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20 book recommendations from sci-tech leaders

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Here are just some of the book recommendations we got from tech, science and business leaders in 2021.

Throughout our Leaders’ Insights series on, we’ve asked a host of leaders from the worlds of technology and science about their careers, their industries and their leadership styles. We’ve also asked them to recommend books that our readers might be interested in.

This year, we got suggestions covering tech advances, scientific mysteries, leadership advice and entrepreneurial insights. So if you’re looking for a new read or audiobook to tuck into this festive season, here are 20 recommendations.

The colourful covers of eight different books.

The Phoenix Project – Gene Kim, George Spafford and Kevin Behr

This is a novel about IT, DevOps and helping your business win, and Annertech’s Stella Power said it’s one she would recommend to colleagues and IT organisations.

“It uses a story format to illustrate the importance of completing tasks and focusing on increasing the speed to delivering value from projects, while being pragmatic about how this is achieved,” she explained.

BearingPoint’s Gillian O’Sullivan added that The Phoenix Project was the first pick for her company’s book club. She described it as a “real eye opener for teams working in IT”.

Survival to Thrival – Bob Tinker and Tae Hea Nahm

Survival to Thrival aims to provide practical advice for entrepreneurs and leaders on the start-up journey. Fidelma McGuirk, founder and CEO of Irish fintech company Payslip, said it’s a book that “frames the B2B SaaS growth path very well”.

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans – Melanie Mitchell

For tech fans, here’s a recommendation from the reading list of editor Elaine Burke.

Computer scientist and professor Melanie Mitchell takes a deep dive into the current state of AI, from its turbulent history to recent innovations and emerging fears about this technology.

Information Security: A Strategic Approach – Vincent LeVeque

Mark Brown, who heads up cybersecurity and information resilience at BSI, said this is a “great guide for cybersecurity professionals looking to elevate beyond the technology into the business aspects of information security”.

Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage – Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew

Yet another non-fiction pick, Blind Man’s Bluff covers US Navy submarine operations during the Cold War.

“This true story is a page-turner, full of technology innovations and tales of bravery, and it has eerie parallels to the cyberwar being waged right now,” said Sonrai Security boss Brendan Hannigan.

Your Computer is on Fire – edited by Thomas S Mullaney, Benjamin Peters, Mar Hicks and Kavita Philip

Another recommendation from the team, Your Computer is on Fire features a series of essays looking at how inequality, marginalisation and biases have been woven into our technological systems.

Contributors include tech historian Mar Hicks and Safiya Noble, whose essay is about race and gender stereotypes in robotics.

The Ride of a Lifetime – Robert Iger

The Ride of a Lifetime has been described by Bill Gates as “a business book I’d actually recommend”. It is written by Robert Iger, who was the CEO of Walt Disney and is now executive chair.

“It is an interesting book that brings the reader through some of the biggest business decisions Iger had to make as he transformed the company,” SSE Airtricity’s Klair Neenan told

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention – Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

For more business insights, No Rules Rules draws on hundreds of interviews with Netflix employees and stories from co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings to provide a window into the world of the streaming giant.

It was recommended to us by KBC Ireland’s Lavinia Morris.

Creativity, Inc – Amy Wallace and Ed Catmull

This book, recommended by Irish tech business leader Adele Cooper, is a combination of a memoir and a business management guide.

Co-written by Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, it brings the reader into the heart of the animation giant and discusses creative processes in business.

Hit Refresh – Satya Nadella

Written by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, this book deals with transformation in the company, the transformation of tech and personal transformation.

“It reminds us all of the fragility of life and the need to maintain a healthy work-life balance,” noted BSI’s Mark Brown.

Why Evolution is True – Jerry Coyne

For those looking for a science read, FutureNeuro’s David Henshall said Why Evolution is True is “the best popular science book” he has ever read.

“The topic is my favourite subject outside of what I work on and he weaves together all the evidence in a way that I think even the great Richard Dawkins never quite managed.”

Innate – Kevin Mitchell

Another science-focused recommendation from Henshall was Innate, which deals with “how we are who we are”. It was written by Kevin Mitchell, who is associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin.

Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari

Written by the author of Sapiens, Homo Deus traces the history of the human experience and possibilities for the future. Raluca Saceanu of Smarttech247 described it as “a great, thought-provoking book”.

The Order of Time – Carlo Rovelli

Saceanu also recommended this book by Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, which tries to reveal the mysteries of time.

“The author managed to create a world where physics and philosophy meet in this book, which makes it a must read!”

Good to Great – Jim Collins

This management book about why some companies make the leap and others don’t has been recommended plenty of times throughout the history of Leaders’ Insights. Declan Colfer of Wellington IT described it as a “wonderful piece of literature to inform the operation of a well-run business”, while Annertech’s Stella Power said she read it not long after starting her own business.

“I found the advice within that really useful, particularly the part about having the right people on the bus,” she added.

