Recommended Books

I've read these books. I've enjoyed and learned from them.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on "validated learning," rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it's too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Librarian's Note: An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated. Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person's point of view and "arousing in the other person an eager want." You learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment. For instance, "let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers," and "talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person." Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks. --Joan Price

Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual


"Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual" is a unique guide, offering techniques and practices for a more satisfying life as a professional software developer. In it, developer and life coach John Sonmez addresses a wide range of important "soft" topics, from career and productivity to personal finance and investing, and even fitness and relationships, all from a developer-centric viewpoint.

Forewords by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob) and Scott Hanselman.

Purchase of the print book includes a free eBook in PDF, Kindle, and ePub formats from Manning Publications.

About the Book

For most software developers, coding is the fun part. The hard bits are dealing with clients, peers, and managers, staying productive, achieving financial security, keeping yourself in shape, and finding true love. This book is here to help.

"Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual" is a guide to a well-rounded, satisfying life as a technology professional. In it, developer and life coach John Sonmez offers advice to developers on important "soft" subjects like career and productivity, personal finance and investing, and even fitness and relationships. Arranged as a collection of 71 short chapters, this fun-to-read book invites you to dip in wherever you like. A Taking Action section at the end of each chapter shows you how to get quick results. Soft Skills will help make you a better programmer, a more valuable employee, and a happier, healthier person.

What's InsideBoost your career by building a personal brandJohn's secret ten-step process for learning quicklyFitness advice to turn your geekiness to your advantageUnique strategies for investment and early retirement

About the Author

John Sonmez is a developer, teacher, and life coach who helps technical professionals boost their careers and live a more fulfilled life.

Table of ContentsWhy this book is unlike any book you've ever readSECTION 1: CAREERGetting started with a "BANG!": Don't do what everyone else doesThinking about the future: What are your goals?People skills: You need them more than you thinkHacking the interviewEmployment options: Enumerate your choicesWhat kind of software developer are you?Not all companies are equalClimbing the corporate ladderBeing a professionalFreedom: How to quit your jobFreelancing: Going out on your ownCreating your first productDo you want to start a startup?Working remotely survival strategiesFake it till you make itResumes are BORING Let's fix thatDon't get religious about technologySECTION 2: MARKETING YOURSELFMarketing basics for code monkeysBuilding a brand that gets you noticedCreating a wildly successful blogYour primary goal: Add value to others#UsingSocialNetworksSpeaking, presenting, and training: Speak geekWriting books and articles that attract a followingDon't be afraid to look like an idiotSECTION 3: LEARNINGLearning how to learn: How to teach yourselfMy 10-step processSteps 1-6: Do these onceSteps 7-10: Repeat theseLooking for mentors: Finding your YodaTaking on an apprentice: Being YodaTeaching: Learn you want? Teach you must.Do you need a degree or can you "wing it?"Finding gaps in your knowledgeSECTION 4: PRODUCTIVITYIt all starts with focusMy personal productivity planPomodoro TechniqueMy quota system: How I get way more done than I shouldHolding yourself accountableMultitasking dos and don'tsBurnout: I've got the cure!How you're wasting your timeThe importance of having a routineDeveloping habits: Brushing your codeBreaking things down: How to eat an elephantThe value of hard work and why you keep avoiding itAny action is better than no actionSECTION 5: FINANCIALWhat are you going to do with your paycheck?How to negotiate your salaryOptions: Where all the fun isBits and bytes of real estate investingDo you really understand your retirement plan?The danger of debt: SSDs are expensiveBonus: How I retired at 33SECTION 6: FITNESSWhy you need to hack your healthSetting your fitness criteriaThermodynamics, calories, and youMotivation: Getting your butt out of the chairHow to gain muscle: Nerds can have bulging bicepsHow to get hash-table absStarting RunningProgram.exeStanding desks and other hacksTech gear for fitness: Geeking outSECTION 7: SPIRITHow the mind influences the bodyHaving the right mental attitude: RebootingBuilding a positive self-image: Programming your brainLove and relationships: Computers can't hold your handMy personal success book listFacing failure head-onParting words"

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It's Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.

The company's new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill's entire department will be outsourced.

With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited.

In a fast-paced and entertaining style, three luminaries of the DevOps movement deliver a story that anyone who works in IT will recognize. Readers will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they'll never view IT the same way again.

The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations

Increase profitability, elevate work culture, and exceed productivity goals through DevOps practices.

More than ever, the effective management of technology is critical for business competitiveness. For decades, technology leaders have struggled to balance agility, reliability, and security. The consequences of failure have never been greater whether it's the debacle, cardholder data breaches, or missing the boat with Big Data in the cloud.

