Getting ready to find a warm, cozy spot in your house to lay in and not move for the next week? We all could use a bit of rest after the trials and tribulations we’ve collectively faced over the course of the year. When you’re pouring a mug of your favourite hot drink, don’t forget to pair it with its best companion — an exciting new book.

If you’re interested in a career in tech, the holidays can be a great opportunity to get up to speed with current trends. Grab your tablet or smartphone and fill your device with ebooks that’ll keep you entertained during the slower time of year. For those of you that haven’t been searching through online bookstores and best-of lists, we’ve put together a handy list of 5 books related to tech that’ll inspire you, stimulate you, and make you think. Read on for our recommendations.

The Future is Faster Than You Think

How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives

Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Simon & Schuster

Growing up, we had a specific conception of what the future would look like. These visions were coloured by the sci-fi imaginings of movies and comic books, with their cyberpunk cityscapes and alien technologies. As adults, we may be dismayed to find that the future isn’t as exciting as we imagined it to be. But for Diamandis and Kotler, we really are living in the hyper-advanced future older generations dreamt of.

In The Future is Faster Than You Think, these two business leaders and authours enthusiastically look at the future that we’re living in. Through the book, they outline how technologies have shaped and are shaping our world and the scope of history. Finally, they focus on how these trends are moving into the future, and how they’ll transform a variety of sectors and industries. If you’re interested in dreaming of the future of technology, this book can be a great source of inspiration.

Competing in the Age of AI

Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World

Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani. Harvard Business Review

Iansiti and Lakhani are two Harvard Business School professors interested in technology’s impact on business. For them the current era, with its incredible new technologies and impacts on the economy, has been more revolutionary than the Industrial Revolution. They believe that most people have been underestimating how radical the changes of the digital age have been, and this book is an attempt to raise more awareness.

This book outlines how the advent of technologies like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence have created a new competitive landscape for businesses, who have had to adapt their operating models. They look at how digital technologies have impacted strategy development and strategy architecture for organizations. Interested in taking your tech skills into entrepreneurship? This book can be a great way to raise your critical awareness.

The Four

The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

Scott Galloway. Penguin Random House

Today, we live in a world where the tech industries are dominated by four giants: Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple. The rise of these four companies is still fairly recent. They’ve employed specific strategies to come into these positions of stature. NYU Stern marketing professor Galloway’s new book is concerned not so much with the history of their rise, but with an analysis of these four businesses.

Galloway runs through these companies’ strengths, challenges, and opportunities, imparting important business lessons upon the reader. As you read, you’ll begin to understand how these wildly successful companies have used technology and strategy to understand, and market towards, human desires. Interested in finding success with your digital skills? These are important examples to study.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

Jason Schreier. Harper Collins

For many professionals getting involved with programming and development, the video game industry seems very interesting. You might be curious about how these games are produced, how thousands of hours spent coding results in these immersive, interactive media products. Schreier, one of the most prolific journalists that covers the gaming industry, has condensed many depthful insights into this book.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is divided into ten chapters that tell the stories of ten different games, some of which are massive titles, others of a more indie origin. Through it all, Schreir shows just how complex game development is, and how miraculous it is that games get finished at all. Different aspects of what can go wrong during production are discussed, from mismatched game engines to management squabbles. This is essential reading for anyone curious about the gaming industry.


How a Person Became a User

Joanne McNeil. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

There are many books that chart the history of the internet, but McNeil approaches the subject from an invigoratingly unique angle: the perspective of the user. Throughout Lurking, the rise of the internet is mapped out from the point of view of the average person using it. From bulletin boards to blogging websites to social media platforms, McNeil details exactly how it felt like to experience the world wide web from your computer chair.

McNeil traces the rise of the internet not only as an abstracted historian, but isn’t afraid to inject her critiques and opinions into the prose. She’s sharply critical towards the tech giants that monopolize the internet, and outlines different ways that the great connector can become a healthier, safer place for socializing. Interested in developing web pages and applications? It’s important to get a grasp of where your craft came from.

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