When listening to talks during the last conferences I attended – ACE! Conference and GeeCON – I have noticed that there are some books which titles reappear here and then. I guess this is because they are worth reading. And I plan to read them in 2015 (omg, need some extra time for this!). I have added a short note to each of them to give you idea of what to expect of them.

  • Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow – probably the most often mentioned book. Definitely a must-read! All kinds of cognitive biases brilliantly illustrated. (BTW. Now that I’ve read the book I still have no clue what to do with this knowledge, but that is another story).
  • Dan Ariely Predictably Irrational – we are not as rational as we think. Surprised?
  • Linda Rising Fearless Change – so you have this great, revolutionary idea? Cool, but how you gonna make others see it and follow you?
  • Laurie Williams, Robert Kessler Pair Programming Illuminated – seems simple but how to do it right?
  • Teresa Amabile The Progress Principle – you can make your work place more enjoyable (for you and others).
  • Giff Constable Talking to Humans: Success starts with understanding your customers – master the interactions with humans and the sky will be your limit.
  • Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman Team Geek A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with Others – coding is a team activity, so maybe we could improve our soft skills?
  • Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams – oldie-goldie about the social side of IT work
  • Daniel Pink The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – the days of carrot & stick motivation are gone. Our motivation is of different kind. We are driven by mastery, autonomy and purpose. Read the book to find out more – you won’t be disappointed!
  • Tom DeMarco Slack – creativity can’t be rushed so you better add some slack, so it can happen.
  • Kotter Our Iceberg is melting – the fear of (inevitable) change is paralysing us, so how can we take action?
  • Chris Guillebeau The Art of Non-Conformity – be yourself and prosper
  • Ed Catmull Creativity Inc – add some creativity to the life of your organization – written by one of Pixar’s founders
  • Nancy Kline Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind – attentive listening as the key to your business and social success

Last, but not least, there are also my books. I do not plan to read them, but maybe you will. See the links below.

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P.S. You can read the follow up of this post here.

Sometimes if you look closer at projects names you will notice some interesting stuff. This short post is exactly about this – names of projects that are more than mere identifiers.

Let us start with an obvious example of C++. The name indicates that C++ is a successor (a better version perhaps) of C (++ being a increment operator in C).

Similarly Ruby language is a successor of Perl (also a jewel) yet the etymology of the name is more complicated (check Wikipedia’s entry on Ruby).

The name of popular Java IDE – Eclipse – is also significant if you think about IBM (original founder of Eclipse project) as a rival of Sun Microsystems.

Things get really interesting when we dive into the area of testing. A bit of history first. Once upon a time there was a company called Mercury (full name: Mercury Interactive Corporation). This company produced testing software. Now, Mercury is also a chemical element (Hg) which is poisonous. Another chemical element – Selenium (Se) – is believed to have protective effect against Mercury. And Tellurium (Te) – yet another chemical element – is chemically related to Selenium.
So, we have three testing tools – one produced by Mercury company, one called Selenium and one called Tellurium. Pure coincidence, of course. 🙂

Also in the testing world we have a great Mockito framework. Even thought its name really comes from mojito drink, its name resembles also moskito. This is probably why another mocking framework is called Komarro (komar is how we call moskitos in Poland).

Similarly, Iceweasel is a fork of Firefox.

Thanks God, project names can also symbolize friendship. Take a look at Hansel and Gretel projects. These two coverage tools share some amount of source code and names derived from a popular German fairy tale.

I also like very much the Reactor project accompanied by it’s Clojure interface called Meltdown. 🙂


Do you know more examples of such interesting names? Share them with me, please!