Cynthia Karena January 03, 2012
What will you be reading this year?
Now is the time to brush up on your knowledge.
Want to catch up on your technology reading over summer? Learn some new tricks, perhaps? Here are a few new and well-loved title recommendations from CTO's, researchers, futurologists and IT Pro to put on your list or spend that gift voucher on.
Zero Day: A Novel, by Mark Russinovich
With foreword by Howard Schmidt, the cyber czar to US President Barack Obama, this book has been described by one Amazon.com reviewer as "A thriller for the IT department". Its author is a Microsoft insider, having joined the company through its acquisition of Winternals, and after he found flaws in Windows.
One for the cyberthriller fans. Available in hard copy and as a Kindle edition.
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
Compulsory reading for gadget lovers, business managers and techies alike. Although much of it has already appeared in print and on websites as excerps, readers may still enjoy the only authorised biography of Apple's co-founder. Isaacson's other best-selling biographies were of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
The Macintosh Way, by Guy Kawasaki
There has been much written about Apple and its founders, but one IT professional recommends this book above all others.
"A much better read than any of the books about Steve Jobs," says Michael Hansen, VP of Zendesk helpdesk software company. "Guy, who was an early Apple employee, explains how they did it and how to use Evangelism to drive your business and in everyday life."
Available as a free download.
Kingpin, by Kevin Poulson
Readers will be left in no doubt about the cyber underground, after reading this gripping real-life triller by former hacker, white hat, turned award-winning journalist and Wired blogger Kevin Poulson. Poulson tells the story of the carder market's coup that occupied the FBI for months, complete with the inside story and stage names of the cyber cops.
Available in hard copy, Kindle and Nook editions.
Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, by Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O'Brien
"In this day and age when we give well-known IT figures almost rock star status for their impact on our lives, this book provides an in-depth look at the evolution and impact of computing on our society.
"And it highlights the truly significant role the 'boring folk' at IBM have played (remember that IBM still holds more patents than anyone)," says Steven Hedge, CEO of technology company ISI.
The book by the three journalists has been distributed to all IBM employees and is available from bookstores.
Agile Data Warehousing: Delivering World-Class Business Intelligence Systems Using Scrum and XP, by Ralph Hughes
Conrad Bates, managing partner of C3 Business Solutions, says this book which condenses more than ten years of research conducted by Ceregenics into a business intelligence tome, provides an alternative to 'waterfall project planning'.
It provides "a streamlined framework for building data warehousing/business intelligence applications that regularly deliver modules faster with one fourth the developer hours, cut project costs in half, and drive project defect rates toward zero," he says.
Available in hard copy with free delivery.
The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman
"It includes some great anecdotes and unlike some other tech books, it is a simple and really interesting read," says Cameron Wall the other C3 managing partner. "The book teaches you the basics behind good design - not just computing - and the advice within is as relevant today as when it was first published."
It is now almost a classic and one of many books by Norman whose series also includes the more recent Emotional Design.
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, by Ori & Rom Brafman
Not a technology book, but one that may explain the behaviours many IT professionals must contend with every day and when planning security and education campaigns.
"A great book to start you thinking about things in a different way," says Peter Long, CEO of Lockbox, a global provider of 'cloud privacy' file sharing and collaboration services.
Available in hard copy and on the Android market.
As One, by Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley
Co-author James Quigley is CEO of giant consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. With Baghai he looks at the discoveries from the firm's two-year "As One" global project into effective collaboration.
"An excellent book proposing that there are eight team management styles rather than just collaboration and/or command-and-control," says Glenn Gore, CTO at Melbourne IT.
Avalable in hard copy.
The Social Organization: How To Use Social Media To Tap The Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees, by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald
A book to enlighten those in business on the corpoerate uses of social networks. A Gartner Fellow, McDonald presented on the topic at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast this year. If you missed that, the book is available from online bookstores.
Rise of the Creative Classes, by Richard Florida
Recommended by futurologist, Tim Longhurst, this 2004 book looks at the forces reshaping our economy and how companies, communities and people can survive and prosper in uncertain times.
Available in hard copy.
Do you have any other recommendations for IT professionals and decision makers to read over summer and into the new year? Use the comments feature below.