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Books for the software development manager?

Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
Hi,

if you were to give a list of books for a new leader of the software development department (5-10 people). His aim would be to create a professional team of developers who will help the organisation reach its goals. Which would they then be?

From my point of view it could be a book on:
- Project management (he'll have to lead projects of different types)
- Software craftsmanship (to help the developers become better)
- Software architecture (important to be able to participate in the high-level discussion)
- Testing and continuous integration (important to ensure low level of errors)
- Agile methodology (they need to follow some kind of process)
- Leadership and motivation (he will ahve to motivate his team)

Have I missed any important "categories" or are any of them irrellevant? Suggestions for book titles will be appriciated.

Thanks in advance,

Svend
Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 4456
    
    6

So many... I definitely have a very pro-Agile slant on my recommendations but here goes... (you may want to get comfortable for this... )

Project management
- Start with books by Ken Schwaber, Alistair Cockburn, Jim Highsmith, Craig Larman - the bibliographies of their books will lead you to more good books.

Software craftsmanship (to help the developers become better)
- "The Pragmatic Programmer" Andrew Hunt and David Thomas
- "Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative" by Pete McBreen
- "Clean Code" by Robert C. Martin
- "Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices" by Robert C. Martin
- "Code Complete 2" by Steve McConnell
- "Refactoring" by Martin Fowler
- "Working Effectively with Legacy Code" by Michael Feathers
- "Refactoring to Patterns" by Joshua Kerievsky
- "Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests" by Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce
- "The Pomodoro Technique" by Noteberg - small but noteworthy book because the technique is excellent

Article: "Professionalism and Test-Driven Development" by Robert C. Martin. Google for it, you should be able to find a PDF of this somewhere.
I highly recommend this article to any serious developer who is dedicated to becoming a true professional

Again, the bibliographies of these books will lead you to more good books

Software architecture (important to be able to participate in the high-level discussion)
The classic GoF "Design Patterns" book
"Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" by Martin Fowler
"Enterprise Integration Patterns" by Hohpe and Wolfe
books on SOA by Thomas Erl

Agile
Books by any of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto are a safe bet:
Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, Jim Highsmith, Alistair Cockburn, Dave Thomas, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Robert C. Martin, et. al.

Other Agile authors I like:
Craig Larman, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Diana Larsen and Esther Derby, Ellen Gottesdiener, James Shore

Their books will lead you to other good books (see a pattern here yet? )


Leadership and motivation (he will ahve to motivate his team)
"Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins
I attended a two-day class on this by Lyssa and her partners at the Agile Coaching Institute recently. It totally changed my outlook on leading and coaching. Highly recommended.

Workshops and articles by Dr. Christopher Avery on Leadership and Motivation
I also attended a workshop by Dr. Avery -- also a big impact on me -- his keynotes on "The Leadership Gift" are very well received by audiences, in my experience.


Junilu - [How to Ask Questions] [How to Answer Questions]
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
Wow - thanks alot for your tips. I will look into those titles.

Peopleware have also been recommended.

/Svend
Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 4456
    
    6

Svend Rost wrote:Peopleware have also been recommended.

Yes, "Peopleware" is a classic that most of the books that I gave will reference in their bibliographies. It's an endless web of books you'll find; the list I gave is just a starting point. Good luck.

And speaking of classics, "The Mythical Man Month" by Fred Brooks is one you don't want to overlook.
Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 4456
    
    6

Also, go to http://manifesto.softwarecraftsmanship.org/ and look through the list of further readings --- and don't forget to have your developers sign the manifesto.
 
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