Books for software engineers and managers

Masters of Doom

How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop  Culture

by David Kushner

Categories:
Favorite,
Tech Lead,
Star Engineer,
New Engineer

John Carmack was the mythical 10x programmer, making breakthrough innovations in 3D that catapulted an  industry

Masters of Doom gets surprisingly technical for a very brief period to highlight just how difficult the 3D rendering problems were and how Carmack applied creative thinking to solve them.

Software companies need powerful distribution channels to see  growth

Carmack and Romero’s company id Software established and groomed strong distribution channels for their games. Repeatedly throughout the book, you see the importance of distribution and that without it your product is dead.

This is where a lot of developers go wrong, thinking that they just need to build a better product. Yes, you probably need to build a better product. But you definitely need better distribution.

We need more stories about the history of computing and  programming

Sort of a meta point – our industry needs more stories. We have a rich history with many players, but too few engaging stories.

There is a place in software for irreverence and  playfulness

id Software gives off a South Park vibe – irreverent while also poignant and game changing.

Masters of Doom

How strongly do I recommend Masters of Doom?
9 / 10

I knew the name John Carmack before reading Masters of Doom, but had no idea how prolific he was. While this book is about Carmack, it’s also about his co-founder and designer John Romero and their relationship together building the most influential video games of the 90s: Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, and Doom.

Masters of Doom is the book you didn’t know about but will recommend to everyone after reading it.