12 books every IT admin working in education should read

22 November 2021 | By viviedu

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

Frederick Brooks Jr.

With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360.

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Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

The founders of Basecamp teach you how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.

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Continuous Delivery

Jez Humble & David Farley

Getting software released to users is often a painful, risky, and time-consuming process. This book sets out the principles and technical practices that enable rapid, incremental delivery of high quality, valuable new functionality to users.

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​​The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford

ICYMI in the title, this is a novel. Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It’s Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO. The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill’s entire department will be outsourced.

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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Tom DeMarco & Tom Lister

The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues in IT are human, not technical. The book explores an evolving culture of meetings, teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. 

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Creating a Software Engineering Culture

Karl E. Wiegers 

A comprehensive approach to improving the quality and effectiveness of the software development process. The book explores tactical changes required to support process improvement and identifies scores of culture builders and culture killers.

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Confessions of an Unintentional CTO

Jack Kinsella

According to the author, this book focuses on the issues most pertinent to a tech leader, such as ensuring data integrity, easing system maintenance, knowing what not to test, sharpening an application’s ability to inform one of errors, and integrating SEO/analytics/online marketing right into the very foundations of a web application.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Ben Horowitz

This book analyzes the problems that confront tech leaders every day, the challenges, the negotiations, and dismissals, hiring developers, managing and motivating your team, and cultivating a CEO mentality. One of the best books for entrepreneurial technology leaders.

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The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Eric Ries

Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, this book shares a philosophy that relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, and measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics. It enables an organization to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

Michael Lopp

This book visits a place full of dysfunctional bright people who are in an incredible hurry to find the next big thing so they can strike it rich and then do it all over again. Among these people are managers, a strange breed of people who, through a mystical organizational ritual, have been given power over the future and bank accounts of many others.

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Modern CTO

Joel Beasley

Developers are not CTOs, but developers can learn how to be CTOs. This book is an in-depth roadmap on how to successfully navigate the unexplored and jagged transition between these two roles, with a refreshing take on the challenges, lessons, and things to avoid on this journey.

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Don’t Make Me Think!

Steve Krug

One of the most influential books on web design, this book teachers you how to communicate with other departments effectively as a technology leader. Included: essential ammunition for those whose bosses, clients, stakeholders, and marketing managers insist on doing the wrong thing.

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