The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto was written by surgeon, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande.

“This book focuses on the use of checklists in the business world and in medicine,” Speed Fibre Group’s Claire Murphy told us. “I am a big advocate of checklists, I view them as a simple way to ensure you get things right.”

Radical Candor – Kim Scott

Leadership books, unsurprisingly, proved very popular with the sci-tech leaders we spoke to. But BearingPoint’s Gillian O’Sullivan said she thought Radical Candor by Kim Scott had “a refreshing take on leadership”.  

The One Thing – Gary Keller

Meanwhile, Kefron’s Paul Kearns said The One Thing “offers important insights into leadership, innovation and results-focused organisations”.

“I think it’s important to regularly remind yourself of the purpose of your organisation, and Keller’s book is a great guide,” he added.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy – Richard Rumelt

Sidero’s Carmel Owens said Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is a book she has returned to several times.

“I like it because unlike other strategy books, which can be too aspirational, the author cuts through buzzwords and fluff and remains very pragmatic. It outlines how to honestly assess your company’s current situation and offers practical steps on how to set and realise an achievable but ambitious strategy.”

Failure Is Not An Option – Gene Kranz

Finally, UiPath’s Renzo Taal said this is a book that really captured his imagination. It’s an account by former NASA flight director Gene Kranz, who was part of the team that brought the Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to Earth in 1970.

“The thing that grabbed me was the lack of time,” Taal explained. “He had one chance to save their lives, one shot to achieve something incredible – and he did it. He faced mechanical issues and mathematical challenges, but most of all, psychological pressure like nothing else. But he rose to the occasion and succeeded. I found that story very inspiring.”

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Angharad Yeo: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Comedy

Voice Of EU



I am a child of the internet. I was always drawn to computers and tech, and used to beg my dad to bring us to his office on a weekend so we could use the high-speed internet to play Neopets games. As I got older it was all MSN, MySpace, Paramore fan forums, Tumblr, Twitter and now TikTok. I want nothing more than to zone out and look at my little pictures.

One of my favourite things about the internet is that it allows you to see everyone’s best joke. The moment in their life where they were at their absolute funniest – whether it be because they had a moment of brilliant wit or because they got pulled through a panel roof while practising for a high school play (I assume).

The internet has rotted my brain with the following content. Please now allow it to rot yours.

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The Pandemic Years have (and continue to be) difficult for everyone. Who among us has not, at one time or another, needed to just explain themselves by saying: “It’s mental illness, innit?”

2. Perfect burger

When I showed this video to my fiancee, she flatly said: “I like how absurdist it is.” That’s her code for, “I don’t get it, but I’m happy you’re happy.” And I am happy. Look at how confident and brave this burger is – ready to take on the world, come what may. I wish to be the burger.

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I have been to court precisely once because I inadvertently got in a cop’s way and he was grumpy about it so he booked me. The penalty was dismissed but not before I cried in front of the judge trying to explain what happened because I was so stressed out. Court is a daunting place and I simply cannot imagine walking in there with any level of irreverence. However, I’m extremely glad there are people who simply do not care, will say whatever damn thing and then an internet angel turns them into TikToks.

4. Turtle choir

This tweet is made all the more majestic by the vaguely threatening Sylvanian Families-style profile picture, on a Twitter account named @bigfatmoosepssy.

5. Trying coffee with pasta water

Climate change is slowly turning the Earth into a barren ball of pain as Mother Nature smacks us for being extremely bad. Even though individual responsibility for climate change isn’t enough to turn the tide, I still applaud those who try. Twitter user @madibskatin woke up in the morning and decided to be the change she wants to see in the world, tastebuds be damned. One could argue that it’s pretty obvious that pasta water isn’t going to make a good coffee but like my dad says as he puts pineapple juice in his coffee: “If no one tries it, how will we know? What if it’s secretly good?”

6. Soaring, flying

If you look closely, this video is actually a metaphor for the ways in which we attempt to break free from our circumstances, yet are entirely at the mercy of them.

7. You cannot trick me

This may be a parody Twitter account, but the spirit of Gail Walden speaks truths. There is no victory sweeter than that which is gained on thine enemy’s own soil.

8. Self-deprecating jokes

Humour is a coping mechanism. I am coping.

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Dairy products are delicious. Ice-cream? Revolutionary. Cheese? Life-changing. Whipped cream on a pavlova? Essential. But milk? Disgusting. It’s not a drink, it’s a stepping stone to greater things.

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I am absolutely 100% not at all lactose intolerant (I promise) so I don’t relate to this video at all (not even a bit).

Angharad Yeo is the host of Double J Weekends, 9am – midday, Saturdays and Sundays.

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F5 cuts revenue 2022 forecasts amid low network chip stocks • The Register

Voice Of EU



The artist formerly know as F5 Networks – it moved to plain old F5 in November – is clipping revenue forecasts for fiscal ’22 by $30m to $90m because it can’t source enough specialised chips to produce systems.

