RiverGlide Ltd

A library

Here are some of the books that we think are essential reading. Stay tuned for updates to this list by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions — Gary Klein

Business Analysis

Front cover of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

Introducing a method for studying decision making by experts, this book explains how the very experienced jump straight to an optimal solution based on an instinct built up from contextual knowledge.

This is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand how to identify the hidden knowledge that our subject matter experts know without consciously being aware that they know it; these are the unknown knowns

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The Design of Everyday Things — Don Norman

User experience

Front cover of The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things coined the term “User-Centred Design” in 1988. In this book, Don Norman reveals techniques and principles that we can use to make sure that the needs of our user are at the heart of what we do. Humans are quick to accept fault for something that could be resolved by a better design (for example, trying to pull open a push door)

Don explains that if we’ve truly empathised with the user, then the system should be self-explanatory. Even the need for a one word instruction manual (e.g. “Pull”) can be eliminated with careful design. Read this book to improve your empathy with your users and design a system that supports their needs.

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Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard — Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Culture, Collaboration, and Leadership

Front cover of Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard

Helping people to change their way of working is not as simple as telling them about the benefits of a change. Chip and Dan introduce us to the model of the Rider, the Elephant and the Path. The Rider is the logical thinking mind, swayed by the benefits. The Elephant is the emotional side of things, often fear of the unknown or passion to try something new. The Path is the environment; are there blockages to change that need removing?

Read this book for insights into facilitating change through clearing the path to change as well as demonstrating the benefits.

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — Robert M. Pirsig

Culture, Collaboration, and Leadership

Front cover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Despite it’s name, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance isn’t really about Motorcycles. Have you ever heard people refer to "The Users vs. The Business" or "The Developers vs. The Business"? This book takes the approach that some dichotomies are created rather than real, using Art and Science as the example.

Many of the lessons apply equally to the dichotomies we create in our industry that organisations back. Delve into this book for insights into the dichotomies you accept without seeing so you can take steps to turn competing relationships into collaborative ones.

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Working Effectively with Legacy Code — Michael C. Feathers

Agile Software Development

Front cover of Working Effectively with Legacy Code

Working effectively with Legacy Code is one of those books that should be on every development team’s bookshelf. Many teams are working with code that has been around for quite some time, created before the team valued (or needed) practices like Test-Driven Development and SOLID principles.

This book is filled with practical guidance on evolving code as you deliver, making hard-and-risky changes into predictable-and-safe. Read this book and you’ll see how to create “seams” in your code, extracting the hidden classes into testable and easier to change units.

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