. See also GreatSoftwareBooks
(which seems to have more of the hard-core technical books on it).
- this is not a software book, but it is about software nonetheless. What software people do is create metaphors that have operational semantics. It might be helpful if they more completely embraced the fact that all of us communicate using unconscious metaphors all the time. I got a lot out of this book. -- RaySchneider
Ray recognizes a very useful category of publication. So, here are some great books that are, in some sense, about software.
In addition to many of the above mentioned books:
- The Psychology of Computer Programming, G. Weinberg
- "NoSilverBullet", Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. Originally published in Information Processing 1986, pp. 1069-1076; included in the 20th-anniversary edition of TheMythicalManMonth. Explains why software is hard, and will remain so.
- Situated Learning: LegitimatePeripheralParticipation, Lave and Wenger. This thin book discusses apprenticeship programs, when they do and don't work. I learned much about why programming is not working as an apprenticeship business, and use it as a benchmark.
- The Meaning of Meaning, authors' names coming. Written back in 1912, still in print, way ahead of its time about the rock bottom of communication. Great appendix by a linguistic ethnographer.
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. This may be a little removed from the field of software development, but I have experienced it while doing development work.
- Becoming a Technical Leader, Jerry Weinberg - almost any book by this author is worth a read
- TheStructureOfScientificRevolutions, Thomas Kuhn
- The Subconscious Mind in Business, I have lost my copy of this book and I don't remember the author's name - it was published in 1929. The author argues that we must all take time during the work day to just sit so that our subconscious can "cook away" on those hard problems that do not have immediately obvious solutions. He maintains that we should do conscious work 5-6 hours a work day and let the subconscious cook for the remaining 2-3 hours.
- Hidden Order, John Holland - ABC's for the third millennium....
- Emergence, John Holland - the hidden rules of causality and generativity...
- The Reengineering Revolution, Michael Hammer - Enterprise Architecture for the new millennium... BPR works, most don't understand it.
- The Tree of Knowledge, Maturana and Varela - A powerful alternative in viewing life: life is process and change.
- NotesOnTheSynthesisOfForm, ChristopherAlexander - This really is what got everything started!
- CyberCorp?, James Martin - Business as a "hybid reality" -- high-bid or hybrid?
- The Society of Mind, MarvinMinsky - An exploration of the inner shadows of our mind
- The Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture, James McGovern - Several industry thought leaders challenge us to think concretely about architecture
- The Knowledge Creating Company, Nonaka and Tekeuchi - Organizations that create and store knowledge..
- Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, Kary Mullis - Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1993. Brilliant book about life, happiness, adventure and science in these crazy times.
- Talk Talk Talk, Jay Ingram - How we understand spoken language. Very deep.
- Space, Time, and Deity, The Gifford Lectures at Glasgow, 1916-1918, Samuel Alexander, 2 vols. New York: Dover, 1966.
- The Basic Works of Aristotle, MrAristotle, ed. Richard McKeon?. New York: Random House, 1941.
- The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Ernst Cassirer, tr. Ralph Manheim. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1955.
- A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1888.
- Art And Geometry, William M. Ivins. New York: Dover, 1964.
- Aion, Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, Carl Gustav Jung, tr. R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959.
- The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, 2nd Edition, Carl Gustav Jung, tr. R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.
- TheStructureOfScientificRevolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
- Feeling and Form, Susanne K. Langer. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953.
- Philosophy in a New Key, 3rd Edition, Susanne K. Langer. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957.
- The Gutenberg Galaxy, MarshallMcLuhan. New York: Signet, 1969.
- Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, MarshallMcLuhan. New York: Signet, 1964.
- Studies in Iconology, Erwin Panofsky. New York: Harper & Row, 1962.
- A History of Mechanical Inventions, Abbott Payson Usher. New York/London: McGraw-Hill, 1929.
- TheTenBooksOnArchitecture, Vitruvius. New York: Dover, 1960.
- Process and Reality, Corrected Edition, Alfred North Whitehead. New York/London: The Free Press, 1978.
- Science and the Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead. New York: The Free Press, 1925, 1953.
(all my favourite books directly about computing are mentioned above, so...)
These are great books to be sure with lessons appropriate for many disciplines but I don't believe they could be construed as about software
. Maybe these would be more appropriate in LiteratureBookList
. BTW, I really liked Magister Ludi
(i.e. The Glass Bead Game). Though my favorite is probably Narcissus and Goldmund
). -- RobertDiFalco
Getting back to lists of books about software
, here's a few favorites of mine. These are all very practical books. They are either great because of their clarity, scope, or ideas.
Just read SecretsOfConsulting
. Great for any one who wants to change something - and introducing XP is always a major change.
In addition to the books listed above (particularly everything by Weinberg), some of the books that have informed my views on software engineering and management include:
- TheFifthDiscipline, PeterSenge
- Managing the Design Factory, Donald Reinertsen
- The Goal, Elihu Goldratt
- Abolishing Performance Appraisals, Coens, Jenkins, and Block
- Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions, DeGrace? and Stahl
- The TaoOfProgramming?, Geoffrey James
See the BookShelved