So Colm wants to know what list of books I'd recommend for new game-programming hires. So here's a first-draft list:
Writing Solid Code, by Steve Maguire
Code Complete, by Steve McConnell (there are just a few chapters that I really like, but I don't have a copy on hand so I can't tell you which ones)
Effective C++, by Scott Meyers
I'm tempted to say The Pragmatic Programmer - at the time I read it, it wasn't as much of a revalation as the other books were for me, it was more of a crystallization of my thoughts, but it might be good to get new guys up to speed.
Also tempted to say Large Scale C++ Design, by Lakos - it's a good no-nonsense C++ architecture book...other books on patterns and idioms and whatnot get a little too, I don't know, cute. Clever. But it's so damn big! I'd pick and choose parts of it that make for good required reading, but not sure which parts.
The C++ ARM - not to read, just to have on hand for reference.
So, a notable absence of "game programming" books. Game Coding Complete is good but I'm not sure I'd make it required reading - generally you'd want articles and books targeted to the problem at hand. AI for AI coders, graphics for graphics coders, etc. And if they're gameplay programmers, or programmer/designers, I think Richard Rouse's book is the best fit for a good design book.
Even though these are management oboks, I'd want team members to have read 'em, partly so they know why we run things the way we do, and partly to help push management outward to the employees, so those employees feel empowered to make decisions (and we need fewer managers.)
Debugging The Development Process, by Steve Maguire
Dynamics of Software Development, by Jim McCarthy
Rapid Development, by Steve McConnell
(Which might confuse the poor people because McConnell likes to say "schedule conservatively" whereas Maguire and McCarthy say to "schedule aggressively".)
Good To Great, by Jim Collins
Some book on people skills would be good...something like Crucial Conversations or How To Win Friends And Influence People, stressing the importance of soft approaches when interacting with others...but I hate the writing style in those books so much I'm not sure I could force someone to read them...is there a book out there like this that isn't obnoxious to read?
This slideshow on the Cerny method.
And these Joel Spolsky articles:
Hmm...that's a lot, maybe they should just read the whole book.
And my Gama articles. (I didn't list them all. Honest.)
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20040123/fristrom_01.shtml [I don't totally agree with this one anymore - in particular the "everybody crunches" bit, which doesn't seem workable on a big team - I'd have to write an amended version of it]
Whew. Quite a list. I better get on that condensed version.
Some books I used to love dropped off my list: Advanced Styles and Idioms was one, Object Oriented Analysis and Design was another; these have been supplanted by Lakos...because, like I said. Too cute / clever.
What do you guys think? Am I missing anything? Could you replace these with better ones? There's a noteable absence of books on Agile or XP...to be honest, I haven't read that many of them...and lately I've been hearing good things about The Art of Project Management but I haven't read it yet.