Over the years as a software developer, manager, and executive, I find myself reading a few "classics" over and over. One might think that the ideas discussed would get outdated over time, but this is not the case. With each read, I have a greater appreciation of the points made. The real world software battles fought (some won and some lost) give greater appreciation of the wisdom shared.
Read These First and Read These Again
Every software engineer, web developer, project manager -- any one who has a job function related to software should read these:
Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks
Hints for System Design by Butler Lampson
Whenever I start a project, I always (re)read or skim these. I point out to every new employee that they should attempt to read these. For the non-developer or inexperienced program these might not make too much sense. But there are always lessons to be learned regardless.
Current Good Reads
Not sure if these have legs that will withstand the test of time -- bu they are pretty interesting today.
Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg
This is an interesting account of what went on in OSAF's Chandler project. It provides good insight of what can go wrong, even with good people with good intentions. Very up-to-date. Makes you realize the more things change the more things stay the same.
Founders and Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston
Real accounts of by founders of start ups. Great insight.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Raymond.
Worse is Better by Richard Gabriel. The view point of releasing early, releasing often, releasing before things are fully baked -- is often attributed to the "Worse Is Better" concept. However this paper -- and its follow ons say something much more, much richer, and much more subtle. And, the follow on debates that "Worse is better is worse", "Worse is worse", and the like are somewhat interesting follow ups.
On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems by Kurt Godel. Just kidding. But for the wanker theoretician/arm chair philisopher in me, I enjoy reading this.
Blogs I Read Regularly
Skrentablog -- Rich is one of the best and brightest dyed-in-the-wool hackers come successful entrepreneur and executive. And, there's a humility, practicality and brilliance in Rich that make his blog one of my favorite reads. The best part is that he vacillates coherently from one extreme to another, seemingly contradicting himself, all the while providing perls of wisdom.
Joel on Software -- Practical advice from the trenches
Paul Graham -- Paul is a great writer with great insight. There's an idealism in Paul's point of view that I love as a software professional. I don't know if he serves the idealistic entreprenuer or serves himself/Y Combinator. Maybe/hopefully both.
Read. Write. Learn. Repeat.