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May 25, 2005

Two Recommended Essayists

There are two online technology essay writers who I truly enjoy reading: Scott Berkun and Paul Graham. Paul is probably the more well known of the two given his Hacker and Painters book, but I think that both have a unique insights in the software industry and the development process. Both are excellent writers who take a deeper, philosophical look at human nature and the specifically the traits of professionals, they investigate the fundamentals of human collaboration, and the ways that it impacts our daily lifes Paul's background is in Lisp programming, while Scott's is in program management and UI design. If you want to sample Paul Graham I suggest you start with "Made in the USA", for Scott Berkun I suggest his recent "Why Smart People Defend Bad Ideas".

What triggered this posting is that Scott Berkun now also has a book out: "The Art of Project Management" which I think is very much worthwhile reading for anyone involved in project management. There is a lot of useful food for thought in this book as well as many pratical suggestions, and this week it will land on the desks of the people that work for and with me as "suggested reading". A sample chapter can be found at Scott's book site, if you are interested in sampling before you buy.

Posted by Werner Vogels at May 25, 2005 01:51 AM
TrackBacks

All Things Distributed
Excerpt: I just came across one of the better blogs on information technology: All Things Distributed by Werner Vogel. Vogel, CTO at Amazon, writes clearly and intellligently on a variety of topics but with a focus on
Weblog: The NOSE: Alfred Essa's Weblog
Tracked: May 29, 2005 12:02 PM
Scott Berkunís blog
Excerpt: Following Werner Vogelís advice, I just discovered the Scott Berkunís blog. Indeed, this is a great essayist. Have a look to it. Moreover, there is a forum where you can interact with Scott. Somebody asked him to compare Apple and Microsoft design s...
Weblog: Bernard Notarianni
Tracked: June 5, 2005 03:35 PM
Comments

Hi, Werner. Great recommendations! I enjoy Paul Graham's essays too.

You have probably read them already, but I'd also recommend Rapid Development (an excellent, practical project management book) and Peopleware (a book on productive teams).

Rapid Development
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/1556159005/

Peopleware
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0932633439/

Posted by: Greg Linden on May 25, 2005 10:41 AM

Werner,

Thank you. You were my random "good thing" today.

I am working on a project and was frustrated. I decided to take a break and get some "virtual air". I strolled through my news feeds and came across your posting. I only got through the first paragraph.

I clicked on the "Mad in the USA" link and was enthralled. I followed a link on that page to "Taste for Makers" and felt I had been lead to the promised land. I too will be reading everything Paul Graham writes.

So, to my surprise as I returned to read the second paragraph of your posting my jaw was able to drop even further to the floor.

I am not able to afford many things these days and have been struggling to decide if I should buy this new book that has been getting good reviews. I have started a group with the hope of creating something elegant where I only saw scattered chaos. I thought a book on Project Management might help me do a better job of accomplishing my goal. The project isn't a business venture, so I couldn't justify the cost at this point. Imagine my surprise when I read, "What triggered this posting is that Scott Berkun now also has a book out: 'The Art of Project Management'"

So, based on your post recommending Paul, and putting Scott in the same category as Paul, and knowing now that Scott wrote the book I have been coveting for over a week I am now going to read Paul daily, also bookmark Scott, go out to buy his book, and wonder what you will recommend next.

Funny how things happen.

Posted by: Chaim Krause on May 26, 2005 03:47 PM