Books for software engineers and managers

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Favorite Books

These are my favorite books about software engineering, often focused on building high performance engineering teams and cultures.

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Ask Your Developer
Ask Your Developer

How one world class software company leverages developers to drive business success

Masters of Doom
Masters of Doom

The story behind Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, and Doom

Extreme Programming Explained
Extreme Programming Explained

Principles and practices of agile development

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Rebirth of a struggling leadership team

Doing Agile Right
Doing Agile Right

Developing agile enterprises by extending agile principles to business support functions

The Unicorn Project
The Unicorn Project

A story about rebellion against bureaucracy and corporate politics to delivery customer results

Making Work Visible
Making Work Visible

Fantastic description of using kanban boards to improve software delivery

The Phoenix Project
The Phoenix Project

A novel about transformational leadership in technology

How Google Works
How Google Works

Practical advice on product strategy and people management

Never Split the Difference
Never Split the Difference

Practical guide to everyday negotiations

Unlocking the Clubhouse
Unlocking the Clubhouse

Research on the gender gap in computer science

Founders at Work
Founders at Work

Startup stories and tech history

Hackers & Painters
Hackers & Painters

The culture and languages of makers

The DevOps Handbook
The DevOps Handbook

A pragmatic technical guide to implementing ideas from Accelerate

On Writing Well
On Writing Well

The practical guide to non-fiction writing

Clean Architecture
Clean Architecture

Pragmatic advice for transforming readable code into a solid architecture

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Quality is hard to define but we know it exists somewhere

Code Complete
Code Complete

The book every junior to mid-level engineer should read to improve their code

Accelerate
Accelerate

The most important book on software delivery performance

Difficult Conversations
Difficult Conversations

Pragmatic advice with examples for initiating and executing difficult conversations

Brotopia
Brotopia

The book I wish everyone would read before pontificating about how to get more women into tech

First, Break All the Rules
First, Break All the Rules

Leveraging talent to drive individual and team performance

Range
Range

Developing expertise through sampling periods, slow learning, and breadth

Clean Code
Clean Code

The book on code quality I wish every engineering job applicant would read

The Mythical Man Month
The Mythical Man Month

The origin of Brooks’s Law and look into the counterintuitive world of software engineering management

Peopleware
Peopleware

A holistic and people-first view of software engineering management

The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup

Exploring and implementing the Build-Measure-Learn model

The Hard Thing About Hard Things
The Hard Thing About Hard Things

The no-nonsense book about engineering and startup leadership

High Output Management
High Output Management

The engineering management book everyone references