2022 Reading List

I’m frequently asked what resources I’ve found most useful on my learning journey. Here are my recommendations for both technical and non-technical people who want to improve organizational outcomes. These are in no particular order.

Engineering the Digital Transformation: (Everyone) The hardest part of organizational improvement is getting alignment on goals. Gary Gruver’s book and related training are excellent for this. Gary has a no-nonsense style of communicating how to improve the flow delivery and relentlessly improve quality processes in multiple contexts. He manages to do this in ways that everyone, no matter how technical, can understand. This is critical for establishing a baseline understanding so everyone can work towards common goals.

Modern Software Engineering: (Developers) From Dave Farley, one of the authors of Continuous Delivery, comes a concise guide to what it means to be a modern software engineer and how to approach the work with a real scientific and professional mindset. This book is the book I’ve needed for years. Not only does it have some really useful information on how to design systems that are optimized for testability and feedback, but it also focuses on the mindset required to really deliver valuable solutions. It should be required reading for everyone aspiring to call themselves a Software Engineer.

Continuous Delivery on YouTube: (Developers) Just put this on auto-play while you’re working. So much good information for free covering every topic related to development.

Sooner, Safer, Happier: (Leadership) Jonathan Smart points out the patterns and anti-patterns for organizational improvement. With decades of personal experience with success and failure, Jon knows what he’s talking about. This should be required reading for anyone wanting to improve their organization.

Making Work Visible: (Everyone) Dominica DeGrandis explains how to optimize workflow for both yourself and your team. She explains the power of limiting work in progress to drive things to completion. Do you feel overwhelmed, overloaded with work, and yet nothing is really getting done? Read Dominica’s book. More “no” and less WIP!

Team Topologies: (Everyone) In 1967 Melvin Conway stated “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.” In Team Topologies, Matt Skelton and Manuel Pais show useful patterns for organizing teams efficiently to improve the flow of information and delivery. I was reading their blog before the book came out and was very excited to meet them at the book signing to thank them for all of their work. This is a must-read before planning your next reorg.

Implementing Domain-Driven Design: (Everyone) Don’t build a single microservice or plan any large organization or architectural refactoring without reading Vern Vaugn’s book. This not only covers tactical, code-level DDD but also discusses the broader strategic organizational implications and design patterns.

Software Engineering at Google: (Everyone) Tones of lessons learned by Google on what works and doesn’t work when delivering value. This is a big, dense book and the valuable insights start immediately.

What books have you found most useful on your journey?

Written on December 30, 2021 by Bryan Finster.

Originally published on Medium