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Ask HN: Programming Audio Book Recommendations
63 points by xupybd 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments
I listen to audiobooks when driving, mowing the lawn or other manual tasks.

I've found some great books such as clean architecture and the pragmatic programmer.

I've also found some terrible books such as grokking algorithms.

I'm sure this community will have some recommendations to help avoid the terrible books.

I agree that the Pragmatic Programmer is well done in it's audio form, and I also agree that Grokking Algorithms is terrible.

I am currently listening Designing Data Intensive Applications and it's phenomenally done - the author clearly worked with the narrator to adapt the content to audio format, and the narrator seems to have experience or familiarity with the subject because he pronounces the technical jargon very naturally.

I hope to find other software related audiobooks as good as DDAI is.

I think _terrible _ might be a bit harsh on Grokking Algorithms, but most of it’s curriculum is rather basic, and the few last chapters about graphs, which I’d say is a bit less basic, pretty much require that you inspect the accompanying pdf with illustrations… this might not be a problem of you’re listening while sitting in a train, but it will be a problem if you’re listening while walking the dog (like me).

I would just describe Grokking Algorithms as a bad book, and mostly relevant if you have zero prior experience with Algorithms.

Oh, and the narration of the code snippets is also pretty useless IIRC.

Ok, while writing this, I realize that “terrible“ might actually be well deserved.

I'm currently listening to "Designing Data-Intensive Applications" [1] on my commute and it really does work well as an Audio Book (I can attest to the positive reviews). Highly recommended if you are dealing with any requirements in the space (scale, replication, consistency, SQL vs NoSQL, etc.)

[1] https://www.audible.com/pd/Designing-Data-Intensive-Applicat...

Thank you. I've just purchased it and am listening now.

Manning have many programming audio books. I'd recommend buying directly from their website if you want any that include code samples or illustrations. It's a bit more expensive than from Audible, but they often have sales offering 40% off.

I normally use the liveBook format with liveAudio narration for books with code samples, and download the ebook and mp3 files for other books.


You can also find more audio books by the same publisher as Clean Architecture and Designing Data-Intensive Applications, Upfront Books. There's a link when you view Audible from a web browser, and you can filter by Computers & Technology.

I loved "Algorithms to Live By" by Brian Christian and tom Griffiths. It's not quite as focused on the technical side of things as the books you listed, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

"Algorithms to Live By"

"The Phoenix Project" / "The Unicorn Project"

Another vote for "The Phoenix Project" and "The Unicorn Project".

Both of those books are technically fiction but they are incredibly insightful into what goes all around coding and how to optimize those processes.

The characters are very engaging and I found myself relating and taking ideas to improve my work/organization!

I loved that too !!

Changelog.com has multiple weekly podcasts about programming: http://changelog.com/podcasts

As a Go programmer I recommend Go Time: http://changelog.com/gotime There is a huge archive of past episodes (last episode is #188) that are as interesting (or more) than the latest ones.

Clean Code - Robert Martin. <-- this is without a doubt the number one book to read in my opinion

Working With Legacy Code - Michael Feathers

But are they available as audiobooks, and if so, have you listened to them?

Wow my dyslexia sure did skip the word Audio in the title. Not listened to them as an audio book sorry!

Was listening to Data Lake architecture last week. Ran out of my audible credits early this month so used this website, I think it was called Narration Box or something to turn the ebook into audiobook. Not to shabby but it was TTS at the end of the day, so I guess it almost works. The book's pretty great though.

I second Designing Data-Intensive Applications.

Deep Learning with Python by François Chollet I think works as an audiobook as well.

I am a big non-fiction audio book fan and so much depends on the voice actor. I bad read can ruin the best content while Robertson Dean made Alan Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence into an enthralling adventure story.

Biographies of developers or successful/failed projects are great to listen to I.e. Masters of Doom and the like.

Wil Wheaton reads Masters of Doom, almost worth it for his impressions alone. “Sid Meier’s Memoir” is great along the same genre.

I find that interesting because Wil is usually a reader I'll go out of my way to avoid. It just doesn't work for me. (Which really confuses me because I've been a fan of pretty much everything else he's touched - I certainly don't identify with the toxicity that seems to follow him around. Just doesn't work for me in audiobooks.)

I'm the same. I like Wil but not as a narrator. I did not enjoy Red Shirts. I think I just prefer a different style. I'm a big fan of R.C.Bray. I think it's just different strokes for different folks.

My careers book focuses on the non technical side of technical careers and has an audio book! https://www.learninpublic.org/

On The Metal is a great pod for hw/sw interface stories.

Never Lost Again: The Google Mapping Revolution That Sparked New Industries and Augmented Our Reality

Which Clean Architecture, specifically?


Robert C Martin

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