide to do this kind of challenge then make sure you don’t sprint, try to have marathon mindset instead

Stats

  • Books read: 4
  • Books still in progress: 3
  • Approximate no of pages read: 2600 (including ones in progress)
  • Approximate cups of tee drunk: close to infinity

Wrap up

In summary I’m glad I took this project. Would I do it again? No. I would do something better! That’s why next year I’m starting a 12 technical projects challange! Stay tuned for more info!

Mateusz Sadowski

Mateusz Sadowski
Mechatronics software developer interested in drones and robotics

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