Book by book, a library

Barbara Sajfar


In our business, we take everything one step at a time. To start something you must make the first step, place the first stone, or in this case, buy the first book.

There is a Croatian proverb which when directly translated says “stone by stone, a palace, grain by grain, a bread”, the English version of the proverb is “many a mickle makes a muckle” and it means a lot of small amounts when put together, become a larger amount. Why are we quoting this? Well in our business we take everything one step at a time. To start something you must make the first step, place the first stone, or in this case, buy the first book.

Four years ago when we started Syntio, the idea was to create a workplace where people were able to not only work but learn and have fun whilst doing it. One of the ideas we had was to enable our Syntians to expand their knowledge in data engineering and beyond. To do that we decided to create a library of some sorts where Syntians would be able to borrow books they wish to read. The first book we bought was DESIGNING DATA-INTENSIVE APPLICATION, a book by Martin Kleppmann, and after acquiring one book at a time we now have 156, and we are still counting! Some of the books we bring ourselves from home, some we buy and some came from our Syntian’s college days. Most of them are about data engineering and programming languages, but you can also find some connected to business topics as well as some that have no links to either.

Recently, we also got five Kindles to enable our Syntians to read various books from one device, to cut back on purchasing hard copies in bulk, and to start building our digital library.

Some of the titles you can find are:

Check out what one of our principal consultants, Ivan Čeliković, thinks about the books in the office, which books he is currently reading, and which ones he recommends:

Q: What is your favorite book you have read from the office?
A: Off the top of my head, I’d sayDesigning Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Klepmann.

Q: What’s your opinion on having books in the office?
A: I think it’s great.We have many excellent books covering different areas and if you’re interested in programming, DevOps, Machine Learning, Data Science, or business in general, you can always find something interesting or ask your colleagues for a recommendation.

Q: What was the last book you read? What was it about? Did you like it?
A: Actually, I’m in the middle of two books; Chaos Engineering by Casey Rosenthal & Nora Jones and Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur. One is tech-oriented and talks about how to make the complex system more robust, while the other is non-tech and talks about Business Models and all things relevant to them.

Q: What types of books do you like to read?
A: Most of the time, I read work-related books that focus on bringing value to businesses, solution architecture, and best practices. However, during my summer vacation, I usually spend a lot of time on the beach reading thrillers and fantasy books.

Q: What book would you recommend to someone?
A: Style & Statistics by Britanny Bullard gave me an excellent insight into how to use Advanced Analytics in practice, Clean Code by Robert C. Martin will teach you about the best practice for writing good code, The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is definitely my favorite fantasy book and IT” by Stephen King was a book I couldn’t put down.