Useful Books I Admire

I am trying to write a useful book on technical debt. I am near the beginning of the process and still trying to find the format. To do that, I’ve been thinking about useful books I have read and what I loved about them.

The first one that came to mind is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It’s part memoir and part writing exercise workbook. It’s similar to the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, but the tone resonated more with me. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott would also fit this category. These are books you are meant to apply immediately.

I’ve been writing a lot about The Four Disciplines of Execution lately. This book’s style is just a very straight-forward business how-to with case studies. For me the technique is so compelling, that the format almost wouldn’t matter. It’s a four-step process with four-steps clearly described.

All of Rob Fitzpatrick’s books are great, but The Workshop Survival Guide is particularly useful. The authors assume that you have a workshop coming up and are in a hurry. They don’t waste time and get right to helping you design it.My favorite part is the structures for workshops of various lengths. Best tip is to use Q&A to make the timeline springy. Makes me want to give a workshop.

Looking at my post on Great Software Writing (that influenced me personally), eXtreme Programming is the one that strikes me as the most useful. This book introduced me to CI, unit-testing, pair programming, and refactoring. I use the lessons from this book daily.