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Discussion on: Three Books

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angeliquejw profile image
Angelique

So, as an interview question, I would skip this one. Even as a voracious reader myself, I think it skirts too close to hiring someone who is like me, does things like me, approaches things like me. Even if I am a successful member of the team, modeling all new senior hires after myself is limiting!

But, also, being a voracious reader, I can't help but also answer this question. Moving more into management/leadership roles, my current list skews to that:

📕 Don't Make Me Think I read this later in my career, despite the fact that it's considered a pretty foundational book. I found it to be validating about my own ideas about UX and provide me with some clear ideas of things to look for, questions to ask when doing design review of comps. Krug's follow-up book about user testing is also very worthwhile, especially for small teams where you may need to wear many hats.

📙 Radical Candor Immensely helpful context for giving feedback to your colleagues and peers. The name originally turned me off (too close to brutal honesty, I suppose), but I'm glad I picked it up.

📘 The Manager's Path Great insights about the expectations, challenges and impact at various stages in your tech career. Compared to other books about management that may only be helpful in your first year of management or when leading a team of a certain size, this one has broad appeal.

✨ Bonus choice: In addition to learning and developing my craft and skills through books, I've also found it helpful to learn more about the domain of our product and the issues faced by our users. For me, that currently means understanding college professors and students better. To that end, I found Small Teaching to be a great summary of current learning science, including ways faculty might be looking to implement those strategies and findings in their courses.

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gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes Author

I think it skirts too close to hiring someone who is like me

I agree- the danger of all hiring - we want people who are different, but the same! On reflection, the idea implicit here is that senior developers should read books - should be "readers" who want to read books and to learn things from reading books.

Maybe this is both "too much to ask" and too biased towards people who are like me (not as voracious as I was in my teens I'm afraid to say).

In any case, thanks for sharing your books and pushing back!

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gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes Author

(Is Radical Candour good? As a phrase it's always seemed like an excuse for nasty people to be nastier...)

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angeliquejw profile image
Angelique

That was exactly what put me off the book when it was recommended to me. It is far, far better than its title and really is much more grounded in wanting to deliver good feedback and doing so from a place rooted in caring about your team.