Fog Creek Software Management Training Reading List

Joel Spolsky over at Fog Creek Software has developed a Software Management Training Program which hopes to be practical and comprehensive:

Thus: how do we develop the next generation of managers? We don't really want to hire MBAs, because there's too much evidence that MBAs substitute book-learnin' for common sense or experience. We'd much rather hire someone who created and ran a profitable lemonade stand than someone who has taken two years of finance courses at Harvard, especially since the Harvard MBA is going to think he knows a lot more than he really does.

I've been watching for more developments. Recently Joel published the reading list. I have a lot of the ones listed in my library, and I even have some of them in MP3 format. There's a few more that I need to look into.

The real question is “What is missing?” There are a few in my opinion.

The Chasm Companion is a step beyond the recommended Fog Creek-recommended Crossing the Chasm. It's focused on implementation issues, and less about the chasm stage of the Technology Adoption Lifecycle.

There needs to be a little bit more emphasis on strategy in a management training program. I see Competing on Internet Time on the list, but I think there are better choices. Competing on the Edge delves into the trade-offs of high-tech business strategies and the timing of their implementation. Blue Ocean Strategy looks into the strategy of innovation and where best to compete.

It's important to understand getting projects done, especially software projects.

Patrick Lencioni's leadership fables, and the related field guide on teams, are important reading for understanding how teams work and the priorities of a team leader. Any of them are a great leap beyond the suggested One Minute Manager.

I found Reframing Organizations an important text on organizational theory as well.

Finally, I don't see any books on Writing, Business Law, Finance or Valuation, but I suspect that's far afield. If they are needed, I'm sure others will suggest appropriate texts.

Josh Poulson

Posted Monday, Nov 28 2005 12:00 PM

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