21 books for Engineering Managers / Development Managers that guided me in 2011

As an Engineering Manager / Development Manager aspiring to be a good software craftsman I want to promote good engineering practices, clean code, scalable solutions, all driven by self-org teams that continuously improve their abilities and skills.
I am fully aware that I cannot support my team in these directions if I do not continue to study every day.

This shall not be seen as a “must read” or like a “top 20”, there might be some better books that can help you boost your career or some other fundamental readings that I did not list here,
maybe because I already read those books in the past :).
Leadership books like “Peopleware”, “Five Disfunctions of a Team”, “7 habits…”, or classic software books like “Code Complete”, “Joel on Software” or in general authors like
Martin Fowler, Mike Cohn, Craig Larman, Tom De Marco are a must read for every professional in our industry.
If you are interested in statistics and stuff like “top 10” etc, you can have a look on Jurgen Appello’s blog (not all the lists are updated to 2012 but they are still relevant): http://www.noop.nl/lists.html.

Here is a list of  21 books that guided me in 2011:


  1. The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise
  2. Growing Software: Proven Strategies for Managing Software Engineers
  3. Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager
  4. The Productive Programmer (Theory in Practice (O’Reilly))
  5. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
  6. Codermetrics: Analytics for Improving Software Teams
  7. The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers (Robert C. Martin Series)
  8. Confessions of a Public Speaker (English and English Edition)
  9. Hire With Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams
  10. Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions
  11. Algorithms For Interviews


  1. Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
  2. 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts
  3. Managing Software Debt: Building for Inevitable Change (Agile Software Development Series)
  4. A Practical Guide to Feature-Driven Development
  5. Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (Pragmatic Programmers)


  1. Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk
  2. Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software
  3. Agile Documentation: A Pattern Guide to Producing Lightweight Documents for Software Projects (Wiley Software Patterns Series)
  4. Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process
  5. Agile ALM: Lightweight tools and Agile strategies


  1. PM Hut said

    Hi Ionel,

    I think you should have probably created a section for projet management and listed all the Agile books under it.

  2. Honestly I do not belive in a distinct PM role in Agile teams. I am in favor of a strong PO plus a good technical lead. This is a powerfull pair in each team/project that can provide leadership and mentoring.

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