Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual – Book Review

I have followed John’s Simple programmer blog for sometime now and watched his YouTube videos. The book starts off with a section on Career with advice on interviews and people skills. The section then moves on to the various employment options that you have available and might not considered before. There is lots of great advice on being an independent consultant or even starting your own startup. There is a useful chapter on resumes and even asks you to consider getting your resume professionally written.

The next section is about marketing yourself as a developer and the various ways in which you can do this. This section covers topics such as blogging, speaking and writing books. I think this section is great for developers who want to start blogging and speaking but don’t know where to start. The is a strong emphasis on how useful these things are in your career development and also how it makes it easier to find consulting work if you are well known.

Section 3 is all about learning techniques, which I think is valuable because as developers we all have to be continuously learning and sharpening our skills. There are some great chapters on finding a mentor and being a mentor for someone else.

Section 4 is about productivity, there are lots of useful tips in this section. There is a chapter on the Pomodoro technique which I found interesting. There are lots of interesting chapters from Holding Yourself Accountable To How You Are Wasting Your Time.

The Financial section is very useful and again helps you kick-start you into different areas of finance that you may have thought would be nice to get involved in but have never taken the time to find out about.

The Fitness section is important, this is often an area that software developers overlook. There are lots of useful tips in here to get you motivated and achieving some of your fitness goals.

I think in short, this book is like sitting down with a friend and them dispensing lots of useful advice and answering questions that you might have been afraid to ask. I think this book is unique in the fact that it ties together lots of interesting topics to further your career as a software developer.

  • I’ve just ordered this book and am excited to get into it! It seems very informative

  • I enjoyed reading the book, I got it on MEAP. Its definitely a book I will refer back to.

  • I just finished reading this book and it was awesome. Every topic he talked about at some point I had either researched a lot about or found myself wanting to know about.

  • The is lots of material worth referring back to in the future. It will be a book I recommend to other software developers I meet in future.

  • Kevin O’Shaughnessy

    My copy arrived yesterday and I have been reading it obsessively. I am also a fan of Cory House’s course “Outlier Developer: Reprogramming the developer mind”. The objectives are the same as Soft Skills – Self improvement and career progression. I don’t think it was ever intended that way, but the course compliments the book very well. While they agree on all the same major ideas, they discuss different aspects.

    Anyway, back to my copy of Soft Skills… 🙂

    • JBannister

      Thanks for the tip regarding Cory House’s course, I have a Pluralsight subscription, so I will check this out on my commute during the week.