This is a running list of the writing I've found most helpful in figuring my own career out. They're the same ones I most often recommend. Advice is not a one-size-fits-all category, but I find these are good places to start. You'll always have to sort out what advice is for you and what isn't. It's okay if some of this isn't.

Managing your manager

When your manager isn't supporting you, build a manager Voltron
Honestly, even when they are, I learned the hard way that even the best manager is a SPoF in your career. Build a network before you need it.


Never Split The Difference
You'll do a lot of negotiation in your job, on both big and small scales. From negotiating a feature requirement to salary negotiation, it helps to be a good negotiator.


Thanks For The Feedback
This book is miserable to read, and it's also the most crucial on this list. There will be shitty people in your career. You can't do much to reduce the amount of terrible feedback givers you have to work with. This idea is that you are in control of how you react to it. It requires a lot of self reflection you might not want to dig into, but you'll be better for it. A manager (but not my manager, part of the Voltron) at Google recommended this book to me after I was struggling to recover from a toxic team. This was a huge help in shaking off the bad psychological conditioning I had built up.

Public Speaking

Lara Hogan's Demystifying Public Speaking
This is an incredibly short read and full of actionable advice, regardless of skill planning.


I used Cracking the Coding Interview. Any edition is probably good. Use pencil and paper if you want to get better at whiteboarding interviews.

Site Reliability Engineering

The Google SRE books are free to read online. I joined Google SRE shortly after the first book came out, and reading it cover to cover gave me a huge leg up in starting my job. Even if my team didn't do everything the recommended way, it taught me how to think like an SRE and navigate my team towards something closer to the ideal. It was 100% worth my time.

Ops School is a free open-source curriculum to help with the ops side of SRE. I started Google as a software engineer. Reading through Ops School helped me get caught up on the Ops side of things. I highly recommend working through it a little bit at a time.

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