Mark Stephens Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

Book Review: It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work

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If you are looking for a conventional book on management which sticks to all the current orthodoxy it, this is not that book.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the founders of Basecamp. They are famous for having strong views on how a company should work, which they practise and refine at Basecamp itself. As a result,  this book has received a lot of comment and been reviewed in several more unusual places (I especially enjoyed the review in the  Business section of The Economist).

This book is part manifesto on what needs to change, part guide to how they are making it work at Basecamp.

The book itself is a very readable 231 pages and does not use lots of technical jargon, although you may find the odd expletive. It is also very direct and challenging. For example, there is a Chapter on Having Less to Do which succinctly sums up the issue as:-

“Time-management hacks, life hacks, sleep hacks, work hacks. These all reflect an obsession with trying to squeeze more time out of the day, but rearranging your daily patterns to find more time for work isn’t the problem. Too much shit to do is the problem.”

Well said!

Make no mistake, these guys are not anti-work. What they are is not wasting huge amounts of time at work and getting the stuff that really matters done. In this book they demolish long hours, constant growth, deadlines, stress, lots of meetings, lots of emails and all the other killers of real work with suggestions on how they have made it work for them.

If you are looking for a fresh perspective on what work should be like, and how to get there, this is the book for you.

IDRsolutions develop a Java PDF Viewer and SDK, an Adobe forms to HTML5 forms converter, a PDF to HTML5 converter and a Java ImageIO replacement. On the blog our team post anything interesting they learn about.

Mark Stephens Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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