The continued impact of the shortfall was outlined in F5’s Q1 results to 31 December and subsequent earnings conference call, during which chief exec François Locoh-Donou opened up on the challenge of suppliers cancelling orders because they can’t meet demand.

“As a result of persistent strong system demand, our systems backlog continued to grow in Q1,” he said. “Over the last 30 days, suppliers of critical components that span a number of our platforms have informed us of significant increases in decommits.

“These came in the form of both order delivery delays and sudden and pronounced reduction in shipment quantities. The step function decline in components availability is significantly restricting our ability to meet our customers’ continued strong demand for our systems.

“Like others in the industry, we are seeing worsening availability of specialized networking chipsets. Within the last 30 days, we have learned that deliveries for 52-week lead time components or at a year ago have been pushed out and that our expected quantities have been reduced.”

Group turnover grew 10 per cent year-on-year to $687m in F5’s Q1, fuelled by a 47 per cent leap in software to $163m, 2 per cent in services to $344m, and 1 per cent in hardware to $180m.

“Our software transition continues to gain momentum,” said Locoh-Donou, adding later in the earnings call: “While we are solely disappointed that supply chain challenges have gated our ability to fulfil customer demand for systems in the near term, we are more confident than ever in our position, our strategy and our long-term opportunity.”

The backlog grew by 10 per cent so the sales pipeline is looking healthy, said the exec, who was at great pains throughout the call to tell analysts: “It absolutely is a supply issue. And the revision we’ve just done to our annual guidance is 100 per cent linked to the supply issue.”

For the year, F5 now expects sales to grow 4-8 per cent ($610m to $650m).

“The issue with our supply chain has deteriorated steadily. And last year, we were not able to ship the demand, which is why our backlog grew so much during the year.

“Things have been getting worse. And at the beginning of our fiscal year, when we were doing the planning for this year, we actually took into account the number of decommits that we were getting from various suppliers and a situation that was already very tight on a number of components.”

He said in the past month it was seeing more than 400 cancellations from suppliers, “and we were running about 30 per cent less than that even just a month ago – the situation is quite unprecedented.”

In a bid to ameliorate the supply situation, F5 said it is working to design and qualify replacement parts – which may improve thing in the second half of the year. It is also trying to pre-order more components.

F5 is confident that it will not see orders cancelled. “The demand we have is very real. Our lead times, unfortunately, have gotten progressively worse over the last five, six quarters, but we haven’t seen any increase in order cancellation, and we don’t expect to see that going forward,” Locoh-Donou stated.

Supply chain problems with silicon components have been hitting companies in the IT industry and beyond for multiple quarters now, and networking vendors are no less vulnerable.

Last year, Arista warned that lead times for key chips were extending out to 60 weeks, twice what would be expected before the pandemic. Both Arista and Juniper announced they were being forced to bump up prices in November, while Cisco warned its buyers and investors that supply chain issues were likely to persist for several months more, although it expected to see some improvement in the situation for Q3 and Q4, taking us into the second half of 2022. ®

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Cork data centre equipment maker Edpac acquired for €29m

Voice Of EU



Munters, a Swedish air treatment technology company, will use the Edpac acquisition to expand into the European market.

Irish data centre equipment manufacturer Edpac has been acquired by Swedish company Munters in a €29m deal.

Based in Carrigaline, Co Cork, Edpac manufactures cooling equipment and air handling systems for data centres in the European market, with additional sales in the Middle East, South America and Asia.

For Munters, which has significant operations in North America, the acquisition is an opportunity for it to expand in the European market. Once complete, the deal will see the transfer of Munters’ technologies and engineering capabilities to Ireland.

“The European data centre market is a prioritised segment for Munters, and the acquisition is a significant step in our growth strategy,” said Klas Forsström, president and chief executive of Munters.

Forsström said that Munters’ experience in the North American market will provide Edpac with “opportunities for further profitable growth” by collaborating on “technology development and establishing unified processes”.

Edpac has two manufacturing facilities in Ireland – Newmarket and Carrigaline – and employs around 150 people in the country. Currently a manufacturing partner for Munters, Edpac sees approximately 7pc of its revenue come from the sale of Munters products.

In the financial year ending April 2021, Edpac reported net sales of €17m and earnings before tax of €1.7m. According to The Irish Times, Edpac managing director Noel Lynch has led the company since it was bought from its Swiss parent in 1991.

“We are excited to welcome Edpac to Munters. Edpac brings an attractive, differentiated customer base and high-quality products,” Forsström said, adding that Edpac’s operating model “is a perfect match with Munters ways of working.”

Founded in 1955, Munters aims to create energy efficient air treatment technologies for customers in a wide range of industries. Listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, it employees 3,300 employees across 30 countries – with annual sales exceeding 7bn Swedish krona in 2020.

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