I like how careers.stackoverflow.com has a few unique fields that are quite specific for developers. I think that's a great idea and thought about another addition:

If you search the blogosphere it's quite common to see developers promote/display their programming book collection. I think it would be an interesting add-on to the careers website for devs to attach their favourite books to their CV. I know for a fact that I would weigh and applicant who has read "The Pragmatic Programmer" a lot higher than someone who has a lot of "Learn X in 24 hours".

The statistical interest would be interesting as well to see if there's any correlation with certain books and the type of jobs they get. I would be curious to see how many that read "Peopleware" get managerial jobs, and would also reflect favorably for that employer.

  • I love this idea.
    – peacedog
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 13:49
  • 9
    Eh, I tend not to read books like peopleware - I just wait for Jeff to summarize them on codinghorror.
    – Tom Ritter
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 14:43
  • should the Bookshelf also be part of a user's profile, so even stackoverflow users without a CV can have a bookshelf? (And the bookshelf can be seen for users with hidden CVs) Commented May 17, 2010 at 9:32
  • Didn't know that the feature came from this question :) Commented May 13, 2011 at 7:57

5 Answers 5


Fantastic idea, perhaps we can include some form of ISBN auto-lookup as well.

  • 6
    and perhaps the ability construct referral links using affiliate codes that the profile creator submits.
    – Scott Muc
    Commented Oct 18, 2009 at 2:02
  • 2
    should this be on careers or on the profile page of stackoverflow? (or both) Commented Oct 19, 2009 at 11:25
  • You could probably reuse some code from your Amazon ads experiment to auto insert images of the books.
    – Sam Hasler
    Commented Feb 8, 2010 at 11:43

How about including support for those of us who have also written books?


Maybe I've just read too much, but this seems kinda silly to me: I've read "The Mythical Man Month".. doesn't mean I want to tell potential employers I have (though, in this case, I would).

I have "for Dummies" books alongside deep-dice assembly texts - neither indicates a greater or lesser degree of knowledge.

Likewise, I have books I've never read (and probably won't because my interests have changed, or they're too dated, etc) - some of those would "look" good, but if I haven't read them, it doesn't mean I'm any less of a dev/admin/etc.

I read Applied Cryptography (2d Ed) the week after I got it for my birthday - when I was 15 (the year it was published). Does that make me any better than someone who has never heard of it?

  • 2
    It's just another dimension employers can use in their determination. And as applicants, we can pick and choose what we want them to see (as we can with everything else in the CV). Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 15:11
  • I agree - it just seems like this would be a LOT easier to "fib" on
    – warren
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:19

Most of the books I read about programming were out of print 20 years ago. Now I just look up APIs on the web.


I like the idea, and while I'm certain it will be gamed the employers can follow up in interviews if they really did base some of their selection criteria on the bookshelf listed.

The more creative programmers will list unusual off-the-beaten-path books that may pique an employer's interest.

"So, Adam, tell me how the Harry Potter series has improved your programming skills?"

"Well, the on-the-surface correlations are obvious, many people view programming as a..."

  • 2
    The word is "pique", not "peek". Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 15:59
  • You are so right. When writing this I paused at that thought for several seconds because the correct word escaped me, and decided to write it incorrectly, figuring it would either come to me later, or someone would call me on it. Thanks!
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 17:38
  • Harry Potter? Off-the-beaten-path? I thought the entire world, except me, had read them. ;)
    – LukeH
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 17:59

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