Recommended Reading for Program Managers

In early 2004, I compiled a recommended reading list for program managers.  I started with a list of my own -- a handful of favorites -- then emailed all of the Group Program Managers in the Developer Division to ask them for their recommendations, then put some structure on it and emailed it to a variety of internal Microsoft aliases.  I still get requests for it periodically, so I thought I would share it.  (Now I can link to it here rather than search my email archives 🙂

  • Product design, customer focus and usability

    • "About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design" by Alan Cooper
    • "The Art of Innovation : Lessons in Creativity from IDEO" by Tom Kelley
    • "Bringing Design to Software" by Terry Winograd
    • "The Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman
    • "Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things" by Donald A. Norman
    • "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity" by Alan Cooper
    • "Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction" by Jennifer Preece et al
    • "Microsoft Windows User Experience" by The Windows User Experience Team
    • "The Psychology of Everyday Things" by Donald A. Norman
    • "Usability Engineering" by Jakob Neilsen 

  • Software development

  • Teamwork, group dynamics, etc.

    • "Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents" by Lynne C. Levesque
    • "Constantine on Peopleware" by Larry Constantine
    • "Dynamics of Software Development" by McCarthy
    • "Getting Ready to Negotiate" by Roger Fisher & Danny Ertel
    • "Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers" by J. Hank Rainwater 
    • "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
    • "The Mythical Man Month" by Fred Brooks
    • "Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams" by Tom Demarco
    • "Type Talk at Work : How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job" by Janet M. Thuesen 
    • "Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing" by Margolis & Fisher.
    • "Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development" by Sharp

  • Topics specific to Development tools

    • "Design Patterns" by Erich Gamma et al 
    • "Designing Object-Oriented Software" by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock et al
    • "Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change" by Kent Beck 
    • "Lean Software Development" by Poppendieck
    • "Object Oriented Analysis & Design" – Booch
    • "Object Oriented Software Construction" – Meyer
    • "The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master" by Andrew Hunt
    • "The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition" by Gerald M. Weinberg
    • "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" by Martin Fowler
    • "Test-Driven Development" by Kent Beck - the bible of test-driven development

  • Topics specific to Microsoft products and technologies

    • "ASP.NET Unleashed, Second Edition" by Stephen Walther
    • "The C# Programming Language" by Anders Hejlsberg et al
    • "Programming Windows with C#" by Charles Petzold
    • "Windows Forms Programming in C#" by Chris Sells
    • "Windows Forms Programming with C#" by Erik Brown

  • More general topics -- Business and strategy

    • "Crossing the Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore 
    • "Execution" by Larry Bossidy

  • More general topics -- Career development and work/life balance

    • "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"
    • "The Circle of Innovation" by Tom Peters
    • "The Seasons of a Man's Life" by Daniel J. Levinson

I haven't read all of the books, so I have made no attempt to rank or rate them.



Comments (4)
  1. I got the following comment via email:

    Jeff Richter’s "Applied .NET Framework Programming" and Don Box’s "Essential .NET Volume I" should be two must-reads for .NET developers after they finish Petzold’s book. All Windows developers should be made to read "Windows Internals" by Russinovich et al.

  2. Jason Haley says:

    Interesting finds this week

Comments are closed.

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