Thursday, September 25, 2003

History Repeats Itself

So, I read the book "Peopleware" on the plane flight to my interview for my new job. It was a quick and easy read. I can not recommend it highly enough. Anyway, I'm amazed at how much knowledge and tidbits there are about how to make our life as programmers easier and more enjoyable. There's lots of talk about managing, environments, and motivation. It's assembled as a bunch of short essays. It's a short book, but man, did it's morsels ring true. So, what's my point now that I've gushed about this book? I'm simply amazed how much of it has been forgotten! I work in a cube less than 30 square feet right now as we speak and they talk about optimal environments where they recommend 100 square feet! Plus, there's a bunch more! I think it should be required reading for any computer programmer or manager. Now, I think if we were all aware of the information in this book and in others, maybe our industry wouldn't be in the mess that it's in now! I'm currently reading, "The Psychology of Computer Programming" and my jaw is always on the floor. Again, it has lots of great advice and knowledge that I think is lost or is being rediscovered. I was shocked to read about "Egoless Programming" which sounds a lot like agile/XP methodologies and this was written in 1971!!!!! WHOA! My point with this entry is simple: How do these books get forgotten? It amazes me. But, I for one, will not let them be and will use their knowledge in my current activities. I hope you do too. You can buy Peopleware here and Psychology of Programming here. Happy reading and let's make our industry stronger and not forget where we've been! If anyone knows of any other books like these from the past, let me know! So far, I would rank these as high as the mythical man month!

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