Book Recommendations

Software development encompasses a wide range of issues, from technology challenges to human resource issues. The landscape of our industry is covered with the rotting carcasses of failed projects, leading to a general lack of confidence in software developers. The following books offer a lot of good advice on how to avoid nightmare projects and deliver quality software. Click on the book title to go to the book’s listing on

Robin Williams Web Design Workshop by Robin Williams, John Tollett & Dave Rohr
The web is still a place where programmers do as much designing as graphic designers. It’s obvious to even novice web users that programmers are generally not very good designers. This book describes the entire web design process complete with how-to examples. If you develop web sites, this book will help you to do a better job.
The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams
Anyone who’s struggled to use a poorly-designed user interface has certainly cursed the programmer who developed it. It’s my belief that all programmers need at least a basic introduction to graphic and user-interface design techniques. This book provides the introduction to graphic design basics. It’s a quick and easy read.
Debugging the Development Process by Steve Maguire
Bar none, this is the best book on project and resource management that I’ve ever read. Though out of print, you should make every effort to find a copy - every programmer needs this book on their shelf.
Code Complete by Steve McConnell
This book teaches solid programming techniques. While the examples focus on C code, the techniques can be used with any computer language. These are the methods we should all be using, but probably aren’t.
Dynamics of Software Development by Jim McCarthy & Dennis Gilbert
Another great book on the software development process. If you read this and Debugging the Development Process, listed above, you should have all the information you need to create good software on time and within budget.
The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley
This book was written by the general manager of IDEO, perhaps the most well-known product design firm in the world. They have created designs for products as diverse as the Palm V handheld, vacuum cleaners and fishing reels. Along the way, they have become a sought-after resource for teaching companies about innovation. This
book will help you learn how to instill innovation in your work.
Unleasing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin
Why am I listing a marketing book as a good read for software developers? Like it or not, it’s an unavoidable fact that selling your software is one of your duties - whether you’re an in-house developer, a commercial software developer, or a consultant. Seth Godin is best known as one of the marketing geniuses behind Yahoo!, and he offers a number of good ideas in this book. Best of all, it’s a quick read and you can download the entire book in PDF form here

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