10 books like Managing Humans

By Michael Lopp,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Managing Humans. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Mythical Man-Month

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr,

Book cover of The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

In the 1970s, Brooks was the leading thinker on managing large software projects in the world, and unexpected delays in completing complex coding tasks were emerging as a costly headache for large organizations. Brooks was considered a software luminary within IBM, which dominated the digital world in the era before the advent of the personal computer.

“In many ways, managing a large computer programming project is like managing any other large undertaking, but in many other ways it is different – in more ways than most professional managers expect,” Brooks dryly declared in the opening lines of a book destined to become a classic. He went on to explore specific challenges in the book’s 15 terse chapters, the second chapter, which gave the title to the entire volume, he presented paradoxical insight that ultimately elevated the book to the status of a classic.

Brooks argued, persuasively and insistently, that adding…

The Mythical Man-Month

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mythical Man-Month as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.



The added chapters…


Practical Vim

By Drew Neil,

Book cover of Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought (Pragmatic Programmers)

A very personal recommendation, as it is about Vim, a very particular text editor that can be difficult to learn at first, but this is the best technical book that I’ve ever read. I use Vim as my main editor and this book makes an astonishing job in clearly explaining why it works the way it works. This book gets you into the proper mindset to use Vim, making it click internally and from there on, to feel way more natural and powerful. Even if you don’t want to use Vim as your main editor, it’s ubiquitous and it’s available by default on a huge amount of computers, making being comfortable with its usage a really powerful tool in a lot of situations. 

Practical Vim

By Drew Neil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practical Vim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vim is a fast and efficient text editor that will make you a faster and more efficient developer. It's available on almost every OS--if you master the techniques in this book, you'll never need another text editor. Practical Vim shows you 120 vim recipes so you can quickly learn the editor's core functionality and tackle your trickiest editing and writing tasks. Vim, like its classic ancestor vi, is a serious tool for programmers, web developers, and sysadmins. No other text editor comes close to Vim for speed and efficiency; it runs on almost every system imaginable and supports most coding…


Python Testing with Pytest

By Brian Okken,

Book cover of Python Testing with Pytest: Simple, Rapid, Effective, and Scalable

While this is a Python-specific book, it’s a fantastic description of all the possibilities for testing with a powerful module like Pytest offers. Testing is one of the basic experiences for a programmer, as it should be included as a core part of the development process. Understanding all the different options available like mark groups of tests, parametric tests, building your own extensions, or test coverage, to name only a few details, expands the understanding of how to design better tests and run them more efficiently.

Python Testing with Pytest

By Brian Okken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Python Testing with Pytest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do less work when testing your Python code, but be just as expressive, just as elegant, and just as readable. The pytest testing framework helps you write tests quickly and keep them readable and maintainable - with no boilerplate code. Using a robust yet simple fixture model, it's just as easy to write small tests with pytest as it is to scale up to complex functional testing for applications, packages, and libraries. This book shows you how. For Python-based projects, pytest is the undeniable choice to test your code if you're looking for a full-featured, API-independent, flexible, and extensible testing…


The Pragmatic Programmer

By David Thomas, Andrew Hunt,

Book cover of The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery

A full collection of self-reflecting ideas about how to approach coding from a strategic point of view. While some of it can be a bit obvious for the experienced developer, it can be invaluable for the newcomer and it’s always great to solidify knowledge in a more consistent way. The kind of book that you can read again after a few years and keep learning.

The Pragmatic Programmer

By David Thomas, Andrew Hunt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pragmatic Programmer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of the most significant books in my life." -Obie Fernandez, Author, The Rails Way

"Twenty years ago, the first edition of The Pragmatic Programmer completely changed the trajectory of my career. This new edition could do the same for yours." -Mike Cohn, Author of Succeeding with Agile , Agile Estimating and Planning , and User Stories Applied

". . . filled with practical advice, both technical and professional, that will serve you and your projects well for years to come." -Andrea Goulet, CEO, Corgibytes, Founder, LegacyCode.Rocks

". . . lightning does strike twice, and this book is proof." -VM…


Foundation ActionScript 3.0 Animation

By Keith Peters,

Book cover of Foundation ActionScript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!

Okay, hear me out. Yes, this book was published in 2007. Yes, it’s ostensibly about ActionScript, the coding language in Flash, which no one uses anymore. But you won’t use this book to learn ActionScript or Flash: You’ll use it to learn how to make things move with code, in any language. You’ll skip over the ActionScript-specific parts in favor of the lucid explanations and helpful illustrations. Your visual brain will appreciate seeing how sines, cosines, and tangents are relevant—and necessary!—to make digital things move. (Your heart will wish your brain had paid better attention in trigonometry class years earlier, but hey, no regrets!) The chapters “Trigonometry for Animation” and “Velocity and Acceleration” alone are worth the purchase price.

