Reading recommendations from 2020

Just like last year, I’d like to shortly dig into my readings from last year and want to throw out a few recommendations.

From the books I read in 2020 two were really outstanding. Outstanding in the sense that they will keep me company for a while - to the degree, that I’ve been discussing them with colleagues and friends while also making use of what I’ve discovered and learned from then in my (daily) work.

As always: Don’t buy books from Amazon. Buy books from your local book dealer! First it might seem that this is less convenient but checkout how your local book dealer operates. My local book dealer actually accepts orders via e-mail and I get them delivered at no cost, carbon-neutral via bike courier to my front door.

Team Topologies

Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais gives the reader a framework to understand and improve IT organisations, their teams and how they work together. The complete title is: “Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow”, which sets a very accurate expectation on what to draw from the book. The book sparked me so much that I’ve had a reading club on it with two devops coaches who both were also very inclined by the book. I’ve been meaning to actually dive deeper into the book on this blog as well. “Team Topologies” has been published by IT Revolution , the same publisher that published books such as the “DevOps Handbook” and “The Phoenix Project”. I’ve actually been working my way through their whole set of books and so far I’m really excited about their books.

The connected company

While for the most books I come to them because other books I read refer to them or someone recommends them to me, The connected company by Dave Gray and Thomas Vander Wal actually found it way to me in a more direct way - one day the mailman rang my bell and handed me a package with the book. One of the founders of a startup that I’ve been mentoring for the past few years decided that I should read this book. “The connected company” looks at companies in the 21st century and takes a holistic approach doing so. It starts by the chance that companies see with their customers being more and more connected to each other all the way towards the learning organisation. The author presents the concept of the “podular organization” - an organization that is much more about self-organizing than hierarchy. In my opinion a must read for anyone who wants to shape their surrounding organization.