And yet, high performers using DevOps principles, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, and Netflix, are routinely and reliably deploying code into production hundreds, or even thousands, of times per day.

Following in the footsteps of The Phoenix Project, The DevOps Handbook shows leaders how to replicate these incredible outcomes, by showing how to integrate Product Management, Development, QA, IT Operations, and Information Security to elevate your company and win in the marketplace."

Table of contents

Spreading the Aha! Moment

1. Agile, continuous delivery and the three ways
2. The First Way: The Principles of Flow
- Make our work visible
- Limit work in progress (WIP)
- Reduce batch sizes
- Reduce the number of handoffs
- Continually identify and elevate our constraints
3. The Second Way: The Principle of Feedback
4. The Third Way: The Principles of Continual Learning

5. Selecting which value stream to start with
6. Understanding the work in our value stream…
7. How to design our organization and architecture
8. How to get great outcomes by integrating operations into the daily work for development

9. Create the foundations of our deployment pipeline
10. Enable fast and reliable automated testing
11. Enable and practice continuous integration
12. Automate and enable low-risk releases
13. Architect for low-risk releases

14*. Create telemetry to enable seeing abd solving problems
15. Analyze telemetry to better anticipate problems
16. Enable feedbackso development and operation can safely deploy code
17. Integrate hypothesis-driven development and A/B testing into our daily work
18. Create review and coordination processes to increase quality of our current work

19. Enable and inject learning into daily work
20. Convert local discoveries into global improvements
21. Reserve time to create organizational learning
22. Information security as everyone’s job, every day
23. Protecting the deployment pipeline

A call to action
Conclusion to the DevOps Handbook

1. The convergence of Devops
2. The theory of constraints and core chronic conflicts
3. Tabular form of downward spiral
4. The dangers of handoffs and queues
5. Myths of industrial safety
6. The Toyota Andon Cord
7. COTS Software
8. Post-mortem meetings
9. The Simian Army
10. Transparent uptime

Additional Resources

The Art Of Business Value

Do you really understand what business value is? Information technology can and should deliver business value. But the Agile literature has paid scant attention to what business value means—and how to know whether or not you are delivering it. This problem becomes ever more critical as you push value delivery toward autonomous teams and away from requirements “tossed over the wall” by business stakeholders. An empowered team needs to understand its goal!

Playful and thought-provoking, The Art of Business Value explores what business value means, why it matters, and how it should affect your software development and delivery practices. More than any other IT delivery approach, DevOps (and Agile thinking in general) makes business value a central concern. This book examines the role of business value in software and makes a compelling case for why a clear understanding of business value will change the way you deliver software.

This book will make you think deeply about not only what it means to deliver value but also the relationship of the IT organization to the rest of the enterprise. It will give you the language to discuss value with the business, methods to cut through bureaucracy, and strategies for incorporating Agile teams and culture into the enterprise. Most of all, this book will startle you into new ways of thinking about the cutting-edge of Agile practice and where it may lead.

Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow

If someone stole your wallet, you'd notice it. So why don't people notice when they are robbed of something much more valuable than their wallet--time?
Today's workers are drowning: nonstop requests for time, days filled to the brim with meetings, and endless nights spent heroically fixing the latest problems. This churn and burn is creating a workforce constantly on the edge of burnout. In this timely book, IT time management expert Dominica DeGrandis reveals the real crime of the century--time theft, one of the most costly factors impacting enterprises in their day-to-day operations.
Through simple solutions that make work visible, DeGrandis helps people round up the five thieves of time and take back their lives with time-saving solutions. Chock-full of exercises, takeaways, real-world examples, colorful diagrams, and an easy-going writing style, readers will quickly learn effective practices to create high-performing workflows within an organization.
The technology world--and indeed the whole business world--is moving at a pace faster than ever before, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Instead of consigning ourselves to the pressure cooker of the modern world, it's time to elevate how we work. It's time to level up our game. It's time to make work visible.

The New One Minute Manager

For decades, The One Minute Manager® has helped millions achieve more successful professional and personal lives. While the principles it lays out are timeless, our world has changed drastically since the book’s publication. The exponential rise of technology, global flattening of markets, instant communication, and pressures on corporate workforces to do more with less—including resources, funding, and staff—have all revolutionized the world in which we live and work.

Now, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written The New One Minute Manager to introduce the book’s powerful, important lessons to a new generation. In their concise, easy-to-read story, they teach readers three very practical secrets about leading others—and explain why these techniques continue to work so well.

As compelling today as the original was thirty years ago, this classic parable of a young man looking for an effective manager is more relevant and useful than ever.