Here’s a very subjective list of the books worth reading to better get how successful software is made:
“Crossing the Chasm”
This is a must-read for startups even though the book is on disruptive products. Your product development stage changes the way you communicate, set your roadmap and which groups of users you should listen to most.
The “Chasm” is the gap between the first enthusiasts that downloaded your product, and the majority of pragmatic users willing to adopt it for daily business. I really liked the part about why some products “outmarket” the others, even though they might be technologically simpler or less feature rich.
“Inside the Tornado”
‘Inside the Tornado” is a book by the same author as “Crossing the Chasm” and it’s about what’s after the Chasm. Success is not guaranteed — even there. You must ship, ship, ship your product — and focus. And do not add any features or introduce any disruptive changes.
“Joel on Software”
Well, this is a blog. However, Joel has written some books too — compiling the best posts from his blog. Not everybody knows that this is THE Joel who created StackOverlow :) But before that, he worked at Microsoft on MS Excel and then on crafting his own software products at FogCreek Software. I can say that I agree with 99% of the things Joel has written on project management, hiring developers, and building products. A must read.
“The Inmates are running the Asylum”
This is a pretty old one (you can probably still order it on Amazon!). It was written long before the term “Usability” became popular, by the author who was in charge of building Visual Basic at Microsoft. It clearly shows the differences in how developers and end-users perceive the very same things. It also shows really well why there are so many, well, bullies, and so much testosterone in IT — and why software-dev. communities aren’t as inclusive as they could be.
“Getting Real” and “Rework”
These are two books by 37 signals (the company that created Basecamp, and DHH — its co-founder created the Ruby on Rails framework as a side project :-)). The book is all about the fact that you can start your thing without a revolution. You can start without copying or competing with other folks. Focus on your idea, spend 2–4 hours per day afterwork and you could get there. It was very motivating for me — especially as I read it while starting Divante as a company.
OK, I could list even more books (I actually did in this article) — getting into tech/coding etc. But just let me know if it makes any sense — with your claps and replies :-)