6 useful books for Software Consultants

There are a few books I personally recommend to all Identian’s, but especially the software engineers amongst us. The list consists of books about software development and consulting as well as teamwork, leadership, and organization models. All of the books here can also be found in Identio’s library as physical copies, with the exception of Thinking in Systems.

Clean code or The Pragmatic Programmer

Author: Clean code by Robert C. Martin, The Pragmatic programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Starting things off with a pair of alternatives. Both of these are pretty solid choices for any software engineer, especially on the early part of their career, but why not later as well.

  • They are solid books in terms of readability. I feel like Software Engineering as a topic does not always produce the most captivating pieces of literature. These books are definitely exceptions.
  • The code examples might not present the most up to date versions of the hippest languages, but the underlying ideas transfer across nicely.
  • I personally read Pragmatic Programmer first and was left with the feeling I could have done with only reading Clean Code, but neither of these books is a waste of time.

Leadership and self-deception: Getting out of the Box

Author: The Arbinger Institute

This Arbinger Institute’s book is one of my personal go-to books regarding teamwork and cooperation in pretty much any setting.

  • Describes some of the mindsets that are easy to fall into while working with other people.
  • The book is pretty easy to read, being a relatively short book written in the format of a story.
  • Worth a second and even a third read. The content is nothing surprising but it’s easy to fall into the routines of the Box that the book talks about.

The Trusted advisor

Author: David H. Maister

This book provides great ideas regarding consulting and paints the path to becoming what the book paints as the epitome of a consultant – The Trusted Advisor.

  • The book takes you on a journey to building trust between the advisor and their clients in a myriad of ways.
  • Provides helpful stories and analogies from the authors years of experience.
  • Reflects on a lot of similar thoughts from Leadership and self-deception.

Thinking in systems

Author: Donella H. Meadows

Great book about being a systems thinker and finding a systems thinking mindset to solving problems and viewing the world around you.

  • Systems thinking can make it easier to understand how different abstractions in the real world work.
  • The systems thinking mindset can be quite easily applied to software architecture where we’re dealing with some of the more clearly defined systems.
  • There’s something dogmatic to the book and it’s not always the easier read, but once you’re done with it, it’s hard not to see the world around you as a system of systems.

Reinventing organisations

Author: Frederic Laloux

This book regarding teal organisations takes a look at how different types of organisations co-exist and work, including some of the reasoning and models behind their ways of ticking.

  • This book in specific is rather dear to Identio as a company, considering our processes and ways of working are heavily modelled around the ideas presented in this book.
  • Provides good insight into how organisations might manage and function in a flat hierarchy setting that benefits expert organisations.
  • Nice compact read, with a separate illustrated edition.


Julius Rajala

Software Engineer

+358 40 568 4617

+358 40 568 4617

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