2011 Year in Review

2011 was an interesting year. I added 47 posts to this blog, produced three training courses for Pluralsight, started contributing a pair of articles per month for InfoQ.com, released my 3rd book, had speaking engagements in New Zealand, Sweden and China, started graduate school, and accepted a new job. I’m extremely thankful for all these opportunities and I keep doing all this stuff because I find it fun and love learning new things. And I really appreciate the 172,000+ visits to the blog this year and the many of you who bought my books, watched my training and read my InfoQ articles.

In this post, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite blog posts and books from 2011.

First off, these are a few blog posts that I enjoyed writing this year.

It was hard to keep up my regular pace of reading a book or two a month, but I still carved out time to read some memorable ones. I admittedly read fewer deep technical books and focused more on growing as a strategist and learning to manage my time effectively.  Here are a few of my favorites from this year:

  • Your Brain at Work. Great description of what tasks tax the brain most, how to decompose complex ideas, strategies for staying focused and how to be more mindful. Useful stuff.
  • Blink. Gladwell is known for writing provocative books, and this is no exception.  Instead of thinking that the quality of our decisions are based on the time/effort we put into it, we should trust our judgment more often.
  • The Bullpen Gospels. I’m a sucker for baseball books, and this one was immensely satisfying.  It’s a great story of a pitcher’s journey through minor league baseball.
  • Do the Work. Nice little book that encourages us to jump into a task, not fear success, and to remember that “finishing” is the most critical part of a project.
  • The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides. I’ve worked at becoming a better presenter over the past few years, and books like this help keep me focused on telling a compelling story without using slides as a crutch.
  • fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology. Good read about articulating the real role of IT in an organization and the value of better alignment with business partners.
  • recrEAtion: Realizing the Extraordinary Contribution of Your Enterprise Architects. If you’re an architect, or even pretend to be one, this is a must-read.  Fundamentally changed my thinking on what it means to be an (enterprise) architect. Continues the fictitious story from the previous book, fruITion.
  • Little Bets. Food for thought about the value of experimentation as most new brilliant ideas don’t form out of thin air, but are discovered.
  • Game of Thrones; A Clash of Kings; A Storm of Swords. I’m not a fantasy book guy, but after watching Game of Thrones on HBO, I thought I’d try the books. I read the first three and loved the characters and “did they really do that?” plot twists.
  • The Two Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future–Just Enough. Excellent book on the real-time data revolution. Although written by the CEO of TIBCO, the book isn’t very technical but rather shows the reader the significant impact of real-time intelligence.
  • A. Lincoln: A Biography. Fascinating, well-paced story of one of America’s most compelling historical figures. Lincoln was such a deep thinker and this book does an excellent job following his thoughts from early life through his successful navigation of the US Civil War.

As for 2012, hopefully you’ll see more blog posts, more training courses, and more interviews containing stupid questions.



Categories: General

2 replies

  1. When do you sleep🙂

  2. I’m pretending to be an architect, so I’ll check out “recrEAtion”. 😛

    Wonderful articles and books! Thank you so much for sharing!

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