Books I’m about to (re)read

I’m heading up to the Vancouver for the Olympics this weekend and hoping to catch up on some reading on the trip. I’ve built up a bit of a backlog of books I want to read or re-read and I’m going to try to make a big dent in the list during the train ride (and while waiting in line for will-call tickets).

First on the list is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and I’m looking forward to seeing what people love (and hate) about it. second book on the list is The Checklist Manifesto. Atul Gawande spoke on MS campus recently and his talk inspired me to take a closer look at his book.

There are two other books on my re-read list. Both are controversial in that people seem to either really, really love them, or really, really loathe them. The books couldn’t be more different, but the value in both of them to me is beyond the printed word – the value is between the lines, in the thoughts and ideas they bring out in me every time I read them. ZATAOMM is a classic and a book that I read every few years, or every time I change jobs (whichever comes first). I’m  also going to re-read Quality is Free. A lot of software folks hate this book. At face value, of course, application of manufacturing approaches to software often fail, but the point (to me at least) is to remind me that quality can be improved through processes and culture change and it always gets me thinking of new ideas for improving software quality and building a quality culture.

That’s probably more than enough reading for a short trip, but I’ll bring at least three of those with me just in case there’s more waiting than I anticipate. I think Rules for Radicals is the only book that’s not commonly read among my peers, so I’ll plan to share any interesting insights in a mini book report once I finish it.

3 Comments

  1. WRT the Crosby book and its suitability for application to software: I recommend the QSM series from Weinberg. He presents a model based on Crosby (and CMM) but more tailored to development software development organizations.

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