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What is Phase2 Reading?
September 17, 2019 |

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney

Recently, we asked our Phase2 team members to submit a few of their favorite reads. Almost immediately, we received dozens of submissions from P2 bookworms eager to promote literary pieces that have shaped and reshaped the way they develop projects, lead teams, view conflict resolution and everyday life, and books they simply enjoy when a break from the world in front of them is needed.

Check out what Phase2 is reading below! 

Alright team, huddle up! 

“If you take out the team in teamwork, it’s just work. Now who wants that?” ― Matthew Woodring Stover

“During my first internship at Y&R (before VML bought it now it's VMLY&R), my supervisor told me to read this book.  Basic fundamentals on how to frame your mindset - always do your best, be impeccable with your word, don't take things personally and don't make assumptions.” -Nicole D’Amico, Senior Account Manager 

“This book probably has the highest value to fluff ratio of any work related book I've ever read. It's PACKED with insight about leading people. It is the one book that made me focus more on the people than the technology. The section about helping teams to jell was especially valuable for me. I still reference it in conversations at least weekly, almost 5 years after reading it.” -Mike Crittenden, Software Architect 

“It's a great read for understanding how to interact with different folks within an organization. It pushes you to have empathy for your fellow workers and to acknowledge why things are the way they are; and of course, how to change it.” -Jeremy Isett, Senior Developer 

“Reveals how RedHat does culture and demonstrates not only the value of engagement and ownership at the bottom, but how to achieve it. Required for anyone wanting to scale through bottom-up.” -Joseph Still, Senior DevOps Engineer

“On how to build strong and lasting teams” -Johanna Bergman, Partner Alliances & Channels 

Reading for growth

“Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” ―Brian Tracy

“I had many problems growing up and early in my career with letting my emotions get the better of me in many situations and this book was a tipping point in helping me use and channel that "energy" for the benefit of myself and those around me as opposed to being a more of a force for destructive and distraction.” -Frank Febbraro, CTO 

“Title says it all. It's one of those books I make a point of revisiting every couple of years for a refresher.” -HK Kahng, Developer 

“It's a simple read, because the most valuable ideas can be conveyed simply. It stresses patience, how to think reasonably, and encourages mindfulness and control of our own reactions to things around us.” -Tobby Hagler, Director of Engineering 

“This was an interesting read and the value of making decisions on the spot and not waiting or procrastinating. It opened my eyes to opportunities and a path for moving forward.” -Tracy Smith, Director of Business Technology 

Well, technology, of course!

“It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.”

–John Brunner

“It made me view software development as a craft, rather than a science or an art. I also learned to think of your software beyond the bounds of the code you write, and how projects as a whole become more than the sum of their parts the more you give to them.” - Frank Febbraro, CTO

“The most important book I have read underpinning the Theory of Constraints and the value of DevOps/LEAN in IT through a highly accessible narrative.” -Joseph Still, Senior DevOps Engineer

Lessons and Leisure 

“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” – Lena Dunham

“It opens with a piece of life-changing advice:  "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." and closes with a beautiful bit of poetic prose:  “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” -Jason Hamrick, Digital User Experience & Project Manager

“Even though I didn't know enough about Indian colonial history to truly appreciate the uber-metaphor in this book when I read it, I found I couldn't put this book down. Despite the twists and turns, an unreliable narrator, and a dense narrative style, Rushdie's knack for sympathetic, flawed characters and his deft handling of magical realism sucked me into a world I was sad to leave.” -Jordan Hirsch, Director of Innovation 

“This book never fails to make me laugh, no matter how stressed I am or how many times I've read it. I nearly always take it on business trips, since it's the perfect thing to read on the plane or after a long day of meetings.” -Janine Pracht, Product Manager 

“Parenting, especially as a single father of three, is a challenge. Parenting with authority but without autocracy, doubly so. This book helped me to change the way I worked with my boys, seeing things from their point of view and finding a balance between authority and permissiveness, between love, and logic.” -Joshua Turton, Senior Developer 

“The Guide introduced me to both sci-fi and British humor. It helped shape my own sense of humor (sideways with heavy wordplay) and birthed a life-long love of science fiction.” -Jason Hamrick, Digital User Experience & Project Manager


As a Senior Software Architect at Phase2, Mike does in-the-trenches development and also leads development teams. Mike's job is to make sure development runs smoothly, everyone is able to be productive, and blockers are resolved quickly. Mike is also a staff manager, working with developers to on their education and development.

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