Scoble, James McGovern, Robert McIlree, Charles Betz and others have blogged on what is on their coffee table as far as reading material... thought I would do the same. Scoble wrote a quaint anecdote that a manager new to an organization just walked in and laid his current reading stack on the conference table as a means to let people get to know him - true you can learn a lot about someone through their reading list, but I think you learn a lot more from their comments on what's on that list. Perhaps you can also learn something about the books someone is selling off their table?
Recommended Architecture Reading
- Succeeding with Open Source - I have only browsed this so far, but it comes highly recommended from a friend and is on my short list.
- The Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture - Whose EA bookshelf is complete without this? I actually thought one of the most refreshing things in this book was the fact that there is a chapter on usability - not many EAs have the sense (or perhaps cojones considering the peer pressure to be an uber-tech geek) to recognize that practice as part of Great Architecture.
Recommended Development Reading
- Java Performance and Scalability, Volume 1 - I have no idea why this isn't one of the most talked about Java books - if I believed in required reading, this would no doubt make the list. This is a concise and utterly practical book that, despite its size, bulges with practical examples and objective benchmarks to show how to tune, using a web server as a sample application. The examples might not hold up with more recent API changes, and might not apply to your problem, but it will change the way you write code - forever.
- Test Driven Development: By Example - this book is deceptively small - it is a detailed look at an example of TDD on a given problem. I'm in the middle of this now... I find it too basic if you are already doing TDD, but might be more interesting if you are new to it. Beck has a great writing style - I think I might have enjoyed this book more.
- JUnit Recipes : Practical Methods for Programmer Testing - this book is full of great examples on ways to test; true to the title they are practical. They are the things you will soon run into on enterprise applications once you start testing, and are great suggestions. You should read this shortly after you get comfortable with the basics of TDD.
Recommended Business Reading
- The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - So he's a cheerleader for globalism throughout the book, but I still think this is a great read. He's got great analysis of trends in outsourcing, offshoring, etc. and this will make you think about your job differently. I really think everyone should at least read the chapters on the Middle East at the end - very insightful.
- How to Be a Star at Work : 9 Breakthrough Strategies You Need to Succeed - OK, I actually just read chapter 6 "Knowing Who Knows: Plugging into the Knowledge Network" based on the advice of my then-boss, but I thought it was brilliant, and has had a lasting impact on my thinking around building a social network. I wonder if the rest of the book was that good?
Recommended Other Reading
- Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity - Phenomenal book by Lessig on copyright, intellectual property, and creative freedom. Must read in my opinion.
To Do List
- Proven Portals: Best Practices for Planning, Designing, and Developing Enterprise Portals - I have a long relationship with enterprise portals - curious what wisdom this author has to share.
- Innovation Happens Elsewhere, First Edition : Open Source as Business Strategy - took advantage of Simon's plug and signed up for SDN (or re-signed up - I swear I had an account with Java Developer's Network at some point - is that the same thing? Oh well...)
- Shamans, Software and Spleens : Law and the Construction of the Information Society - heard about this through Lessig's blog and it sounds like a great read on IP, which is a keen interest of mine
I have the disease of reading several books at any one time, putting them down, picking them up again weeks later, getting a notice from the library that a hold request came through and dropping everything to read that title before returning it... so this is really a portion of what is open on a desk somewhere in my life, or has dog-eared pages (there are at least a dozen dog-eared references in this book that I read last fall I still haven't followed up on.)
I have also provided review feedback on manuscripts and works in progress in the past, and LOVE it. I swear I prioritize that to the top of my reading list - drop me a line if you need a reviewer for an Enterprise Application Architecture or Enterprise Development title.