Readings

Blogs worth having a look at:

  • Seth Godin: marketing and market evolution. Businesses, education and how the economy of connection is changing the world.
  • Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits: easy steps for living a simpler life.
  • Scott Berkun’s blog: the guy who wrote the definitive guide for a human, rational, easier project management, now writes about everything under the sun.
  • Joel On Software: probably the first mainstream blog on software industry. At least the first as entertaining as educational.

Some books I’ve read since 2007 which helped me in my career and as a human being…

On finance and business management

  • The Goal (Goldratt): a peripatetic Socratic novel approach to production management. A must if you are dealing with bottlenecks.
  • Gods of Management (Handy): Terrific first half. The powerful main idea is that you as a professional are shaped after one Greek god, so does your company. If you’re an Apollo working for a Zeus company, you’ve a problem.
  • Lean Thinking (Womack, Jones): first step on lean, but if you only want to read one book on lean, please read The Toyota Way first.
  • La Mujer Líder (Romo): interesting insight on leadership from the point of view of female Spanish professionals, entrepreneurs, and artists. A too long first half followed by a too short second one.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Kiyosaki): You will find yourself wondering why this is not taught at High School. Finance and business in a direct, understandable way.
  • Rework (Fried, Heinemeier-Hanson): real experiences from the guys who created Basecamp and RoR. Short texts and neat illustrations on business development, contradicting everything you learned on you MBA.
  • Survival is not Enough (Godin): nice, clear and open-minder for everyone involved in a company’s evolution.
  • The Toyota Way (Liker): strikingly general overview, spiced with mind-opening examples, of the fourteen Toyota principles that change automotive manufacturing.

On project management

  • Agile Estimating and Planning (Cohn): change-driven projects challenge traditional estimation techniques. Full of advices and examples that can be used in everyday work.
  • The Deathline (DeMarco): How would you manage a project if you had no restrictions at all? And how would you react when everything changes? Nice, easy to read novella.
  • Dreaming in Code (Rosenberg): a bookumentary about a failed project by Mitch Kapor (Lotus 1-2-3) which tried to implement some good ideas too soon. If you’ve ever feel you were flying behind the plane, you’ll see yourself into this story.
  • Game Project Management (Hight, Novak): Project management on videogame’s development. You’ll learn with the differences between video game projects and the rest of IT projects, as much as with the similarities.
  • Getting Real (37signals): A smaller, faster, better way to build software. You can download the pdf version from their web page.
  • Lean software development (Poppendieck, Poppendieck): lean right from the floor of an automotive factory to the very bits of your own computer. If you haven’t read it yet, stop reading me and run right to the bookshop.
  • Making Things Happen (Berkun): If your project has got lost into a forest, this is the guide it should use for finding its way home. Totally awesome definitive guide for en easier, more rational project management.
  • Mythical Man Month (Brooks): one of the first, and simply the best reference for common (and big!) software mistakes. A compilation of funny, interesting essays with were-wolfs included!

On peopleware

  • El Despido Interior (Gandouri): A novella about people who have lost their interest in their jobs, and can’t find a way to gain it back.
  • El Manual de Agogida en la Empresa (Córcoles-Cubero): Not a must, but a nice to if you’re finding problems when bringing new people on board.
  • The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity (Covey): Do you feel overwhelmed? This two-day reading brings you some weapons to free yourself.
  • Guía de la negociación para mujeres (Aramburu-Zabala Higuera): short (too short) handbook with clues for negotiation in the near future, from a gender point of view.
  • How to win friends and influence people (Carnegie) Oldie but goldie. Some of the advice can feel common-sense nowadays but always useful to hear it again.
  • If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself!: The Power of Effective Delegation (Donna M. Genett): A long title for a short book. As a boss, you should stop assigning tasks to people, right now, and spend the next two hours reading it.
  • Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers (Rainwater): easy to read, some good lessons halfway between a project manager and a technical leader.
  • The secrets of successful team management:: How to lead a team to innovation, creativity and success (West): Good generic reading. The suggested best practices worth it.
  • Managing with carrots (Gostick, Elton): A remarkable first half of the book with clever insights on the problems the lack of recognition can cause the workers of the company. If you’re in a hurry you can skip the second half.
  • Peopleware (De Marco, Lister): As classic as The Mythical Man Month. Since it’s based more on feelings than on facts, it will give you lots of chances to debate.
  • Soft Skills.The software developer’s life manual. (Sonmez) Kind of a management guide for developers it goes beyond software to get through every part of life, like finance, fitness or relationships. Buy some copies for the developers you want to promote.

On Quality Assurance (QA)

  • Continuous Integration (Duvall, Matyas, Glover): Your more obvious first step into a larger world.
  • The Checklist Manifesto (Gawande): flight pilots and hospital managers could teach us a simple, effective way to avoid repeating the very same errors once and again.
  • El Fabricante de Helados (Chowdhury): A novella about a man who is about to lose his company and finds the way to QA for keeping it safe.
  • Software Testing in the Real World (Kit)
  • Testing Computer Software (Kaner, Falk, Nguyen)

On software development principles

  • Agile! The Good, the Hype and the Ugly (Meyer): When Agile is becoming trendy, it’s great to have some objective, clear-stated, rational analysis on the merits and the pitfalls of this set of methodologies. Caveats for anyone about to face an Agile evolution.
  • Code Complete (McConnell): big book you could read in small doses. Handy and clever, and with knowledge you can take to many other areas.
  • Coder To Developer (Gunderloy): a set of keys and tools for each and every programmer. Thin, to-the-point, easy-to-read handbook
  • Continuous Integration (Duvall).
  • The Pragmatic Programmer (Hunt & Thomas): The younger brother of Coder To Developer. A younger one, taller, more attractive and with lots of rithm.
  • Rapid Development (McConnell): the sort of huge book you didn’t even think to try to start thinking about reading, once you start you can’t stop. Weapons for everyday work, with a final compendium to rely on when in need for answers. Caveat: it’s rapid development, not rapid reading

On design and user experience

  • Design for non designers (Williams): maybe you can tell good design apart from bad one when you see them, but this book explains the four keys to create good design yourself.
  • Design of Everyday Things (Norman): series of great or failed design elements. E.g. why QWERTY keyboard is QWERTY and not ABCDE keyboard?
  • The Humane Interface (Raskin):  One of the curators of the original Macintosh interface reveals how turbulent the past was,  describes a sad present and suggest a bright future for Human Machine Interfaces.
  • UI design for programmers (Spolsky): easy reading, funny style, plenty of examples. Fluent prose on web interfaces, and life in general. If you don’t feel like buying it you can download a draft, so no excuses.

On digital media

  • Interactive Storytelling for Video Games (Lebowitz, Klug): stories from Homer’s Iliad to Nintendo’s Final Fantasy, reviewed in a digital world.
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