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Reading Recommendations from Max Hemingway, Senior Architect at DXC Technology

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PLM World Member Valued Contributor

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10 books I’d recommend to my younger self

In H.G. Wells “The Time Machine”, the Time Traveler comes back from the future to take 3 books from a bookshelf in their study to return to the future. The reader (or viewer of the film) is left guessing which 3 books have been taken from the bookshelf and how they will shape the future.

Thinking about this the other way, I have been considering which books I would send back to my younger self to read which would help my career earlier than when I actually read them.

As in “The Time Machine”, I chose books that are on my bookshelf that I would pick up and hand back to myself. Some of these may be considered a bit dated, however I have chosen books here that helped shape my thinking through the years, rather than the Sports Almanac (Back to the Future reference).

Time paradoxes aside – here is my list and what I would tell myself about each one:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
    • Read this book first, apply it and use the methods to balance your work and home life. Then study hard and read the rest of these books. Apply what you have learnt.
  • Understanding Organisations by Charles Handy
    • This book will give you an understanding of how those companies work that you will be part of throughout your career. Read up on the theories mentioned in the book (e.g. Maslow ,Herzberg, McCelland, Ardery) as people you meet and some courses you’ll attend will refer to these regularly. They’ll give you insight into organizational strategy.
  • Enterprise Architecture as Strategy by Jeanne W.Ross, Peter Weill, David C.Robertson
    • As you move through the Architecture stack, this book will help you understand how a business uses Enterprise Architecture to help drive its goals and outcomes.
  • The Art of Systems Architecting by Eberhardt Rechtin, Mark Maier
    • If you follow a similar path to mine, you’d be headed towards becoming an Architect and this book will help you learn some of the principals, terminology and methodologies used. Learn some frameworks as well such as TOGAF, Cobit and Zachman.
  • Software Architecture in Practice by Len Bass, Paul Clements, Rick Kazman
    • As a budding architect, you will design systems and applications, and apply what you have learnt from Software Engineering and Architecture. This book will help shape your thinking around bringing these together.
  • Software Engineering by Ian Sommerville
    • Software will eat the world! – read up on how the techniques can be applied to software projects and learn some coding languages.
  • Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford
    • Use this to help build relationships with those around you and your customers, You will find that you’ll apply concepts and approaches discussed in this book regularly and throughout your career.
  • Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks
    • You will be part of some interesting projects. This will illustrate the human side of Software Engineering and some of the things that go well and go wrong.
  • Peopleware Productive Projects and Teams by Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister
    • Like the Mythical Man Month, this book will relate to the projects you will be involved with and will illustrate why some of the problems a project may face are sociological rather than technological.
  • Site Reliability Engineering by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy
    • This will be a bit ahead of the game, but it’s a game changer in the way that systems are designed, operated, managed and used, and it will challenge some of the thinking in the other books in the list.

If you had an opportunity to send books back to your younger self, what would you choose from your bookshelf and why?

This entry was originally posted in Max’s blog.


Max Hemingway — Senior Architect

Max is a senior architect for DXC in the United Kingdom. With more than 25 years of experience, he has a broad and deep range of technical knowledge and is able to translate business needs into IT-based solutions. Currently the chief architect of the BAE Systems account in the UK, Max has a proven track record acquired through continual client engagement and delivery of leading edge infrastructures, all of which have delivered positive results for end-clients, including IT cost reduction, expansion of service capability and increased revenues.