7 Influential Books

Phil Kirkham recently posted a list of 7 Influential Books and encouraged some of his fellow bloggers to follow suit.

Of course, Phil’s list overlaps mine, so instead, I’d like to present:

7 Influential Books that Phil doesn’t Mention

  1. The Feiner Points of Leadership – Michael Feiner One of the Technical Fellows at Microsoft recommended this book to me a few years ago, and now it’s one that I re-read often. The book is filled with lessons – and more importantly – practical advice.
  2. Peopleware – Tom DeMarco and Anthony Lister Every person who manages teams or people – or cares about how people are productive should read this book
  3. Testing Object-Oriented Systems – Robert Binder – This is probably the largest book I own, but one of my favorite testing books. I have a love for patterns and models, and this book covers both fantastically
  4. The Dilbert Principle – Scott Adams From an anti-pattern perspective, this is one of the best management books in print. This book covers far more than cartoons – Scott Adams understands management far more than many of the managers I know
  5. The Inner Game of Tennis – Timothy Gallwey – I discovered this book when I was a (sort of) musician. The author wrote a follow up for musicians, but the tennis book is the best. The premise is that performance = (potential – distraction). Most people try to improve only by increasing their potential. Gallwey’s premise is that you can improve your performance by decreasing distractions through focus and visualization.
  6. An Introduction to General Systems Thinking – Gerry Weinberg – This is an easy one to mention – I almost feel like I’m cheating for including it, but I can’t leave it off (and I have to take advantage of Phil picking a different Weinberg book for his list). You’d be surprised how you view things differently when you can think of a system as a whole (this happens, of course, after you can identify a system in the first place). If you can’t do either of those, start with this book, practice, repeat.
  7. The Pragmatic Programmer – when I talk to programmers and testers, this is probably the book I mention the most. The writing is good, the concepts are good, and it’s full of great advice. If you aren’t fluent with boiled frogs, broken windows and tracer bullets, you have to read this.

I almost bumped Scott Adams to include Maguire’s Writing Solid Code, but as much as I like it, it just doesn’t come up in conversation as often as the others. For every book on this list, I can name at least a half a dozen people that I know who share my love of the book.

So – that’s my list. What do you think?

Comments (1)

  1. The Pragmatic Programmer has been on my bookshelf for months. I was attracted to it at the book store so I bought it – but never got into reading it.

    I’m going to go pick it up right now though. I promise.

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