Alexander Oloo

Alexander Oloo

Human. Engineer. Designer.

© 2019

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From Developer to Design Director: 40 books

Circa 2016 I started my journey into the land of experience design. The journey from frontend dev to design director has been one heck of adventure. I’ve been extremely lucky to have had some excellent mentors, managers, and sponsors along the way. This post is not about them, but rather the books that accompanied me along the way.

It all started when Phil threw down the gauntlet.

Phil recommending some books

Needless to say, I didn’t finish them all in a year. And I still haven’t read them all. But it was the beginning of a great reading habit. If you’re not a reader (or listener) yet, I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read on my journey. They’ve all been been quite value in my career and development.

One last thing before the list. It’s a long list and will take you longer to read than you expect. You won’t remember everything you read. Some will be hard to read. You’ll get tired of reading. And feel like you’re not growing. All those things are okay. In the words of Josemaria Escriva:

“Don’t forget that, on earth, every big thing has had a small beginning. What is born big is monstrous and dies.”

Happy reading. Happy learning.

The List

Becoming a better leader

  • The Managers Path
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a team
  • Creativity Inc
  • The Three Signs of a Miserable Job
  • The Hard Thing about Hard Things
  • Multipliers
  • What You Do Is Who You are
  • Never Split the Difference
  • Non-violent communication
  • The Art of War
  • What to do when you become the boss

Expanding your thinking

  • Predictably Irrational
  • Thinking in Bets
  • Misbehaving
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • Algorithms to Live By
  • Interior Freedom
  • Originals
  • How to Get People to Do Stuff
  • 12 Rules for Life

Supercharging your UX

  • About Face
  • How to make Sense of any mess
  • Don’t Make me think
  • Lean UX

Designing better products

  • Zero to One
  • Competing Against Luck
  • Inspired
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit forming products
  • The Lean Startup
  • Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking
  • The Service Startup
  • The Lean enterprise

Shipping quality products and software

  • The Phoenix Project
  • The Unicorn Project
  • Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Teams.
  • Making work Visible

Telling better stories

  • Ted Talks
  • Story
  • Creating Character Arcs
  • The Silmarillion

Harley reading and drinking espresso

May your build always pass.