Here is a list of classic articles and books that have informed my thinking on software engineering.

This list does not include my list of (great) programming, philosophy or management books, but speaks more to understanding and managing software development on a higher level - as I believe most software endeavors succeed/fail before a line of code was written.

A note on learning:

Almost all I know and believe about software comes from experiences and observations in delivering software, but that does not discount the value in these tomes. I typically learn a fundamental principle by first observing a phenomenon in various environments, and then, when I come across a great study or article which clearly expresses and justifies the principle I get that “AHA!” moment where deep understanding is formed. E.g. seeing estimation inaccuracy occur 100s of times, and then reading Don Reinertsen’s description of variability in product developments gave me a big “AHA!”.

Too be honest, so much in software engineering isn’t obvious or intuitive and I initially miss the messages in books that were not pre-empted by my experiences (XP being a prime example).

Here goes:

Approach and principles:

Building the right thing

Building the thing right

Being a professional developer

People, teams, systems and environment (still have a lot of reading to do here!)

*Books I have to read again, because I didn’t realise their significance when I read it, and therefore didn’t absorb the content.

**Books I have only skimmed that are still on my must-read.

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Jacques de Vos


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