Here are my book recommendations for 2017, based on my learning objective to refresh my IT knowledge for the cloud / AI / ML / open source era. The catalyst for this learning effort was a real coincidence of multiple events happening all at the same time: my employer gave me training with MIT Sloan, I went to a conference on Artificial Intelligence, my employer started a marketing campaign about innovation and the new, and finally a friend joined a start-up and suggested some reading. All of these things crystallised in my mind and my current employer’s training left me somewhat unsatisfied and yearning for more, so I decided that I needed to build my own training program to give my IT skills a refresh.

A colleague asked me what I was reading so I thought I’d put it all together for others to consider.

Total Budget Required: About 500 EUR (plus I recommend buying a Kobo Aura One for another 220 EUR, bringing your total to about 720 EUR). In all cases, I am reading these books in their source language (i.e. English).

Books annotated with two stars ** indicate that I am currently reading them (i.e. not quite finalised my recommendation of them as of 01/03/2018).

Startup Spirit: What does it take to succeed as a start-up / challenger. These are highly referenced books and are very motivational / conversational in style – more for inspiration than material.

  • The Lean Startup, Eric Ries (18 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • Exponential Organizations: Why new organisations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it), Salim Ismail (8 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen (18 EUR Amazon: Link)

Mindset: What kind of mindset do you need to succeed in innovation these are really great books to give you alternatives on how to think differently.

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman (9 EUR, Link)
  • Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale, Jennifer Davis and Katherine Daniels (19 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • X-Teams: How to build teams that Lead, Innovate, and Succeed, Deborah Ancona, Henrik Bresman (21 EUR Amazon: Link)

Leadership and Innovation / Design Thinking: Focusing on the IDEO founder’s trilogy of books, these give a great insight into how this design firm motivates a certain mindset, structures, and selects their team to build innovative designs for their clients.

  • The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, Tom Kelley. (6 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • The Ten Faces of Innovation: Strategies for Heightening Creativity, Tom Kelley (10 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • **Creative Confidence, Tom Kelley (9 EUR Amazon: Link)

Product Design: What it takes to transform an idea and build it into a product. The Don Norman books have a lot of great examples on design hits and misses and are highly entertaining. On the other side, the Eppinger and Ulrich book pull this all together on present a very academic approach.

  • The Design of Future Things, Don Norman (8 EUR Amazon Link)
  • The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition, Don Norman (8 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • Emotional Design: Why we Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Don Norman (8 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • Product Design and Development, Steven Eppinger, Karl Ulrich (110 EIR Amazon: Link)

Executing Design in IT: What does it take to execute in a highly innovative and energetic environment.

  • Sprint, How to solve big problems and test new ideas, Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz (13 EUR Amazon: Link)

Culture: AI and and computing history, to provide a little bit of history on how we got here and where we are going.

  • **The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, Pedro Domingos (7 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • The Soul of a New Machine, Trace Kidder (7 EUR Amazon: Link)

The Coal Face: To learn the new school, you need to know the old school. Everything you need to know about managing IT infrastructure and applications in the old school and the new.

  • **The Practice of System and Network Administration, Volume 1, Third Edition, Thomas A. Limoncelli (20 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • **The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and Operating Large Distributed Systems, Thomas A. Limoncelli (22 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software, Michael T. Nygard (22 EUR Amazon: Link)

Innovation in IT: Now you know how to do it, and you have the idea, maybe you might want to build it. The spring book is now getting a little old, but still relevant for a lot of people. My current development track is focused on open source Angular, python, ruby, amoungst others in a containerised deployment, so take my recommendations here with a pinch of salt if you are learning other technical things at this time.

  • **Implementing Domain-Driven Design, Vaughn Vernon (20 EUR Amazon: Link)
  • **Learning Behavior Driven Development with Javascript, Enrique Amadeo (20 EUR Packt: Link)
  • js Design Patterns, Mario Casciaro (30 EUR Packt: Link)
  • Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 Essentials, Alex Libby (17 EUR Packt: Link
  • NG-Book, Ari Lerner (39 USD: Link)
  • **Deep Learning: A Practitioner’s Approach, Josh Patterson (20 EUR Amazon:Link)
  • Spring in Action, 4th Edition, Craig Walls (32 EUR Amazon: Link)

Free Reading: For digital solutions, the main documentation is all online. Read these to keep getting the inspiration to push you to the next level.

  • Technical Blog posts:
  • Cloud Architecture and Solutions: Available from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
  • **Chaos Engineering, Building Confidence in System Behavior through Experiments, Rosanthal, Hochstein, Blohwiak, Jones Basiri. A free book, search for it on google.
  • **The Future Computed, Artificial Intelligence and its role in society, Microsoft. A free ebook, search for it on google.

I will follow up this post with my other free learning sources on blog, podcast, and other channels soon.