Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results is a short and simple book written by two sharp minds who seem to have spent lots of time on thinking about simplifying things. Don’t let the previous sentence fool you, this book is a little gem which will show you one of the biggest obstacles in your business: the business itself, with all of its bureaucracy, complicated procedures and rules, the very things that may bring your productivity to a halt.
In a sense the book was the declaration of obvious to me, I mean if something seems broken, unproductive or just plain wrong and this keeps you from doing your work as efficiently as possible, then you go and fix it (without breaking law, of course) and continue to work in a better and more productive way (Well, maybe I’m just a lucky software developer and hacker who work at a research oriented organization). However this may not seem obvious to you, or worse, to your boss. Your well-intentioned and most creative acts or plans may be construed as bad business practice or met with a high level of doubt. In this case you’ll find the lots of case studies in this book, in a “war stories from the trenches” style. Real men and women who struggled with ‘stupid’ business rules and inefficiencies and ones who successfully implemented workarounds.
This book is simple and constantly preaches a very important message for your work life but it never falls into the trap of being naïve. It does not force the reader to take the “all or nothing” approach. It rather approaches its problem in a principled way and shows that it is possible to start with very simple tricks of trade and then, depending on your position and work environment, proceeds to braver schemes which you might or not wish to follow (at least immediately).
I’m very happy to have a book that I can easily recommend to my friends who don’t consider themselves hackers and struggle with the business problems described in this book.
PS: Do not forget to visit http://www.hackingwork.com/ and browse the blog and the download sections to learn more about how to hack your work for increased productivity and read more real-life stories in which you can discover invaluable tricks and workarounds.