2010 wasn’t a very good year for me, and one of the reasons is that not only I didn’t have enough time to read what I want but also had to invest most of the little time available in not-so-interesting material due to some project or team need.

Let me try to compile here a list with the books I’ve read this year that I think could be interesting to this blog’s audience. Given the number of books I’ll also add a very quick review. Next year I’ll try to write a more complete review as I finish each book.

Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud

tl;dr: Do not waste your time. I was expecting it to be some pioneer work on patterns and architectures to the cloud but it’s basically an outdated manual to AWS.

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Literate Programming

tl;dr: You don’t have to read this but it will make you a better programmer. When it comes to expressive design, this is a classic.

Coders at Work

tl;dr: Must read. You’ll find out that these “crazy new techniques” that we use today are all part of the standard toolset of the best hackers since decades ago.

Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests

tl;dr: Must read. This book has the kind of knowledge one only acquires by working with experienced developers.

REST in Practice

tl;dr: Must read for developers interested in systems integration and architecture in general. Nothing new if you already know how to use REST with hypermedia.

The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist

tl;dr: Must read. Great discussion on good design and how people should be educated to become great designers.

Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions

tl;dr: Meh. A random collection of articles on random projects that used data somehow.

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Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

tl;dr: Good source of tips and tricks; don’t expect much more.

Confessions of a Public Speaker

tl;dr: Yet another good source of tips and tricks; don’t expect much more.

Managing the Design Factory

tl;dr: Very good reading for anyone that has to manage a team delivering software. We’re not alone, the problems we have are also present in same other industries have.

The Toyota Way Fieldbook

tl;dr: If you want to learn just enough about Lean to apply in software development this book could replace The Toyota Way.

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

tl;dr: A good basic introduction to the topic. One billion examples of feedback loops, but that’s it.

Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point

tl;dr: If you’ve read the other books in this series can probably skip this. It’s pretty much the same content but this one focuses on preaching to more senior management.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

tl;dr: If you have trouble describing business models or if you are interested in finding out a new tool this is a must read. Too much hype around it, though, be careful.

Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data

tl;dr: Good source of examples for dashboards but doesn’t go any deeper than that. If you are currently working or will work soon with dashboards this can give you some ideas.

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

tl;dr: If you use visual thinking there’s nothing new here; if you don’t this is a good primer.

Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments

tl;dr: Interesting read. It probably helps you avoiding fallacies yourself but the toolset is a bit too heavy to use in arguments.

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

tl;dr: A bit obvious but still useful. Be careful, though, the author’s mindset can lead to people and companies obsessed with measuring, even if measuring the wrong thing.