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Whenever I find person’s views enlightening I tend to look for what inspired them. That’s why I’m publishing a list of people that influenced me.

If you found anything insightful on this website. And I hope so! It was likely an interpretation of the work by these people.

Eliyahu Goldratt

Eli introduced Theory of Constraints in his book The Goal. For me this book was the perfect gateway into systems thinking and continuous improvement. It gave me a basic mental framework I’m using to this day to make decisions about products, resources and team management.

To better understand how to apply Theory of Constraints (TOC) in practice, check out Beyond the Goal audiobook. This is a recording of a training seminar Eli did. It’s great.

Another good book by Goldratt, this time on TOC in project management, is Critical Chain.

Genrich Altshuller

There is an algorithm for innovative problem-solving. It’s not serial search, it’s not random guessing, it is not brainstorming.

Soviet engineer, thinker and science-fiction writer Genrich Altshuller came up with the Theory of Innovation. Some of the schools and universities in Russia still teach it. It’s applied at R&D and manufacturing organizations all over the world.

Kent Beck

Test Driven Development By Example is a step-by-step guide to the practice of writing good code. And that’s just scratching the surface! Thinking about it now I understand that it showed me the importance of feedback cycles in programming, product and systems in general.

Christopher Alexander

I’m just getting into Christopher’s work. His Notes on the Synthesis of Form is really something. The book is about architecture and design, but all the concepts apply to designing products, companies, any sort of evolving systems.

As a teaser of his work and what kind of a thinker he is, check out this talk Christopher Alexander gave at a software engineering conference.

Joshua Bloch

Probably the only reason I like Java is Joshua’s book. He showed me that there’s a beautiful language behind the syntax.

Effective Java paired with open-source Java code released by Google (think Guice) taught me a ton about programming.