ArticleS. MichaelFeathers.
MyRecentReads [add child]

My Recent Reads

I’m behind on my reading, but I’ll catch up eventually (yeah, right). This is a list of books that have made an impression on my forehead recently.

A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design – Lee Copeland
Very well written.. very clear.. very witty introduction/overview of test design techniques. It cuts to the chase and explains the most important things. Recommended for any/all programmers.

Fit for Developing Software – Rick Mugridge and Ward Cunningham
Fit (Framework for Integrated Testing) is the dark horse framework, the framework that would benefit nearly everyone if only they took the time to play with it a bit and learn how powerful it is. This book is the gateway. Great for customers, analysts, testers, and developers.

Domain Driven Design – Eric Evans
This book was a real sleeper for me. When I first looked at it, I said “okay, I know that.” Later I came back to check something and said, “yeah, that’s kind of what I thought.” After a while, I found myself going back to it more and more. DDD is a different kind of development book. It contains sage wisdom that has to rattle around with your experience a bit before it works its spell. For everything in the book that I knew, there was something else lying in wait to tackle me.

Fearless Change – Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising
Extremely well written guide to the people side of the business. The first thing a consultant learns is that our work isn't technical, it's people work. Sure, we teach technical things and solve technical problems, but unless we help people change, the technical knowledge falls on the floor and lies there. This book is written for people who are charged with changing their organizations. It contains a lot of distilled wisdom.

Blink – Malcom Gladwell
The subtitle of this book is ‘The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’. In a nutshell, it’s about deep learning, the kind of learning that becomes nearly innate, and as a result becomes something that’s hard to explain. Ask an expert how he did something and he’ll say “I don’t know” or “It was just obvious.” This book has changed the way that I think about teaching and learning.

So much for the books.

I learned today that C/C++ User's Journal has just shipped its last issue. It's the end of an era. C and C++ have long been languages which have attracted deep thinkers and extremely skilled programmers, and CUJ was one of their hangouts (for close to thirty years!). It was one of the few remaining magazines targeted toward experienced developers, and it delivered hardcore tech in every issue. Sad day.


 Mon, 9 Jan 2006 14:54:14, Tommy S, Nice tips!
Michael, I just want to say thanks for sharing this list! I must dive into my DDD (instead of just skimming it) and I'll check out that Blink book. And then the other ones...
Too sad about CUJ. I just visited their website and found no info for this?! Three days ago I renewed my subscription...

- Thanks. I didn't see anything when I went to their website either. The note on the magazine told me that they were applying the rest of my balance to a Dr. Dobb's subscription. Maybe they were just cancelling me and they didn't want to tell me directly. :-) -- MichaelFeathers
 Tue, 21 Feb 2006 18:51:43, fds, nice list
one thing that came to my mind reading your list of books is what this
list is about. does it contain all the books you recently read? does it
contain only books you appreciated? if that is the case, what are the
books you didn't like?
 Tue, 21 Feb 2006 21:19:19, MichaelFeathers, books
It's funny, I wrote the list right before 1/2006 and I started it as a list of favorites from 2005. I forget why I decided not to call it a list of favorites. I tend not to remember books I don't like. I guess I should try to. It would be fun to write up reviews for some of those.

I've found this site recently: It's run by Laurent Bossavit. Each page on the wiki has to be the name of a book or a person. There a lot of nice reviews. I have some reviews of things I've been reading recently there:
 Sun, 6 Aug 2006 11:31:39, leoyang22, ok!