5 books every IT professional should read

April 9, 2019

Looking for books that will take your information technology (IT) knowledge to the next level?

The following books address the implications of new technologies, convey lessons in leadership and ethics, and provide you with in-depth topical knowledge and the latest insights from the IT world.

5 Books for IT Professionals

1. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

Kevin Kelly – 2017

Overview: Founder and former executive editor of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly details the inevitable changes technology will introduce over the next 30 years, and how these changes will affect daily life and work.

Apply this knowledge: While technological advances can sometimes seem intimidating or potentially ethically dubious, Kelly discusses the positive impacts changes can have and how best to prepare for and implement them.

2. Spark: The Definitive Guide: Big Data Processing Made Simple

Bill Chambers and Matei Zaharia – 2018

Overview: Spark founder Matei Zaharia and Databricks product manager Bill Chambers have created a comprehensive guide to deploying, using, and maintaining Apache Spark, one of the most actively used open source engines.

Apply this knowledge: Written specifically for data scientists and data engineers, this book provides detailed information on application development and introduction of newer high-level structured APIs. It also provides resources for concepts not covered thoroughly, including machine learning, operations, and administration.

3. iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Jean M. Twenge, PhD – 2017

Overview: This is a well-researched description of the impact of IT on those born after 1995. Technology has been an integral part of their lives since birth, leading to new ways of working, interacting socially, and even affecting their values systems.

Apply this knowledge: Because this generation represents the future of all industries, not just IT, it’s critical that employers and colleagues make the effort to understand them before hiring and working with them. This well-researched book provides extensive insight into what to expect and how to prepare.

4. The Industries of the Future

Alec Ross – 2017

Overview: Leading innovation expert Alec Ross examines the fields that will shape the world economy over the next decade, including changes to work and society related to IT development. With research from more than 40 countries and insights from global leaders, Ross asks and answers some of the hardest questions about our future.

Apply this knowledge: By understanding global trends, the author provides insight into how workplaces will need to adapt as technology changes the way people work over the next decade, as well as the growing role of IT workplaces around the world. He also examines how other countries may develop their own Silicon Valleys, and looks at how parents can prepare their children for the changes technology will inevitably bring.

5. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Ashlee Vance – 2017

Overview: Worthwhile not just for the background into a fascinating entrepreneur, but for the tale of the renewal of American invention and a look into the future that Musk envisions.

Apply this knowledge: Any time there’s a visionary business/technology leader raising stakes, there are lessons to be learned for others, whether it’s how to cope with adversity (and Elon Musk has had failures), how to drive innovation forward, or overcoming opposition.

Being well-read and knowledgeable about trends in your industry is a good way to keep you sharp and give you interesting subjects to discuss with colleagues. Take some of your precious free time and relax with one of these books; your future self will thank you for it.

Considering formal learning opportunities? Topics covered within these books are also part of the core curriculum of the IT degree programs at Capella University.

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