Experience through Books

Experience through Books

Reading allows you to get years of experience into hours of reading. Reading has allowed me to leapfrog professionally and personally. Here is a summary of the greatest books that I have read. Books that I will reread regularly or had a profound impact on my understanding. I hope that I will be adding books to this list often. If you have any suggestions please send your recommendations!

I usually read before sleeping every day. I can greatly recommend Kindle by Amazon so you have your books on your e-reader, phone, and laptop. You always have your books with you.


Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

This book is about the lessons learned on leadership by two Navy Seal Officers and how they are applied in business. It learned me to take personal ownership of what is happening, always work together, keep it simple, focus on a single priority, and give ownership. These are fundamentals for leadership.

Turn the ship around! by L. David Marquet

This book tells the story of a submarine captain that turns his subordinates into leaders and his submarine goes on to become the best submarine in the US Navy. It learned me to move authority to information, train competence, and the power of clarity on intent.

Leadership is language by L. David Marquet

This book describes the fundamentals to build an effective organization where at every level leadership is practiced effectively. This way shows the building blocks of why Agile works and gives you a deeper understanding of Agile. The book shows how the language of the leaders heavily influences leadership. It will literally change the way you talk and ask questions.

Personal Growth

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book tells many stories of people interacting with people. It learned me simple changes I can adopt to better interact with people so that both I and the other person can help and work together in a pleasant manner.  Don't let the title put you off. The book is not about manipulating people.

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

This book gives all relevant information about an MBA in a single book. It has given me a fundamental understanding of the five parts of a business: create something of value, for someone that wants or needs this, in a way for a reasonable price, in a way they want and satisfy them, while the company makes enough profit. But it also goes into the organization and human side of businesses. As a result, the book heavily influences how I practice my business.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

This book describes a state, Deep Work, where you are working on cognitively demanding tasks without distractions. Deep Work is critical to achieving innovative and creative knowledge work. The work that truly moves the needle. It describes how to achieve these states of Deep Work.

I now recognize highly productive states with myself and know how to get into these states for myself. I can also employ Deep Work at a team level helping team members achieve Deep Work more frequently.

Principles by Ray Dalio

This book lists the principles Ray Dalio applies to his life and work. From this book, I grasped how radical transparency and radical truth are critical to making good decisions. This requires constant culture building and communication. You need to set a mission and don't tolerate problems in achieving them.


The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr & George Spafford

This book tells the fictional story of Parts Unlimited and Bill the IT Manager. It has learned me to look at software development as a simple manufacturing process with product management taking on orders and software development manufacturing these orders. Using this view, it makes to sense to keep looking to remove the biggest bottleneck.

Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble & Gene Kim

This book reports the statistical findings of software practices correlating with organizational performance. Since reading the book I am now focused on improving the four most important metrics for a team as they correlate with organizational performance: lead time, deployment frequency, mean time to recovery, change failure percentage.

Site Reliability Engineering by Naill Ricard Murphy, Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff

This book collects several essays and articles of the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams at Google. The principles and practices of SRE allows me to reason about risk and how to deal with it in DevOps.

Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais

Larger software systems is developed by multiple teams that interact together creating a sociotechnical system. To streamline the goals and interactions of the teams you need to think about what teams you build. Team Topologies shows how to create the teams to build your software systems without overloading the teams.

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