Books That Changed My Career / Life – CodeStock 2011 Open Spaces

At this years CodeStock conference in Knoxville we had a very active open spaces area. The session I suggested and helped with was on “Books That Changed My Career / Life”. As a group we came up with a list of books that had made an impact on lives. Our only rule was it couldn’t be directly tech, for example a book like SQL Server MVP Deep Dives. (#shamelessplug)

The list was quite surprising. Of course there were some of the classics like the 7 Habits book, or tech related books such as Code by Charles Petzold, who was also the keynote speaker. Also not a surprise were some motivational books, such as those by Seth Godin.

The rest of the list had some surprises, at least for me. There were several works of fiction included, because the participants said it revealed new ways of thinking to them.

So without any more fanfare, here is the list in the order presented. When the author was known, I put their name next to the title after the dash. For any authors out there whose names I’ve misspelled, my apologies. Book titles were being flung out fast and furious and I may have missed the correct spelling. Also in some cases the book author wasn’t known at the time the list was being compiled.

At some point I hope to clean this list up, sort it into groups and add hyperlinks to sites where the book can be obtained. Since I didn’t want to delay publishing the list however, I present it below as it was created at the open spaces session. If you were in attendance, a big thanks! And if you have any corrections please feel free to leave a comment below, it’d be a big help to me and everyone who attended or sees this list.

Rework – Hasson & Fried

Tribes – Seth Godin

Linchpin – Seth Godin

Less – Mark Lesser

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig

The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff

Who Moved My Cheese

Aramis, or For the Love of Technology – Bruno Latour

Tick Tock – James Patterson

Crush It – Vaynerchuck

Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar

In the Beginning Was The Command Line – Neil Stephenson

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Anthem – Ayn Rand

Libertarianism – Boaz

Leaves of Grass – Lewsky

Cuckoo’s Egg – Clifford Stole

Rouge Warriors Strategy Guide to Success – Richard Marcinko

Elements of Style – Strunk and White

The War of Art – Pressfield

Getting Real

The E-Myth

Enders Game

Griftopia – Taibbi

Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

On Writing – Stephen King

The Hardboiled Wonderland and the End Of The World

Here Comes Everybody

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Milman

7 Habits of Highly Successful People


Hackers and Painters – Paul Graham



Beautiful Visualizations

Presentation Zen – Reynolds

The Romans – Richard Talbert

Influence – Cialdini

Socratic Selling

The God Who Was There – Francis Schaffer

The Shack

Hard Drive

The Goal – Elihayu Goldratt

Beyond the Goal – Elihayu Goldratt

Dreaming in Code

4 Hour Work Week

Cognitive Surplus

Do The Work – Pressfield

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

Makers – Cory Doctorow

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom– Cory Doctorow

Daemon – Daniel Suarez

Freedom – Daniel Suarez

Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Anathem – Neil Stephenson

The Second Son – Charles Sailor

Rich Dad Poor Dad

You Are Not A Gadget

Drive – Daniel Pink

Millionaire Mind

Code – Charles Petzold


Video mentions

In addition to the list of above books, two video series were recommended. These titles are below.

Business of Software by Kathy Sierra

Webstock – An Australian based conference that makes their videos available for later viewing


One thought on “Books That Changed My Career / Life – CodeStock 2011 Open Spaces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s