A Weekly ComputorEdge Column by Douglas E. Welch




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July 11, 2003

Summer reading list

© 2003, Douglas E. Welch

For most people, summer reading lists include Judith Krantz novels or the latest spy thriller from Len Deighton. If I might be a little odd, let me suggest you look to some other areas for your summer reading list. If your business tends to slow down in the summer, this could be a great time to catch up on some interesting business reading. No matter whether you are a front-line support tech or a high-level executive in your company, I believe you will find the books below very interesting. While they may lack love, murder or intrigue, they can allow you to boost your high-tech career while sitting on the beach.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

This is my perennial favorite book to recommend. Recently, since the book came out in paperback, I have even taken to buying it for other people. No matter how many times I return to the book (and I do so every couple of months for a refresher) I always find a new technique to add to my “time management” repertoire.

Allen’s methods for helping you get a handle on all the things you need to do, in both your personal and professional lives, are straightforward and clearly defined. Even if you only use small portions of his ideas, your ability to “get things done” will be greatly enhanced.

The Tom Peter’s Seminar
The Pursuit of Wow! By Tom Peters

While I don’t think I would ever pay the expensive fees required to attend a Tom Peters seminar in person, I am more than happy to read what he has to say. The constant instigator, Peters may say things you don’t agree with, but he will also make you think. My favorite parts of the book are the examples, using companies both large and small, that demonstrate how even the small things can have big effects. Peter’s bias towards front-line personnel is also heartening. I too believe that a company’s fortunes are made just as much at the front counter as they are in the company headquarters. Often, front-line personnel have access to important information that could help executives build their company, or in some cases, save it from destruction.

Rise of the Creative Class by Richard L. Florida

Many books have been written about the changing business world of the last few decades, but this book is one of the few to deal with the growing Creative Class and how they effect the rest of the business world. As a writer, as well as a computer consultant, I found the book interesting in a number of ways. It can help to gain a deeper understanding of who the creative class is, how and where they work and why they are important to the economy as a whole,whether they be your boss or your client.

Linked: The new science of networks by Albert Barabasi

While this book doesn’t deal exclusively with computer networks, the theories held inside directly relate to the way that they and social networks arise and work in the world. I am a science buff, so books like this always interest me, but there are larger lessons to be drawn here. Linked can give you insight to both technological issues and the people issues that can effect your high-tech career. Don’t shy away from books that don’t have a purely technology focus. You can draw lessons from a variety of seemingly unrelated areas.

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

There are times in your life and your career when you have to have certain conversations. Fierce Conversations gives you the guidance and tools you need to make these conversations, in fact, any conversation, as useful and powerful as possible. If you have trouble talking to family, friends and co-workers, this book can help you to understand not only how to hold fierce conversations, but also, why you need to be a fierce communicator in everything you do.

While you may not want to take your laptop to the beach, these books offer a wide variety of interesting topics to keep you entertained. Regardless of the season, you should always make an effort to investigate interesting books, both those about technology and those about anything else that interests you. This is one sure way to continue your own growth and also the growth of your high-tech career.


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about this column.

Douglas E. Welch is a freelance writer and computer consultant in Van Nuys, California. Readers can discuss career issues with other readers by joining the Career Opportunities Discussion on Douglas' web page at: http://www.welchwrite.com/dewelch/ce/

He can reached via email at douglas@welchwrite.com

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