Those who design embedded systems without implementing a watchdog should be sentenced to eternal porting of Toyota Camry ETSC code
to an obscure programming language
My entertainment system was down throughout 12 hour flight home, it was showing this picture and was not reacting to input. So I took some time to re-read "Up" on this flight, and compared it with "Reaching the moon". Both books were written by karial
The books contain tons of useful advises on building a management career, but not only that. The content is fully applicable for those who pursue an engineering career in organizations which have a technical career ladder (e.g. distinguished engineer/technical fellow at MSFT or principal engineer/fellow at INTC). So I have recommended both books to my mentee, an experienced Russian speaking engineer who had only recently started his career in a multinational company. Both books have big sections describing specifics related to women in management. It makes it all even more interesting for women, and could help men to get some insight about what could be relevant for their female peers.
Second book seems to contain a bit more specific advises on some difficult topics like counteroffers, receiving negative annual review, promoting a project that has many stakeholders from different org functions, etc. There are also a few things that make the second book different. One of them is that the first book was assuming that the reader is pursuing a management career in a big public company with a corporate culture that promotes leadership development and meritocracy. In the second book, there are five references to other "organizations with bad org culture and nepotism", where the advises from the book do not fully apply. I think it is not all black and white, there is a continuum here, plus different division of the same company may have different levels of meritocracy/nepotism.
I think these references to "bad" organizations came in light because some Russian speaking readers wrote LJ comments on how advises from the first book do not work in some big Russian companies. I also have a feeling that some of the topics for the second book were inspired by questions that were asked in LJ and Facebook comments. Inna is very open to discussion, and she is probably the only CxO level executive who often gives readers very good personal advice in her LJ and facebook group (but the question has to be clear, concise and interesting for the audience, or else the answer could be "You are in a hot air balloon").
Both books differ from american books of the same genre. A story in a typical american book evolves around two or three ideas, going all around them, studying them inside out with plenty of examples and anecdotes. Inna's books are not short of anecdotes and real life examples, but they lack a single recurring theme. I like it more this way: when reading an american book I always have an urge to jump from third chapter to the last.
Actually there was a kind of recurring theme: you have to be positive(without exceptions) and proactive(but do not step to other's turf!), and your boss is probably right(even if you think he is wrong). In a trade off between subjective idealism of positive thinking and vulgar materialism of engineering culture the author clearly leans towards positive thinking. As a manager is acting through people, I guess making focus on subjective things makes sense. As an engineer I don't like it, but I should use the tool that works, and this seems to work.
Just to mix the positive image of modern public companies with a bit of sad reality, I highly recommend a brilliant series by _mak_
. Or this one
. Dilbert would work too.