Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Required reading for consultants?

Dave Lorenzo's Career Intensity is a fabulous treasure trove of career advice (that always leaves me somewhat deflated by my inability to put any of it into action... but that's another post).

In one of his posts today, he talks about "Building Buzz" and how he was impressed by seeing a successful professional's request for help. What caught my attention was his claim that David Maister's books are "required reading" for McKinsey and Bain and BCG consultants.

Just as I once wondered who the elder statesmen of IT were, I can't help wondering what the required reading for IT professionals is? "The Mythical Man Month"? Gang of Four? "Why Most things Fail"?!

My personal opinion is that any professional in IT should have read a book on concurrent programming and a book on transaction systems. Forget project management, architecture, SOA or anything else: if you don't understand transactions and concurrency, you have no business in IT; you're just too dangerous and you certainly won't be working on any of my projects.


David Lorenzo said...

Thanks, Richard. You are very kind.

David Maister is great. His books are also required reading at some business schools.

Give his blog a read.


andyp said...


I have to admit to never having read books on either. However, I spent the first 4 years of my IT career learning both of these subjects in detail when implementing DCE for a large UK company, and as a consultant I'm now often astonished by the lack of widespread understanding of things like transactions.

In order to regain your respect, I'll have to hit Amazon and do some reading.

Richard Brown said...

Ahhh.... DCE...... That reminds me I still need to finish off a post I was working on about why those who forget the lessons of DCE and Corba are deemed to repeat the mistakes

Richard Brown said...

doomed, I mean