Foundation ActionScript 3.0 Animation

By Keith Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Foundation ActionScript 3.0 Animation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first definitive and authoritative book available on ActionScript 3 animation techniques. ActionScript animation is a very popular discipline for Flash developers to learn. The essential skill set has been learned by many Flash developers through the first edition of this book. This has now been updated to ActionScript 3, Adobe's new and improved scripting language. All of the code has been updated, and some new techniques have been added to take advantage of ActionScript 3's new features, including the display list and new event architecture. The code can be used with the Flash 9 IDE, Flex Builder…


The Innovators

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of The Innovators

In this treatise, Isaacson answers the question “How did we get here?” with fascinating detailed storytelling about the most important contributions and contributors to computer science. It is a definitive reference work—-if you want information about someone or something related to computer science, you can use the index to this book as the springboard to an engaging and interesting story.

The book opens with an illustrated timeline that neatly summarizes what is to come. It really is worth reading the book cover to cover to get full context on how the digital revolution really happened (admittedly, there are plenty of details that can be safely skimmed). Particularly fascinating are the ways in which these people connected with and influenced each other. From Turing to Steve Jobs, the story is a seamless web.

This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Innovators

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Innovators as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovatorsis Walter Isaacson's story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and a guide to how innovation really works.

What talents allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their disruptive ideas into realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

In his exciting saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He then explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution,…


The Imposter's Handbook

By Rob Conery,

Book cover of The Imposter's Handbook: A CS Primer for Self-taught Developers

Wow! This book is exactly what every programmer has always wanted to know or even felt guilty about not knowing and it’s all presented in an extremely simplified and fun way. 

This is one of those books where you get excited in the morning when you wake up because you know you are going to be able to read more in the book and you are hoping the book will never end.

It’s rare to find a big book that I enjoyed reading so much and felt so short. This book covers almost everything you ever wondered about computer science. After reading this book, I felt like I finally understood everything a programmer was supposed to know and I no longer felt that nagging feeling of being an imposter.

The Imposter's Handbook

By Rob Conery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Imposter's Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Codex Seraphinianus

By Luigi Serafini,

Book cover of Codex Seraphinianus

One of the most treasured and unusual books in my personal library. It’s an encyclopedia from another world, entirely written in a made-up language. Page after page of haunting and strange illustrations, organized into specific categories and concepts. Sitting with this book transports me back to the time before I could read, when words felt like incomprehensible symbols. Taking the time to puzzle over this book feels like such a valuable experience. It takes me right out of the familiar ways of taking in information and puts me in a state of mind that has to search and consider the juxtaposition of images and ideas in totally new ways. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Codex Seraphinianus

By Luigi Serafini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Codex Seraphinianus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An extraordinary and surreal art book, this edition has been redesigned by the author and includes new illustrations. Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in 1981, the book has been recognized as one of the strangest and most beautiful art books ever made. This visual encyclopedia of an unknown world written in an unknown language has fueled much debate over its meaning. Written for the information age and addressing the import of coding and decoding in genetics, literary criticism, and computer science, the Codex confused, fascinated, and enchanted a generation.

While its message may be unclear, its appeal…


Dealers of Lightning

By Michael A. Hiltzik,

Book cover of Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age

The software interface for Apple’s innovative Macintosh was largely (and legally) modeled on system software designed at the Palo Alto < California research center of Xerox, an East Coast photocopy company whose stodgy executives failed to realize the value of the coding breakthroughs they had funded and nurtured in the heart of northern California’s computer cauldron. Before anyone at the top of Xerox realized the enormity of their errors, the company had licensed to Steve Jobs and Apple key software technologies that animated the Macintosh revolution in the 1980s. Hiltzik’s richly detailed and readable history, based on scores of interviews, is the best account of the epic failure of an American corporate icon. Apple and Jobs went on to achieve glory while Xerox ultimately became a zombie company, having missed the greatest industrial wave of the past 75 years. 

Dealers of Lightning

By Michael A. Hiltzik,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dealers of Lightning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the 1970s and 1980s, a number of brilliant computer eccentrics were thrown together by Xerox at the Xerox PARC centre in Palo Alto, California. These people created inventions such as the first personal computer, the graphic user interface, the mouse and one of the precursors of the Internet. However, the bosses at Xerox never really appreciated these men or their innovations, and accused them of just fooling around. Then along came the outsiders, such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computing, who left the PARC with ideas that they would later exploit and make vast fortunes on, propelling them to…


Introduction to Algorithms

By Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein

Book cover of Introduction to Algorithms

With over one million copies sold this may be the most popular computer science book in the world. This bedrock of computer science education is both a definitive textbook and reference book and is a must-have for anyone in the field of computer science. This latest edition is significantly updated and includes color throughout the text.

Introduction to Algorithms

By Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Introduction to Algorithms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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