It’s Saturday so let’s post about something fun. Today we can mark three books I meant to read last year as DONE!
If I could describe professional self in one sentence it would be:
Tech enthusiast who’s passionate about leading teams and writing for project success.
Before I knew anything about anything, I knew I liked technology. From a young age I was playing computer games. My youth was defined by PlayStation and Xbox one. My world opened when I discovered the internet. Neopets introduced me to HTML which I was fortunate to take an intro class in 8th grade.
From there, my passion for technology (more software than hardware) grew. I was fascinated by the robots my dad made for work and was fueled more by his encouraging words about my True BASIC games and simple websites published on Geocities.
My parents told me, that what I would do growing up probably wasn’t invented yet. And they were right. I ended up co-founding a virtual reality software company.
I always loved writing. If a test was essay based I knew I was golden. I tested out of a writing class in college. I learned that even in my technical classes, you had to be able to write. In software, especially, you have to write requirements, specifications, how to guides and training manuals. You have to write emails and project management documents. The better you can write, the better your software stands a chance of being adopted.
My passion for writing led to blog posts published on the company blog. I even co-wrote a white paper with a distinguished colleague. Writing opened doors within the world of technology that I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
I always felt more comfortable taking control of a group project. Control as in, making sure we hit deadlines and that everyone was clear on what part of the project was theirs. If someone dropped the ball I would pick it up because that way I knew we would at least get the project done.
In college, one of my professors told our class that we would all be managers one day. I didn’t believe him at the time but I shouldn’t have doubted myself.
At work, I quickly rose to assisting the project managers, to being the Scrum Master (not technically a management role), project coordinator, project manager, and then COO. The ultimate management position.
Sometimes I had to push my team but my Scrum Master experience taught me that I was there to support and guide my team to success. A good project manager deflects distractions and plows through obstacles before the team is affected by them. I eventually became a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) which covered the more technical aspects of project management.
Three Books Every Tech Project Manager Should Read
Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom)
I added this book to my Amazon Wish List last October after I talked with the author himself. I was introduced to Adam Fisher as a resource for my upcoming keynote at Cincinnati Startup Week.
That’s why I’m excited to finally read Valley of Genius for Blogtober this year!
Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear
Chief Joy Officer is written by Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, MI. I interned there for a few weeks in the summer before college. It was my first introduction to Agile Scrum and paired programming. I loved my time there. I wasn’t sure what the corporate world would be like but it wasn’t that. It was awesome.
I read Sheridan’s first book, Joy, Inc., a few years ago. I loved reading about what working as a programmer was like when Sheridan first started out. The meat of the book was another eye opener for me. That’s why I immediately added Chief Joy Officer to wish list.
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
The first book I picked up on my self-study of writing was Steven King’s, On Writing. In that he mentioned writers should also read On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser. The Elements of Style by by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White also keep coming up as an essential book on writing.
Speaking of books… don’t forget Lilyotron’s Guide to public speaking in virtual reality. 😉
What are you favorite professional books to read? Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? Let me know in the comments below!