Accueil > professional > IT employers: have your staff buy IT books!

IT employers: have your staff buy IT books!

Well, all is in the title…

Still, it really matters. Not all software developers can be self taught. Neither do they all necessarily like everything they work with. Neither is it always possible for all software developers to buy 3 books a quarter.

I don’t really know if I’ve to go over all the advantages of books… Quickly said, I guess just clicking on the book tag on the right here should provide most of the answers and make obvious the added values of books.

And there are some less obvious advantages, more « work wise » ones:

  • books fit very well with one of our modern time habits: commuting. Really: it makes self improvement possible for people having almost no other free time in the day.
  • books which wouldn’t have been necessarily bought end up being read and useful… Crazy 😉
  • overall quality of the staff work is bound to rise. Which generally improves employees self esteem and work satisfaction.
  • the whole staff feels valued and grateful, for something like a few hundred bucks per quarter (200€ can already buy quite some books !). Way less than a pay rise. And most likely it can be reduced from some taxes. So the cost is really low.

All of this post might seem obvious for some or even most of the readers, I really don’t know.

However, for me, this wasn’t the case: my current employer is the first one to have a « book budget » which can be spend on any IT book. It doesn’t have to be strictly work related, IT related is enough. It doesn’t have to fit why what the boss would currently read. No, it just has to please one of us. And, for sure, if the book is good, other might well end up reading it as well, or at least being directed to it when having related questions. Really great and helpful.

The freedom we’re granted there is, I think, fundamental to the whole story. It’s again on the « self empowerment » side of the story. Team members aren’t irresponsible subordinates, no, they have (loosely coupled) work related interests which matters enough the company. Very nice isn’t it?

That was lurking in my mind since a while, it’s now out, I can go back to normal life 😉


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  1. mars 22, 2012 à 4:49

    Well overall : I can’t agree more !

    I wish my team ask me more books than they actually do. As you say: it doesn’t have to be work related, IT related is enough (I think I will reuse that).
    I sometime « push » some titles. Sometime it works, sometimes not (and I think I have some skills in selecting books). And clearly it’s not the same thing as if it’s asked by the team.

    Thanks for the post, I like it. A lot.

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