Being Geek: The Software Developer's Career Handbook Paperback – 13 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Michael Lopp is a Silicon Valley-based engineering manager. When he's not worrying about staying relevant, he writes about pens, bridges, people, and werewolves at the popular weblog, Rands in Repose. Michael wrote a book called "Managing Humans" which explains that while you might be rewarded for what you produce, you will only be successful because of your people.
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As geeks we build our safe and predictible worlds with well defined rules. But sometimes some unpredictable things happen. The author shows how to manage and be prepared to the change and how to recognize it is comming. There are some very practical topics covered regarding changing your gig. How to make the decision, how to deal with offers, prepare to interviews, gather information about your next company, negotiate your work conditions contract and work efficiently in a new team (in an organizational structured company). Everything having in mind your professional grownth. Very useful in defining your career strategy.
A part of the book is devoted to managing time/tasks techniques mainly by prioritazing. The author also explains how to be effective and productive and how to keep balance in your professional life. There is also an interesting discussion on how to move from engineering position to management one.
The author analyses things from two different perspectives throughout the book. Sometimes he shows things from the engineer's point of view. A geek's one. Another time he considers the engineering manager's points of view. As many of us the author were an engineer once and now moved to management. This duality has its broadening value itself.
The book is written by a geek about geeks and for geeks. It may help to understand your's geekery. Reading the book you will have the chance to understand (better) profesional nerd either it is you, your boss or anybody else. Beeing geek often means diffuculties with outside world communication, presenting thoughts, skills and achievements with both confidence and being understandable by others. You will get some advice on how to improve your improvisation skills of the moment (if you are a geek of course).
The book is written simple, plain English and the author gets to the point quickly. No psychological jargon or unnecessary wording. This is also an advantage as we all are so busy not having to much to for reading books.
I especially like the part about bits, features and truth (Chapter 31). It is really fascinating how our social lives are full of life withing our project teams and it is always evolving to see/read someone's analysis of it. It is good to bring to mind from time to time how healthy tension is really important in the hostile world of program and product management and of course engineering. Don't you know what I am writing about? Just read this book it is worth it. If you are a geek of course...
Focused primarily on work life, it guides you through all aspects of your career, from starting up quickly in a new gig, to surviving the vagaries of the tech industry day-today and finally knowing when to move on and how to get that next job. Full of honestly useful advice, presented in an engaging humorous style.
Great gift for your nearest geek -- or yourself!
Thought the book would help me, as a software developer, to improve workgroup skills, career planning, or something related to my profession.
Turns out the book's aimed audience is actually middle management. Focuses on understanding/motivating geek employees being managed by said audience.
Me being a (mildly geeky) software developer, and the book being targeted to my (not neccesarily geeky) bosses, it's just not very usefull for me.
But I read it anyway. So about the book:
Written in an informal, casual style.
Each chapter is rather short and self-contained. It usually involves a real-life situation, problem or anecdote, for which the author, sometimes pedantically, narrates his geek-management skills.
The rest of the book structure is rather unorganized.
Later found out that the autor runs a blog, and seems that most of the chapters are articles extracted from there.