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on 8 December 2011
I've long been a huge fan of Lopp's blog, Rands in Repose. Though many of the chapters in this book started as posts on that blog, they have been brought together into a wonderful cohesive whole which acts as an essential life handbook for any geek.

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!
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on 15 July 2011
Book was immediately ordered after a close friend's recommendation. Friend didn't actually read the book, though. It was also recommended to her by a colleague, unknown to me. But since my friend's judgement is highly appreciated by me, I bought the book without much research.

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.
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on 23 August 2011
Whether you are considering your next career move or just want to know why people in your company behave in this strange, insane, annoying (pick one or more that suits you best) way you will find some clues and thoughts in this book. All of them may help you figuring out what to do next in your professional life. This book can be also handy while defining your own career strategy and even if you are not considering a new gig right now it may help you to understand and survive your everyday's life as an engineer or engineering manager.

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...
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on 22 February 2011
I deliberately went for the long form of the book after reading several entries on Rand's excellent blog. I wanted to ensure that I wasn't missing any of the juicy details from between blog entries. While there were lots of insightful stories and many of the blog entries were expanded upon, I felt that I didn't really take away much more than I found on the blog. I don't wish to knock the book as I agree wholeheartedly with nearly all of it. I enjoy the style of writing, which makes an otherwise very dry subject much more entertaining. For me though, with 15+ years of experience, having read the blog and already in agreement with Rands, I found the book didn't live up to my expectations. Having said that, I expect anyone just starting out on their career would find it more beneficial, and indeed fun. If you do wonder just what the hell your manager does, and how to kick their arse, then it's pretty well covered in here.
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on 11 December 2010
got it from someone who is a real geek (web developer) and they are very pleased with this book. the very short chapters mean they can jump from one topic to another if they want, which makes it an easy read (let's face it, how many self-help books have you read from cover to end?) as well as focusing on one issue at a time. the range of 'geeky' issues they cover is excellent too. so yes i would totally recommend for oneself or if you want a present for a real geek, especially if they are beginning their career or considering a change.
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on 29 December 2010
Clear, concise and useful advice from an industry heavyweight. What makes the book so successful is the author's authentic voice.
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on 23 May 2013
Bought as a present for my software engineer boyfriend who is on a job hunt at the moment and he keeps telling me he loves it :)
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