ServerlessCraic Ep21 Become an awesome Software Architect with these 12 books


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To help you become an awesome software architect, we have picked out our top four books to make 12 in total. We are looking at engineering books have influenced both ourselves and 'The Flywheel Effect' book.

1. 'Continuous Delivery' came out in 2011. And it has been massively influential in how high performing teams deliver their software today. It is still as fresh as it was when it was written. And a lot of teams would do well to actually read it again.

2. 'Domain Driven Design' is a good book on how to describe a domain, good domain models and the importance of collaboration, communication and shared understanding, including their chapter on ubiquitous languages. You can be in different types of stacks or scenarios, but the knowledge is abstract so it's broadly applicable.

3. The Simon Wardley Book I have got a print copy of it. And I find myself always coming back to it. I think it was out in 2011. It's chunky and quite academic. So it's not exactly an easy read. But it's as deep as well, as they say. So I'm a big fan and I always go back to it. I don't take every word of it literally. But it's definitely a good read and will challenge your thinking still to this day.

4. 'Accelerate' by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim. This is a game changer. I think everyone the industry understands that. It distills down and captures (with scientific backing) all of the things that we were trying to articulate or were trying to push or evolve in our ecosystem.The capabilities to drive improvement, the scientific backing and little snippets of good advice and guidance. It is one of the best.

5. 'Extreme Ownership' by Jocko Willink. There's some cracking guidance on how to own something and lead. One that sticks out is centralised command and leading up and down the line. It's a well thought out and structured book on how to think, modern leadership and how to motivate people to be successful. I enjoy reading about how to think through systems, particularly in a leadership position, in technical orbs and stuff like that. It helps you to think like a leader.

6. 'Team Topologies' by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. It's such a powerful question to ask 'what type of team are you?' And the response is: 'what do you mean?'. The answer is that you're a platform team, an enablement team, a value stream team or you're not anything. And all the techniques are in it with different tools and team API's and stuff. I think it's really practical. You can pick it up and implement tomorrow.

7. 'Reaching Cloud Velocity' It covers how to succeed in the cloud. In other words what are the principles and tenets that you should apply. What are the cultural and organisational things you should think about as you're starting to move to the cloud. It looks at the architectural approaches and patterns you should adopt. And how to do security and governance. It also looks at what's your business strategy, now that you're in the cloud.

8. 'Designing Data Intensive Applications' is almost a bible for anything data related such as streaming, different types of databases and why you make decisions on certain types of databases. You get into the design and the nuance of it. And understanding the landscape. It's broken into 2 to 3 minute blocks. So you can get straight into it and get perspective or context.

9. 'Creativity Inc', by Ed Catmull. The book is about Pixar, who went up against Disney by direct selling films. The full title of the book is 'Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration' . They talk about the inspiration of creating and then actually making it. And how they structured the company and all the challenges they had.

10. 'Working Backwards' by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr. We see Amazon from the outside eg., Amazon Prime, deliveries and Alexa. But how do they actually do it? How can they be so successful and set themselves up for success? What way are their leadership structured? 'Working Backwards' distils down and gives insight into how Amazon operates at that sort of scale. It looks at how they have remained successful despite their growth.

11. 'Ask Your Developer' by Jeff Lawson, looking at the developer centric approach at Twilio. There's a lot of good content on how to inspire great individuals and teams to be creative. There's a good chapter on developer experience, their golden path and off roading. And how they've organised around developer experience.

12. 'The Software Architect Elevator', by Gregor Hohpe. I love his concept of an architect riding the elevator to talk to the executive in the penthouse, going down to the basement to write code and then all the floors in between. He talks about the how an architect can behave and operate to be successful in a company. Gregor is the 'architect's architect'.

Serverless Craic from The Serverless Edge @ServerlessEdge

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