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Leanpub's best books on the subject of shipping great software, on time, without drama

Notes to a Software Team Leader

Notes to a Software Team Leader

Notes to a Software Team Leader

Growing Self Organizing Software Teams

by Roy Osherove

Now also on Amazon (hard copy, kindle and audible)

This book is meant for software team leaders, architects and anyone with a leadership role in the software business.

  • Read advice from real team leaders, consultants and everyday gurus of management.

These include, among others, Johanna Rothman, Uncle Bob Martin, Dan North, Kevlin Henney, Jurgen Appelo, Patrick Kua and many others. Each with their own little story and reason to say just one thing that matters the most to them about leading teams.

See what it'll feel like if you do things wrong, and what you can do about things that might go wrong, before they happen.

This book will try to be the book I wish I had when I first became a team leader.

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NEW:This book is also available as an audio book.

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It is hard to explain this book better than the foreword, written by Dan North, so I'll just use it here:

Foreword:

The career of a programmer is a complicated one. The early days or years are straightforward enough. You start as a junior, learning at the elbow of people more experienced than you. You make the mistakes everyone makes and come up with a few new ones of your own. Then you find your feet and gain confidence and experience, and you start to enjoy the feeling of just knowing how to solve this one, because it's just like the one you had on that other project. Over time you start helping the newbies, remembering what it was like to be one yourself. You achieve the heady heights of senior developer.

And then one day it happens. You end up in charge of a team. Maybe not as their manager but as their technical team leader. They look to you for technical guidance. Your job is as much about creating and sharing a consistent vision as it is about delivering great software. Personality clashes within the team are suddenly your problem. You have to mediate heated debates about curly bracket placement or whether tail recursion is better than iteration. Should we hack this into the legacy system or bite the bullet and do it properly in the new one? Becoming a software team leader is hard.

I'm really pleased Roy has written this book. It's all the advice I wish I’d had when I started leading software teams. As well drawing on as his own wealth of experience, Roy has invited contributions from people across the software delivery world, and the result is a companion and compendium you can dip into to find advice and direction, some of it contradictory, some of it counterintuitive, all of it valuable.

-- Dan North, independent consultant and troublemaker.

http://dannorth.net, @tastapod

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The Retrospective Handbook

The Retrospective Handbook

The Retrospective Handbook

A guide for agile teams

by Patrick Kua

Are you running retrospectives regularly? Perhaps you run retrospectives once a week, or fortnightly. Do you feel like you could be getting more out of your retrospectives and fuelling continuous improvement in your teams? You may already find retrospectives valuable, but suspect there are ways of making them better.

This book condenses down over eight years of experience working with the retrospective practice within the context of real agile teams. It offers you practical advice on how to make your retrospectives even more effective including topics such as:

  • Best methods to prepare for a retrospective
  • Picking just the right materials
  • Facilitating retrospectives with ease
  • Dealing with common retrospective smells
  • Retrospectives in different contexts including distributed, large and small groups
  • A checklist for preparation
  • Ensuring retrospectives result in change

Read the Foreword (available in the preview) by Agile Retrospectives's author, Diana Larsen to see why this book is for you.

Hard copies now available

Prefer a hard copy (paper version) or want to give one away as a gift? Order one online at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk


What I've Learned From Failure

What I've Learned From Failure

What I've Learned From Failure

A quarter-century of experience shipping software, distilled into fixnum bittersweet essays

by raganwald

Reg "Raganwald" Braithwaite has been working as a professional software developer since 1986, in roles ranging from Sorceror's Apprentice to Vice-President, Development. "What I've Learned From Failure" collects his very best "non-technical" essays on the subject of shipping software into a lean but concentrated book (51 pages).

Manufactured from nearly 100% recycled blog posts. "What I’ve Learned From Failure" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Hiring Geeks That Fit

Do you want to hire great people? Not sure how? Read this book.

Knowledge workers---our geeks---are different from skill-based staff, which makes hiring great ones difficult. But whether you're a manger or team member, this is the single most important decision you can make due to its long-lasting impact.

Because great geeks adapt their knowledge to your context, one developer or technical manager is not interchangeable with another. Hiring the right geeks, the ones who fit your culture, requires you to analyze your culture, determine your problems and define the essential qualities you want in your candidates. Hiring Geeks That Fit removes the guesswork from the hiring process, reduces the risk for costly hiring mistakes... and allows you to find the absolute best person for the job.

  • Understand your culture to build a strong hiring foundation.
  • Develop the best hiring strategy.
  • Analyze your open position. What's really essential?
  • Develop effective ads for different mediums, such as social media and user groups.
  • Develop behavior-description questions to differentiate the talkers from those who've actually performed work relevant to your needs.
  • Use those questions in phone-screens, in-person interviews, and references.
  • Treat candidates with respect, so even those you reject are potential referrals.
  • Create great first-day hire experiences so your new hire doesn't keep looking...

And much more...

You, your team, and your organization will live with the long-term consequences of your hiring decision. Invest the time for you and your team in how to hire and interview will pay off fast.