It started off as a simple question for all Atlassians: “What books have helped you grow into your career?” We were delighted (and a little surprised) when more than 40 Atlassians across the globe chimed in with their favorites. From teamwork and programming to writing and just getting stuff done, here are some of the top picks:

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, by Dan Roam

John Collins“I’ve tended to be the guy quick to a whiteboard in meetings, so I really latched onto the idea of visual thinking. Anyone, regardless of artistic ability, can communicate ideas with this approach. More whiteboards, fewer slide decks!”

John Collins, Senior Technical Writer

 

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

Penny Wyatt“This book teaches how to have difficult conversations without them turning into disastrous conversations. I wish I’d read this 15 years ago – it’s a great guide for real life, and not just for work.”

Penny Wyatt, Engineering Manager

 

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday

Jeff Nelson“Modern stoicism helps our teams embrace today’s challenge so we’re ready for tomorrow’s opportunity.”

Jeff Nelson, Head of Service Enablement

 

How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

John Jiang“This book taught me a bunch of social nuances about myself that I never realized, which helped me personally but also professionally in the way that I interact with people.”

John Jiang, Senior Developer

 

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, by Michael Watkins

Andre Serna“When you start a new job, or even a new role, this book gives a good framework for getting up to speed quickly and becoming effective. It’s primarily aimed at leaders in new roles, but the techniques are applicable to anyone. You only get one chance at a first impression!”

Andre Serna, Purchasing Development Manager

 

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Marie-Claire Dean“This book helped me understand that feedback was a conversation and that it was entirely in my own interest to listen to it. It can feel justified to dismiss feedback that is given in a clumsy way, but actually you need to work with the person to get to the bottom of it. Then you can really grow.”

Marie-Claire Dean, Senior Design Manager

 

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allan

Dee Pabst“I’ve used GTD to achieve heart and balance for the past decade! Build trust in your system, capture everything, and sleep well at night.”

Dee Pabst, QA Engineer

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink

Judd Garratt“Great non-bullshit ideas for giving creative people, like designers, a team environment where they will naturally thrive.”

Judd Garratt, Design Team Lead

 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig

Sarah Goff-Dupont“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one of those books I read every few years because it’s good for reacquainting with what’s really important. It’s the sort of book that can’t be read in a hurry, so simply pulling it off the shelf is a commitment to slow down and go deep for a while.”

Sarah Goff-Dupont, Principal Writer

 

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown

Chandler Zhang“This book teaches me how to face my shame, be open and vulnerable. It makes me able to pursue what I think is right in my daily work/life, instead of being afraid of making mistakes and being self-protective. I feel my potential is fully released.”

Chandler Zhang, Senior Developer

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

Michael Seager“The ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ is one of those foundational books that I recommend to everyone. Steven Covey suggests that personal character development and discipline is fundamental to being more effective in individual and team-based work.”

Michael Seager, Support Team Lead

 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

imageedit_3_9991786979“As someone who is very extroverted, it was very illuminating to see the work world from an introvert’s perspective, and I was inspired by all the ways I could best collaborate with all personalities. It’s so important for us to recognize and appreciate personality diversity in our teams and workplaces.”  

Aubrey Blanche, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion

 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott

Jamey Austin “Good writing books must create a bridge between practice and state of mind. You must be inspired to write, and think like a writer. Many do it well–Stephen King’s On Writing, Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life–but this book always stands out in my mind. It helped me write, with honesty and simplicity.”

Jamey Austin, Content Marketing Manager

 

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, by Robert C. Martin

Klaus Ihlberg“Back in the day when I was just learning the craft this book helped me understand how to write code that doesn’t just get the job done, but is also there for others to read and maintain.” 

Klaus Ihlberg, Development Team Lead

 

What books have inspired you in your career? We’d love to hear some of your favorites. Let us know!