Last week I put together a reading list for an interview candidate recommending some of the books that have shaped how Redgate approaches building our ingeniously simple software products and solutions in small empowered teams.
Thought I’d share these four books that explain why we do what we do:
- Accelerate - The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations by Nicole Forsgren PhD, Jez Humble and Gene Kim — Accelerate explains the key practices, techniques and principles used by high performing software development organisations and the science behind why they drive organizational performance. As a result of the lessons in this book, we’ve implemented the Four Key Software Delivery Metrics it champions across all our product development teams. We hope to see those measures encourage valuable improvements in the coming months. If you only read one book about software development this year, make sure it’s this one.
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink — This book has helped us understand what we need to provide for our teams to unlock high engagement and performance, challenging us to identify intrinsically motivational work for our people. It led us to articulate a key principle behind how we organise our teams; “we believe the best way to build software is by engaging small teams empowered with a clear purpose, freedom to act and a drive to learn”.
- Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules by L. David Marquet — Captain Marquet’s entertaining book has forced us to challenge how we should lead our product teams, especially given what we know about intrinsic motivation thanks to Dan Pink! Turn the Ship Around explains how we should look to build a culture of empowerment, grow leaders everywhere and create a more resilient organisation.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni — Lencioni’s seminal work has taught us where our teams needed to improve and how our leadership roles should prioritize nurturing trust and collaboration, then create clear commitment and accountability, in order to build high performing teams. Thanks to this book we have been able to give many of our leaders the awareness, tools and confidence to allow them to tackle dysfunction in their teams.
There’s (literally) a whole library of books that Redgate holds dear and have shaped our thinking in programming, architecture, design, research, agile/lean delivery and people management. If you’d like to hear more about any of those, let us know in the comments.