I have been slowly coming back to regular reading habits in 2018, plus taking 6 months off the work has helped me focus on what really matters.
I decided to share at the end of 2018 the best books that I have read (and I do not read that much, I guess that in total I have read just 12 books, the current one I am reading will be finished just in a couple of days, but will count for 2019), but because of one book that definitely influenced me, I thought I have got to share it with the readers of my blog. I have even thought to write a blog post on it in May, after I have finished reading it, but the priority at that point was definitely to finish my working projects and somehow later I never felt a desire to write a blog post per book.
Looking back, there might be even a number of interesting dots that can be connected with this book’s influence over my life …
In my extended family for a number of months the conversations with me by the references to “that book”, which is an extremely high degree of consideration.
1. Finite & Infinite Games Written by James P. Carse in 1986), I think this is one of the most influential book for me. The principles explained in this book stretching far from the trivial things such as sports and going into the deeply personal areas, such as the core beliefs.
James Carse is Professor Emeritus of history and literature of religion at New York University.
“A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play…
Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.”
The only thing I can share is that I am so deeply sorry to discover this book so late in my life and wish everyone to discover it as soon as possible.
You might agree or you might disagree, but I think the points presented by the author are absolutely worth noting.
Your understanding of the kind of the game that you are playing is the key to understand if this is the path you are wishing yourself to walk towards to.
2. The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks. Written by Fred Brooks, who is besides being American computer architect, software engineer, and computer scientist and being one of the managers of the IBM’s development and support projects for System/360 & OS/360, is a Turing Award winner. I was lucky to get to get a “No Silver Bullet” in the same package together with the updates and reviews of what happened in computer industry & management 10, 20 & 30 years after the original book release.
Some of the most noticeable points – Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later, criticism of the Waterfall (not bad for a book published in 1975), “Group intercommunication formula: n(n − 1) / 2” – meaning that you are not adding “just 1 person” to a group of 9, you are increasing number of communication channels from 36 to 45, which is pretty insightful and brilliant for understanding group’s behaviour!
This book is being referred to as “The Bible of Software Engineering”, with the natural tendency for managers to repeat errors described in this very book. Another fun thing is that “everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it”, which explains to me the quality of some of the projects I took part in.
Every Program Manager, Technical Manager & especially Engineering Manager should read this book, and even though she/he might disagree with a number of points – ignoring the experiences of previous generations has always a heavy penalty associated that will be payed in time due.
3. This is Marketing – by Seth Godin. I suspect that this book will be standing through the test of time through a couple of decades in the future. I feel that I am on the same page with Seth regarding what Marketing is what is it for. The incredible advices
While there is nothing ground-breaking in itself, this is a quite a definitive compendium and compilation of the different marketing strategies for helping people making the world a little bit better.
Overall Seth’s defence of reaching the smallest possible audience, instead of the largest audience, is something that is truly dear to my heart and something you can definitely see in my works (think my Columnstore series).
“Marketers make change happen. If you can make someone better, if you can open a door for someone, if you can shine the light – that’s the act of marketing“.
If you want to make some positive change in any area (and especially in the technical area), please consider reading this wonderful book, it might help you to understand some of the things that you should do and some of the things that you definitely should be trying to avoid.