I’ve been fortunate enough to have published three books. There’s two on becoming a better manager and leader, and there’s one on remote work.

Become a Great Engineering Leader

This is a sequel and follow-on to my first book, Become an Effective Engineering Manager. If you’re looking to further upgrade your leadership skills and run wider, deeper and more impactful organisations and projects, look no further.

The book contains a host of tools, frameworks and introspection points to grow you into a better, calmer, more focussed and competent leader.

The book is currently content complete but still in beta until the latter half of 2024. You can pick up the DRM-free eBook in PDF, epub and mobi formats from the Pragmatic Bookshelf website. Physical copies will follow later in the year when the book goes to print.

Effective Remote Work

Remote work is here to stay, and this book is here to guide you through this new world. Whether you work in an office or not, someone is remote to you in some way. So let’s build the future together, efficiently, wherever we happen to be.

Here’s where you can get it:

Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run a team?

This is a whistle-stop tour through what it means to be a fantastic Engineering Manager. We start by focussing on managing yourself, then managing teams, then focus on being a positive influence in your department and beyond.

You can get it from the following places:

Also, if you’d rather absorb the material via an online course, then you can do so via Educative.

My pitch for the book is that going from engineer to manager doesn’t have to be intimidating. Engineers can be managers, and fantastic ones at that. I wanted to encapsulate everything that I’ve learned over the years, both from others and through trial and error, and distill it into one place so that any new manager can be confident, effective and impactful.

I did a Q&A with InfoQ on the book and why I decided to write it.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here are some opinions from people that are smarter than me:

It’s the book I’ll be recommending to new managers transitioning into the role, managers starting at a new company, and experienced managers looking to make an organization-wide impact.

Gergely Orosz – @GergelyOrosz

This is a book I wish every engineering manager read before they stepped into the role. Bite-sized pieces of advice on engineering management that you would expect from a Pragmatic Publishers book.

Patrick Kua – @patkua

James’s book will be at the top of my mind when I start a product company. The content is not just for software engineering managers – technical leaders, CTOs, and managers will all benefit from practical advice that helps them be successful with the people they manage and work with.

Stephen Bussey – @YOOOODAAAA

If you happen to buy the book, then let me know what you think of it. I’d love to talk to you about it.

Udemy: Engineering and Product collaboration

If you’d like to do a primer on the essential topic of cross-functional collaboration between product and engineering, then look no further.

I was proud to work with Udemy on putting together one of their Business Collection courses covering these essential skills.

In the course, here’s what you can learn:

  • How collaboration between product and engineering creates amazing software. How exactly are teams structured in order to create the software that we use today?
  • How cross-functional teams are composed, and what everyone’s roles and responsibilities are. We’ll look inside and outside of the team and see who does what and when.
  • The process of planning, prioritising, building, shipping and iterating. At each of these stages, we’ll learn the key things to do in order to make sure your team is staying lean and focussing on what matters.
  • Common software engineering frustrations. Technical debt, proposing technical projects, and feature factories.
  • Common product management frustrations. Why are the developers so slow? Why are big bang launches a bad idea?
  • Routines for healthy and productive teams. Touching everything from stand-ups to milestone planning to retrospectives.

If your workplace has access to Udemy Business, then it should be included in the subscription. It’s great ramp-up material for those starting out in the industry.