10 books every IT Manager should read

10 books every IT Manager should read

Free time and a good reads are the best partners of any IT Manager who wants to succeed and grow in their position, don’t lose the habit!

Don’t worry, I get it. Reading an actual physical book is so ten years ago. Today with the technology there could even be an app for VR where a mystical elf reads you the book while you rest on a stump. But there is something about them that really helps us understand the original vision of the authors, and there are great pieces for IT Management to learn from.

This is why we have compiled our list of the ten books an IT Manager should read, in no particular order, because rankings are for very organized people and popular YouTube channels.

There are a ton of books about IT that cover the different areas you have to deal with every single day. From management to software control, hardware security, knowing how to deal with people and lots of other subjects that you might or might not encounter on a daily basis, and the following texts might offer light on how to deal with them.

1.- The No A$$hole Rule by Robert I. Sutton

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I said MIGHT because, oh boy dealing with people is hard. This Wall Street Journal and New York Times Bestseller is all about finding the different conflict points created by people relationships in the workplace and how to deal with them. Be it other employees, managers or even yourself.

This kind of behavior happens everywhere, and sometimes people don’t realize they are being jerks to each other. “The No A$$hole Rule” (with S instead of $, but we’re not putting that here because of reasons) will also help identify the conduct that is creating the toxic environment and is a must read for any manager of any kind.

2.- Code Complete 2nd Edition by Steve McConell

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Maybe having to code isn’t part of your job, but chances are you probably know how to or would like to. This 900 pages beast has everything you need to know about coding and it is always a nice companion to have near.

You never know when an idea might pop and have the perfect idea for your workplace, or you want to tool around with tools with open source (like Prey wink wink). Most of the examples are in Java or C++ and like some people say “There is no knowledge that is not power”.

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100% not a Mortal Kombat quote

3.- Quick and Nimble by Adam Bryant

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The full title is “Quick and Nimble: Lessons From the Leading CEOs on How To Create a Culture of Innovation” but it wouldn’t fit in the subtitle. This book is all about quotes, experiences, and stories put together by New York Times columnist Adam Bryant.

This is a great point for people to start reading if they want to learn how other people made it big since it made using over 200 interviews with CEOs from companies like LinkedIn, A&E, and Siemens. A short but intense read that could help inspire anyone starting to work or who wants to imitate the best.

4.- Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

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As an IT Manager your goal is to probably become an IT leader, or at least it should be, ambition is the first step to success, so what better advice than on of the Vice Presidents of Human Resources at Google?

Bock explains in his book how it important to know how to lead a team, not just being the one pulling the string, but being a companion in the whole process, training and supporting the team not by imposing power but by being one more of them.

After you read it you’ll want to put it close to however’s in charge in your workplace. Maybe a couple things will change after that.

5.- Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier

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Big Data. Sounds like a Sesame Street character, but it is actually a way of analysis of information in large quantities to discover hidden patterns and previously unknown trends that, if exploited, could end up becoming a new focus. This is why companies are starting to consider when talking about new IT departments.

Hey there! Do you have to keep an eye on your office’s mobile fleet? See what you can do to further secure them.

Every IT professional should at least know what it is and maybe even be an expert on it. Maybe you could become the hero of the department by introducing this new revolution.

6.- Does IT Matter? by Nicholas Carr

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You work at information technology. You’re an important part of every single business in this technology-driven era. Or are you? Nicholas Carr takes his time to explain the role IT plays inside an institution and dares to ask if the department is actually useful. It is a daring book that dwells inside of what makes it so important and how it can be improved and what trends should be left behind.

This is an important read for every person involved with IT and will help know how big of a cog they are inside the whole machine.

7.- The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford  

The-Phoenix-Project-721.jpgYes. A novel about IT. Even if it is usually portrayed as the department where nothing happens, this book follows Bill, a Vice president of IT who has to save a dying project or face the consequences. I will not spoil the ending, but he manages to achieve something by thinking outside the box. A very large box.

Think “Die Hard”, but without terrorists, guns, McClaine, bombs or explosions. Actually, scrap that, the only things in common are the office and that they are both really good.

DieHard.gifReally, really good.

8.- The Road Ahead by Bill Gates

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A Blast from the past! Bill Gates wrote this book just as Microsoft was releasing Windows 95, a game changer for the whole world. In this book, Gates talks about the incoming PC revolution and how the Internet would morph our lifestyles in the upcoming years.

He points out that in his future in schools would study using tablets, we would be able to video chat and have all sorts of gadgets. And guess what, he was right. “The Road Ahead” is about the world we are living in, but through the eyes of one of the most influential geeks ever.

9.- Technical Impact: Making Your Information Technology Effective and Keeping it That Way by Al Kuebler

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“Technical Impact” is all about knowing how to talk about IT issues and problems with executives who aren’t as bright in the subject as you. I know you’ve been there, and trying to explain what an API is to somebody who thinks he’s Apu’s long lost cousin isn’t going to work.

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Simpsons reference! Gotta have one of those in every article

Kuebler does great work helping both sides understand the issues and makes communication even better. It will also give advice on how to develop yourself as a professional.

10.- Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

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Either you love or hate Steve Jobs, you must be already tired of his story. Countless movies, books and biopics have been written about him. And while I admit he did a great job, there’s a guy who deserves more praise: Alan Turing, the grandfather of modern computers.

I know I’m cheating with this one, but hear me out. This biography shows all the hardships Turing had to endure while developing the concept of a universal machine, which would become the foundation of modern computers,  while also helping the allies decipher the Nazi’s Enigma Code. It is truly a great read which should be done by every IT manager in search of inspiration or wanting to honor the man who didn’t get the praise he deserved back when he was alive.

Have you read a book about IT that has inspired you? Share it with us.


data protection and anti theft

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.