Joel on Software

Joel Spolsky is a well known online for his active blogging on software engineering, his depth of knowledge and his easily read humorous style.  This book is a collection of his essays roughly grouped in to about three main areas: programming, managing developers and ‘other’.

There are many gems contained in this compact book, I particularly liked ‘The Joel Test’, ‘Fire and Motion’, ‘Don’t let the Architecture Astronauts scare you’,  As each chapter is a self contained essay makes it an very easy book to read in short sessions like when on the train or bus to work or at work while waiting on your code to build.

Don’t Make Me Think

This amusingly named book’s main focus is website usability and, as the title suggests, sparing the end user from having to think about how to interpret, navigate and use your website.  This book was designed by the author to be easy to read in a short space of time while supplying valuable ideas and tips on website usability.

It would be a mistake to think of this book as only being applicable to web developers, the concepts discussed in this book are applicable to any software requiring the user to understand and interact with it.  Most applications can benefit considerably from the kind of design processing and usability testing this book advocates.