If you work with computers at all, you need this hilarious and fascinating book, if only to understand what everyone around you is saying. I was surprised to discover how many of the words I already knew and used -- and delighted to discover their etymology. But I was slightly appalled that I hadn't even realised some were slang! (It was a bit like discovering how high my score was on the Nerd test.)
This is a fascinating and deeply thoughtful account of the Open Source phenomenon, why it works, and where it is going, by one of the "accidental leaders" of the movement. Raymond has written a series of essays over the last decade, examining the culture of open source software, the hacker culture out of which it grew, how that very culture is the thing that sustains it, and showing that it could be the way of the future.
It may seem heretical that the way to develop software is to make the source freely available to anyone and everyone. Raymond eloquently exposes the myths behind that thinking, and shows how and why Open Source can work to everyone's benefit, developer and customer alike. (Everyone who doesn't want utter and total world domination, that is.)
This is described as "a work in progress", and the latest version of the various essays are available at Raymond's site. This book version -- much easier to read in the bath or on the train -- is frozen in 1999, so doesn't have all the latest wrinkles: Y2K hasn't happened yet, for example. Never mind that. There's lots of stuff in here to severely shift your paradigms, if you thought the only way to make money from the software business was to sell bits. Read this, and discover there is another way, a way that's better for programmers and for customers alike.