Books

Never Stop Learning.

I’ve tired of not knowing when (or whether) I’ve read a book so I’m going to start tracking them here. Yes, I know about Goodreads and its ilk, but I don’t need yet another damn social network in my life.

The books are in reverse chronological order by date completed. The list only includes books I read for professional reasons, not the books I read for fun or the innumerable articles I read.

All ratings are out of five stars.


2017

2016

  • Title: Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead
  • Author: Laszlo Bock
  • ISBN: 978-1455554799
  • Completed on: 2016-12-31
  • Book source: Amazon
  • Rating: Three and a half stars
  • Notes: Most of this content was not news if you’ve been paying attention to recent developments in management theory, but having it all consolidated in one place is valuable. However, despite the author’s insistence to the contrary, I am very skeptical at how easy it is to implement some of these perks at non-Google organisations.
  • Title: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition)
  • Author: Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
  • ISBN: 978-0321934116
  • Completed on: 2016-02-19
  • Book source: Safari Books Online
  • Rating: Five stars
  • Notes: A re-read. Still a great book which anyone who works w/teams should read.
  • Title: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
  • Author: Al Switzler, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson
  • ISBN: 9780071771320
  • Completed on: 2016-01-11
  • Book source: Safari Books Online
  • Rating: Three and a half stars
  • Notes: OK. I’d read it before but the team was reading it so I tagged along. Repetitive. Good ideas in general.

2015

  • Title: Parkinson’s Law
  • Author: C. Northcote Parkinson
  • ISBN: 978-1568490151
  • Completed on: 2015-12-20
  • Book source: Unknown
  • Rating: Three and a half stars
  • Notes: Despite being very dated in his attitudes toward women & people of other nationalities (among other things), this practices satirized in this 1950’s-era book are still very common yet today. As well, this is the book which originated not only the eponymous law, but also the concept of bike-shedding.
  • Title: Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban
  • Author: Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene
  • ISBN: 978-1-4493-6383-3
  • Completed on: 2015-04-27
  • Book source: O’Reilly Media
  • Rating: Four stars
  • Notes: It’s been years since I did a lot of reading on agile, scrum, etc. This book was a good one-stop-shopping refresher.
  • Title: An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
  • Author: Ali Almossawi (Author), Alejandro Giraldo (Illustrator)
  • ISBN: 978-1615192250
  • Completed on: 2015-04-14
  • Book source: Open Culture
  • Rating: Five stars
  • Notes: Available for free online but worth buying. Very effective descriptions of flaws in logic, cognitive biases, etc. I foresee myself revisiting this book frequently.
  • Title: Badass: Making Users Awesome
  • Author: Kathy Sierra
  • ISBN: 978-1-4919-1901-9
  • Completed on: 2015-02-23
  • Book source: Amazon
  • Rating: Four and a half stars
  • Notes: A little hard to get used to the formatting, but a great book & worth the effort. Thought provoking & inspiring.

2014

  • Title: The Human Side of Postmortems: Managing Stress and Cognitive Biases
  • Author: Dave Zwieback
  • ISBN: n/a
  • Completed on: 2014-11-28
  • Book source: O’Reilly
  • Rating: 4
  • Notes: A good introduction into the other (and, IMO, more important) side of postmortems. Much preaching to the choir, in my case, but it was still a good read. I’d have preferred to see it expanded to include some more strategies for addressing the human factors (rather than simply listing/recognizing them).
  • Title: Scaling Up Excellence
  • Author: Bob Sutton & Huggy Rao
  • ISBN: 978-1847940995
  • Completed on: 2014-07-31
  • Book source: Unknown
  • Rating: Four stars
  • Notes: Good stuff. Mostly preaching to the choir but well-written and backed by a lot of research & experience.
  • Title: The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
  • Author: Scott Berkun
  • ISBN: 978-1118660638
  • Completed on: 2014-05-22
  • Book source: Unknown
  • Rating: Three stars
  • Notes: A quick & easy read. Nothing groundbreaking here, but as I’m a strong proponent of both open source and telecommuting, this book was preaching to the choir (for which it deserves no blame).
  • Title: Remote: Office Not Required
  • Author: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
  • ISBN: 978-0804137508
  • Completed on: 2014-05-13
  • Book source: Unknown
  • Rating: Three stars
  • Notes: OK book but preaching to the choir (which isn’t their fault). Didn’t like their perception of management (which I see as highly limited at best and sometimes flat out wrong).
  • Title: The Career Coaching Handbook
  • Author: Julia Yates
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-62787-0
  • Completed on: 2014-04-27
  • Book source: San Francisco Public Library
  • Rating: Three and a half stars
  • Notes: Highly researched. Reads more like a PhD thesis than a handbook. Not a lot of the author’s personality comes through. Would make a valuable reference material.

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