In my php[tek] keynote, “How to Get There“, I make several references to books, cognitive psychology, TED talks, dead Austro-Hungarian writers, and 1980’s television dramas. For those interested in pursuing any of these (especially “L.A. Law”), and to give due credit to my influences, here are the things I named.
(Separately, you can see the slides at SpeakerDeck. The video was recorded, but I’m not sure when that will be posted.)
- L.A. Law, a 1980’s evening television drama (maybe?) about some lawyers in Los Angeles. You should not watch it.
- Franz Kafka, an amazing writer, perhaps best known for “The Metamorphosis“.
- “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, a classic children’s story that’s really quite weird. But amusing.
- Jim Henson, a genius, and creator of The Muppets.
- “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell. Really great book by a fantastic author (seriously: read all of his stuff). The key premise of the book: “We need a better guide to facing giants.”
- “Why Students Don’t Like School?” by Daniel T. Willingham. A cognitive psychologist’s explanation on how we think and how we learn. Written for teachers.
- Kathryn Schulz, “On Being Wrong“. A TED talk about the mentality involved with being wrong (vs. being right) and how that affects our lives and decision making. Brilliant, revolutionary, totally amazing.
- “How to Ask Questions the Smart Way“, a classic web page explaining how to do better asking questions.
- The discussion of “fixed” vs. “growth” mindset comes from the work of Carol Dweck. I first read about it in a The Atlantic article titled “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators” by Megan McArdle.
- “The Pragmatic Programmer” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. A standard book on being a good programmer. Nearly a must-read for developers.
- “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon. A rather heavy book on setting life goals and achieving them.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th century German philosopher, known for his “man and superman” theory.
- Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple, among other things. Also, kind of an a**hole.