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Joel on Software

Reading List: Fog Creek Software Management Training Program

by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The management training program we're starting up here at Fog Creek will take about three years and will be relatively intensive. Among other things, there will be a required reading list consisting of about 75 books (we're working on the theory here of one book every two weeks). We're trying to collect a combination of

  • the best business books of all time
  • the best software management books of all time
  • and every worthwhile history of a software/computer company that we can find.

This is my very first-draft list. By the time we get started a lot of these books will be replaced with better books, I hope; if you have any suggestions please feel free to email them to me. I haven't attempted to sort them or rank them yet; the order is completely arbitrary.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, 20th Anniversary Edition Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Growing a Business Dec Is Dead, Long Live Dec: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing Testing Computer Software Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places Version Control with Subversion The Non-Designer's Design Book The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering The Autodesk File: Bits of History, Words of Experience Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age Competing On Internet Time: Lessons From Netscape And Its Battle With Microsoft The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity The Design of Everyday Things The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: *God Doesn't Think He's Larry Ellison Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary On a Roll: From Hot Dog Buns to High-Tech Billions First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest:, The: A Silicon Valley Novel Random Excess Show Stopper! The Breakneck Race To Create Windows NT And The Next Generation at Microsoft The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush Digital Hustlers: Living Large and Falling Hard in Silicon Alley In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams The Macintosh Way Microsoft Rebooted: How Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer Reinvented Their Company Speeding the Net: This Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Nethead, and Made Millions in the War for the Web dot.bomb: My Days and Nights at an Internet Goliath The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet Accidental Empires Revolution in The Valley The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing Death March Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully Rules For Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind The Manager Pool: Patterns for Radical Leadership Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop : How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing : Exposed and Explained by the World's Two The Goal Critical Chain Microserfs The Product Marketing Handbook for Software Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad A Random Walk Down Wall Street 21 Dog Years: A Cube Dweller's Tale Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry Making the Technical Sale Selling Air Crossing the Chasm Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management Amazonia The PayPal Wars; Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR High St@kes, No Prisoners The E-Myth Revisited The One Minute Manager Getting to Yes Essentials of Accounting Influence Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho The Portable MBA The Little Red Book of Selling How to Win Friends and Influence People


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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