Category Archives: Book reviews

October 11

What you could learn ‘Escaping the Build Trap’ by Melissa Perri (2018, 168 pages)

Nobody ever won a race by running the fastest in the wrong direction. This is one of my favourite mantras that I return to often. When I take on a new role or position, or build a new product – taking some time to observe and orientate before I acted has always enabled me to […]

What you could learn from ‘A Rulebook for Arguments’ by Anthony Weston (2017, 85 pages)

Good discussion and argument, like everything else, requires training and practice. Here are Anthony’s 50 rules for arguments. Resolve premise and conclusion – separate your argument (premise) from conclusion Unfold your ideas in a natural order – play around with the order of your argument until it feel right Start from reliable premises – open […]

May 24

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink (2009, 208 pages)

    You can buy ‘Drive’ here on Amazon UK (all proceeds go to site upkeep and any extra go to veteran charities).

May 10

What you could learn from ‘Kafka The Definitive Guide’ (2017, 280 pages)

While the shift from monolithic architecture to micro-services is now very well know (even legacy enterprise companies have begun their transition), the lesser well know, but potential more significant is the transition from request-response communication to pub-sub. Request-response, broadly (simplified) works like this: Max is thirsty and hungry and sends two requests to two different […]

March 24

What you could learn from ‘Infrastructure as Code’ by Kief Morris (2016, 326 pages)

Good book about modern software development are hard to find. Infrasturcre as code balance explaini the high-level pricnilpes with detail in a clear and compelling way. Infrastructure as code emphasises ‘consistent, repeatable routines for provision and changing systems and their configurations’. Changes are made to definitions, which are then automatically validated and cascaded across the […]

March 23

What you could learn from ‘Effective DevOps’ by Davis & Daniels (2016, 356 pages).

My advice is not to buy this book unless: You work in a large company that releases software less than one a week You have never heard of, or experienced DevOps I found this book very basic and too highly focused on culture. Much of the book is not aligned with other articles, book or […]

March 15

What you could learn from ‘Turning the Flywheel’ by Jim Collins (2019, 37 pages)

How do great companies succeed? What drives exponential growth in some companies and not others? In his book ‘Turning the Flywheel’ Jim Collins builds on his earlier work (Good to Great, How the Might Fall and Built to Last), and suggest that these great companies have managed to identify a series of reinforcing steps which […]

March 08

What you could learn from ‘Large Scale Scrum’ by Larman and Vodde (2017,325 pages)

There are a number of frameworks to apply Agile across a large organisation. Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) suggest that Scrum LeSS principles: Transparency More with less Whole-product focus Customer-centric Continuous improvement toward perfection Lean thinking System thinking Empirical process control Queuing theory There are two forms of Less: LeSS – for 2 to 8 teams […]

March 01

What you could learn from ‘The Business Case for Curiosity’ this months HBR (Sep/Oct 2018)

Re-evaluating incremental innovation Does 10X thinking work? Research of top consumer packaged good companies suggests not. When comparing two large companies (P&G and Reckitt Benckiser RB), RB had a much higher hit rate for new product innovation, despite the smaller R&D budget. The author argues this was due to RB focus on improvements to their […]

February 22

What you could learn from ‘The Hard Truth About Innovation’ HBR Jan/Feb19

Rivalry whets our appetite for risk Leaders can icnrease or decrease feeling of rivaly. The authoers aruge that when you want bold moves, you should increase the feeling of rivalry (e.g., pitting evenly matched employees against eachother). When you want to avoid mistakes, leaders should see to dampen rivalry. How did the CEO of Survey […]

February 12

What you could learn from ‘Practical Monitoring’ by Mike Julian (2017, 137 pages)

Modern software architecture makes finding what is going wrong more complex than ever before. in his book ‘Practical Monitoring’ Mike offers good advice on how to find and diagnose faults, failures and errors. Monitoring anti-patterns Tool obsession – think about the mission and goal, rather than the tool or approach Monitoring is a job – […]

February 01


Making process improvements stick After the initial focus and xxx of a new process, the benefits soon ware off, over 44% of initiatves still show benefits after two years. To keep reaping the benefits of improvements, here are the authors top tips: Visible support from board members and senior leadership (35% improvement after one year […]