Book Review: Designing Data-Intensive Applications

First off, this book was brilliant. There are so many nuggets in this book that illuminate parts of application development that had eluded me for years. It also challenged what I thought I understood and left me more curious than I was before.

Second, so much of this book was way over my head. I read a review that called it an instant classic and I think that is earned.

The Designing Data-Intensive Applications book recommendation came to me as part of an engineering book club at work. While I don’t design any applications, let alone data-intensive applications, I still learned a ton. It distilled so many concepts that I knew of but not much about.

An example would be document databases. I was familiar, but their inner workings were a black box to me. Or how do you scale a database horizontally yet make it possible for all clients to know where to look for data? When are message queues useful over just hitting an API? This book answered these, and many other questions.

I will note, the beginning of each chapter is totally worth a read. Since I do not have a ton of previous knowledge in these given domains, the value I got from finishing a dense chapter shrank to zero the further I read. I would read past the point where I was out of my league, but eventually skim the rest of the chapter for any other ideas I could hold in my brain.

I will keep this book close and give it another read when I have more years under my belt. Who knows what I’ll pick up on the re-read?