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The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) [Paperback]

Chad Fowler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £15.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2009 1934356344 978-1934356340 1

Success in today's IT environment requires you to view your career as a business endeavor. In this book, you'll learn how to become an entrepreneur, driving your career in the direction of your choosing. You'll learn how to build your software development career step by step, following the same path that you would follow if you were building, marketing, and selling a product. After all, your skills themselves are a product.

The choices you make about which technologies to focus on and which business domains to master have at least as much impact on your success as your technical knowledge itself--don't let those choices be accidental. We'll walk through all aspects of the decision-making process, so you can ensure that you're investing your time and energy in the right areas.

You'll develop a structured plan for keeping your mind engaged and your skills fresh. You'll learn how to assess your skills in terms of where they fit on the value chain, driving you away from commodity skills and toward those that are in high demand. Through a mix of high-level, thought-provoking essays and tactical "Act on It" sections, you will come away with concrete plans you can put into action immediately. You'll also get a chance to read the perspectives of several highly successful members of our industry from a variety of career paths.

As with any product or service, if nobody knows what you're selling, nobody will buy. We'll walk through the often-neglected world of marketing, and you'll create a plan to market yourself both inside your company and to the industry in general.

Above all, you'll see how you can set the direction of your career, leading to a more fulfilling and remarkable professional life.

Frequently Bought Together

The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) + The Pragmatic Programmer + Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin)
Price For All Three: £73.08

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (7 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356340
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


""Chad Fowler presents a set of no-nonsense heuristics, disciplines, and attitudes that will teach you how to respect and love your profession--and be great at it."" - Bob Martin, President Object Mentor, Inc.""This book is solid GOLD! There may be hope for our "unprofession" after all! More power to you!"" - Bruce Langenbach, Independent Agile Software Entrepreneur and Passionate IT Consultant

About the Author

Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer, trainer, manager, speaker, and musician. Over the past decade he has worked with some of the world's largest companies and most admired software developers. He loves to program computers and, as part of his role as CTO of InfoEther, Inc., spends much of his time solving hard problems for customers in the Ruby language. He is co-organizer of RubyConf, RailsConf, and RailsConf Europe and author or co-author of a number of popular software books.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Tom
This is a lovely little book for your Development Bookshelf. It focuses on a lot of the "soft skills" you need to be a good programmer: not the technical side.

Partly because of the subject matter, but mainly due to the layout and writing style, you will find this an `easy read'. You can open it on a Friday night after a really hard week, and you won't find your mind wandering.

The book is divided up into 52 mini-chapters (it was originally called My Job Went To India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job). [on a side note, if it had been called that I would never have bought it as I don't personally see this off-shoring as a direct threat to the UK development industry. The new title is much better and more accurately reflects the content of the book. For instance, there is no direct guidance in the book about finding new job, in fact there are several suggestions for changing your existing job into an awesome one, if it isn't already.]

The format means you can pick it up and put it down quickly, reading a chapter at a time if you wish - you can get a chapter in during the time it takes a compile a mid-size project. At the end of each chapter are Act on It! tips and suggestions. Having now read the book, these are the points I will be going back to for inspiration. The chapters are diverse: with lots of good ideas about you as a brand, marketing yourself, dealing with people (including managers), and making yourself not only heard, but irreplaceable.

This book keeps you honest. It reminds you that you're important, yes, but you're not that important. However, to yourself, you're the most important, and you need to respect that. The opening sentence of the introduction to this book is: "This book is about finding fullness and happiness in your career".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Passionate Programmer - Good advice 21 April 2010
I really liked the Pragmatic Programmer, it's on my recommended reading page for that reason. So when I saw a new book from the pragmatic bookshelf called "The Passionate Programmer" that promised to show me how to create remarkable career in software development and not just average career - I snapped up the chance to read it.

The book has 5 sections each dealing with an area of being a software professional: Choosing your market, Investing in your product, Executing, Marketing - not just for Suits and Maintaining your Edge. The chapters are short, each only 2-4 pages in length, and deal with a good variety of topics in those broad areas. The chapters are really accessible and easy to read, so it is easy to dip in to when you've got a spare minute or so, the sort of thing you can read while waiting for a project to build in Visual Studio.

