9 Books IT Leaders Should Read
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User Rank: Guru
7/11/2014 | 8:30:31 PM
Maybe our IT "Leaders" ought to read a book on introduction to computer science
Twenty years in IT, with some major Fortune 100s, and large federal agencies. Too many times I have seen IT leaders who are fully incompetatent or on the verge of imcompetence. Soon after they open their mouths one realizes they are in the dark on things IT, yet because of an MBA, or a polished appearance HR hires them. It's OK not to know everything; who can. But, to pretend is another thing. Then, because of their fear of being exposed they try all kinds of stunts, to manipulate those under them, put them down and generally act with crulity and stupidity. There is not enough room to list all the examples, but in one recent case my IT leader, took 5 minutes to explain to me what a DMZ is and where the acronym came from. Then, when I suggested we might be able to capture data returned from a query to a web site (may be a cludge, but if it were in XML maybe not so hard) but he replied that that was impossible because the content was 'cached.' Yes I said that is the point, cached locally on the browser's hosting PC. I was then admonished that I needed to learn my terms better and to be exact and clear when speaking tech. On another occassion, he, in front of about  5 people, proceed to sketch out a 3-tier Oracle architecutre and then proceeded to tell us it was very complicated and maybe hard for us to understand. I grasped all these things decades ago, but he and his boss are unable to relate to me and others they supervise as anything less than childeren who don't know anything, not withstanding than many of us have more experience than they. Oh well, my friend Roger's rule is, as long as the checks keep coming in, just go along, but definitely watch out innovating, as it might be too threatening to the pretenders. Many have these Master's degrees in IT management, but do not know a bit from a byte.


Am I too cynical, or just still working way beyond my pasture time?
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 7:50:27 PM
You forgot one
"Who we are and what we want" by Phillip Riederle...the only book that explains what young people of the digital age really want. Of course, if you only have old people in your audience who print out emails to put the prinout on the copier....skip this one.
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 3:13:14 PM
Re: Great, more books on my list
I really like The Alchemist. Great work of fiction that has some real-world ethos. I paged through the New Digital Age and honestly I was not captivated and I didn't end up buying it.

But I think that books are a very personal experience, even moreso than movies. It's really a matter of taste. 
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 1:00:53 PM
Re: 9 Books IT Leaders Should Read
I've really been digging all these lists you guys have been posting recently. There was James Connolly's fantastic list of where the great tech innovators of yesteryear are today (a worthwhile recap for those of us young and old alike), as well as Curt Franklin's list of 7 Surprising Technologies From World WarI just the other week ('surprising' may have been an understatement) and now, of course, this. It wouldn't have been hard to rattle off a list of  nine business-oriented books that came out in the last year, but It's good to see a list that goes above and beyond, posting a wide variety of topics that IT Leaders ought to keep current (or refresh themselves) on.

I'm a little surprised to see a book as old as The Alchemist on here (I read it in high school). Certainly, you won't find any dispute from me that the concepts there are relevant to a modern leader or to anyone for that matter. Still, I'm curious as to your reasoning for choosing it over any number of allegorical books written before our since - do you think there's something special that speaks to technology leaders? Likewise with The Invention Of Wings (which I haven't read). I suspect most good books could give inspiration to most anyone - what got this one on this list? Just a favorite of yours?
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 10:42:02 AM
Re: Great, more books on my list
I read two other books by Sue Monk Kidd -- very well written. I just put in a request for the one you recommended. 
User Rank: Moderator
7/10/2014 | 10:14:35 AM
Re: Great, more books on my list
Sounds more interesting than any of the ones in the article, I may actually try to find this one.
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 6:11:54 PM
Great, more books on my list
I've not read Seth Godin's work beyond his blogging (which I like), so this offers a good place to start.

At the IW Conference, Adrian Cockcroft (of Battery Venture, formerly Netflix) pitched the book the Phoenix Project, as a fictional story of an IT project gone terribly wrong. It's written as a tech-centric tribute to the classic The Goal.

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