Highly Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening

Toy pyramid with "Knowledge is Power" sign on the front above a toy person standing on a stage right in front of the pyramid


Earthlings were asked to name an article, video, podcast, or another resource they wish all of their colleagues would read, watch or listen to. The question was intended to capture the skills and insights Earthlings value as tech and software professionals. Another way to phrase the question might have been “what learning will help make us a stronger team?”

Responses generally fell into a few broad categories including skills building, insight, and social/cultural topics. The diversity of recommendations was striking as no two Earthlings had the same suggestion, and even though writing from the tech canon such as Mythical Man-Month and The Cathedral and The Bazaar were mentioned, the final list was a more discreet selection of topics.

Whether you work in tech or are curious about the field we hope you will find something in this list to elevate or at least provoke your thinking.

How To & Skills Building

CSS Guidelines by Harry Roberts
In working on large, long-running projects, with dozens of developers of differing specialties and abilities, it is important that we all work in a unified way, CSS Guidelines is a document of recommendations and approaches that will help us to do so.

Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz (book)
The examples are in Ruby but the book is really about how to write object-oriented code that is flexible and maintainable.

The Impact of Web Caching by Alva Yashaswi
Need a refresher on caching? Read on for the pros and cons of using web caching, and how to optimize your results to create a better UX/UI.

Understanding Flexbox by Ohans Emmanuel
Learning Flexbox may not be fun at first. It will challenge what you know about layouts in CSS. But that’s fine. Everything worth learning begins that way.

Designing the B2B Experience by Brendan Falkowski (Slideshare)
Unique needs of B2B online sales. Good service is critical – deck provides key considerations for designing a service-centric B2B ecommerce site.

Building a large-scale design system: How we created a design system for the U.S. government By Maya Benari
How a team of designers and developers who unified a complex system with numerous rules to serve users from all corners of the country.

Understanding the Job by Clayton Christensen (video lecture)
If you understand the job a user hired the product to do, how to improve the product becomes obvious.

Tech Wisdom

Beating the Averages by Paul Graham
Why basing your programming heuristic on the language you are most comfortable with is problematic.

Simplicity Matters by Rich Hickey (video keynote)
Complecting might be easy in the short term but you might pay for it later.

The Ten Rules of a Zen Programmer by Christian Grobmeier
The old Zen masters already knew hundreds of years ago how today’s programmers should work.

Society, Culture, and Workplace

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women? by Liza Mundy
Tech companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve conditions for female employees. Here’s why not much has changed—and what might actually work.

“Is it “normal” for people to not work?” (forum exchange)
Staying productive at a job where you have access to the internet can be difficult and we have to acknowledge that.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (book)
Useful advice about how to deal with difficult conversations

You 2.0: How To Build A Better Job (podcast)
A refreshing take on the “do what you love” trope.

*image above from Knowledge is Power from Wish Studios