I am recommending this book to anyone, whether they're just starting out in software development or they've been doing it for years, whether they're unhappy with where they are in their career or blissfully happy doing what they're doing. That said the advice is applicable outside the world of IT because most of it is just common sense - I found myself nodding along with the ideas thinking to myself "that's obvious, but I'm not actively doing that, maybe I should".

For anyone interested in self improvement, getting on with their careers and not being content to drift where things take them this book has ideas and suggestions on how to take control of your career and make something remarkable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great book! 24 Mar 2010
This book should be given to anyone who is starting a career in software development. The main idea behind this book is to outline what it takes to be a great software developer, not an average one. If you are really into software development and you want a little bit of extra reading to keep you thinking, this is the book for you.

All of the points in this book are extremely relevant and it never wanders off topic. Quite a lot of software development books are are a few good points with filler, but not this one.

Taking all aspects of software development like working with a team and really trying to get the best out of yourself and others while writing the best code possible, this book covers every angle possible for improvement.

Get this book yourself or give it to your team, it will be worth it in the long run!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend this book 30 Oct 2010
By stevie
This book is a worthwhile read for any developer. A fair number of the ideas were not new to me but were well worth being reminded of. The book is nicely broken into bitesize sections so you can read one or two a day or blitz through lots in one sitting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I consider this book an essential read for any programmer/developer who is serious about his/her craft. As other reviewers have noted, it does focus on more of the 'soft skills' than other tech books I have recommended below, but this is a very important topic, and one that (in my experience as a technical lead) is often under-valued by programmers.

With the rise of Agile methodologies, DevOps and 'polyglot' programming/persistence the people who turn business dreams into reality (programmers/developers) are increasingly expected to work across the entire technology stack. Not only does this bring new challenges (what and how to learn about the options available), but it also moves the developer closer to the requirements gathering process and ultimately the end users. Combine this with the fact that even as a permanent employee you can expect to find yourself working for multiple employers over your career, it really does make career planning and investing in your skills a no-brainer.

I can almost guarantee this book will get you thinking about choices you are making within your career, and it covers topics as diverse as how to choose which technologies to learn, the process of learning technologies and your craft, how to interact with the business and end users, how to market yourself to employers, and how to prevent inertia from affecting your career.

I can't stress enough the value of the personal/career reflection process that this book will generate for you. The cost of the book alone can easily be justified by the potential extra earning you will make in the future, and not only can you make more money, but you'll have fun doing it (which arguably is even more important) .
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must in your bookshelf
Every developer should read this book.
Published 29 days ago by Ivan
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Read
If you are the sort of person to pick this book up and read it, there is every chance that you will already do a fair amount of the suggestions within. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Faye
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
This is a really great book. It's easy to read, for a couple of reasons. The writing style is nice (even funny at times), and it's split into lots of little small chapters that are... Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. O'Neil
4.0 out of 5 stars present
bought as a present for my son who asked for it it is for computer people arrived very quickly in time for christmas
Published 19 months ago by mconyx
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Written by an expert for budding programmers and developers, this book gives advice and opinion on how to improve your career direction in the field of software development.
Published 21 months ago by R Sutton
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre
If you haven't given much thought to the forces shaping your career, then you'll probably get a lot out of this book, but I'd be surprised if that's true for most of its intended... Read more
Published on 1 May 2012 by Gordy B
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Inspiring And Full Of Profanities
I mainly bought this book out of marketing from my peers. Unfortunatelly it's not what I was expecting - which were smart ways to boost your career and see a bit further in the... Read more
Published on 21 April 2012 by llib
3.0 out of 5 stars It's an OK book...
The book is ok, sometimes interesting, others a bit boring but easily readable. I have just read Hackers and Painters which is a fantastic buy if you're into these kind of books.
Published on 26 Jun 2009 by Paulo Matos
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