Recommended reading for the CTO/CIO

There are really only three fundamental ways for a senior technology executive to hone his or her abilities:

  • networking with peers,
  • on-the-job experience, and
  • voracious reading

An astounding number of executives neglect the last one. Throughout the essays on this blog, you’ll see me cite seminal books in the field fairly regularly, across the spectrum of IT-related concerns. I’ll collect a list of the most important ones here.

A seasoned IT executive should be familiar with most, if not all, of the “Must Read” books.  The rest of the books on the various lists below are ones I’ve found particularly compelling from my reading over the course of my career.


Recommended for general background:

Architecture and Technical:

Business and IT:

Internet Sociology:

Operational and Financial:

General technology background:

Novels of IT:

Also recommended:

Note: I’ve also started a series of posts on the most important “human factors in IT” books, picking what I consider the most important three such books from each decade, starting with the 1970s.

Additionally, I have a series of posts on four “Novels of IT,” as listed above.