Product/Engineering Influences

The following is a list of people, books and articles that have influenced me and my work in some way. On topics such as product and/or engineering. Depending on which angle you come from, there should be something useful in here.


🐦  Twitter Account

📕  Book

🚀 Delivery

🐦 Charity Majors - Is the founder of Honeycomb.io. Charity posts some fairly heretical thoughts about things like hiring practices, "testing in production" which I tend to align with. She also introduced me to the idea of monitoring software via "events" [1]. I highly suggest that you go down this rabbit hole. I would also highly suggest binge reading her blog [1].

🐦 Jez Humble - Author of books on Continuous Delivery. Also a strong advocate of trunk-based-development [1] and pair-programming. As am I. Was involved with the DevOps handbook [1].

📕 Getting Things Done, David Allen - I've not actually read the book itself, but I've seen several lectures, videos [1] and articles on the framework. I've been highly influenced by the ideas of: writing everything down, using a calendar to organise time (rather than todo's), etc. It's about getting clarity of mind, rather than getting things done. It's a little more profound than dry self-help as it might appear on the outside. Also this: https://hamberg.no/gtd is a great overview of the GTD framework.

📕 The Lean Startup - Good for bringing home the ideas behind MVP's. In short: It's about getting validation as quickly as possibly. A must read for anyone/everyone in a product start-up.

📕 Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems And Test New Ideas In Just 5 Days - A 5 day framework for designing and testing new product features.

🤓  Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users - Brings home the fact that usability testing doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Relates/overlaps with the Sprint book, and Lean Startup.

🎥  Usability Test Moderation Checklist - Usability testing is awesome, here's a great video on some do's and don'ts. Also see this video [1] for more on user research testing ideas.

🔭 Engineering Management

🐦 Gergely Orosz - Posts some great content on engineering management. Binge reading his blog is highly recommended [1].

📕 The Coaching Habit — If you want a framework/template for 1<>1's and a little guidance, this book is great/very practical. It’s a short read (you could read it all in a day if you want) and it gives a very clear 5 step (actually it's 5 question) framework for conducting “coaching” (read: 1<>1's). If you don’t wanna buy/read the book here’s an even shorter summary [1].

📦 Product

🐦 John Cutler - Posts some great visualisations about product management and team practices. Quite heretical at times—a good thing.

📕 The Build Trap - By Melissa Perri. Some good general thoughts on product management, and moving organisations to becoming outcome-based.

📕 Shape Up - Written by the folks at Basecamp. Gives a framework for coming up with new product ideas, and aligning your team towards it. Also worth a notable mention to the other basecamp books: ReWork (which I've read and recommend) and also: It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work, Getting Real and It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work which I'm yet to read, but I imagine are just as useful / interesting / heretical.