I have an indecisive relationship with Twitter. Most of the stuff there just passes me by, even if it is good, impossible to consume in that particular moment. I use the star-marking function a bit, but then I tend to forget to check up on them 🙂 But every now and then I found a real gem! This tweet was one of them.
I clicked on the link in the tweet and started to read. I was immediately moved and also very inspired by the story that Cory Berg told. This guy is trying to achieve the same things that I want to do. I just had to get the book to read more!
The book by Cory Berg is called ”Software++” with the subtitle ”Must-Have Skills for Software Engineers”. It’s true that the skills are applicable to software engineers, but most of them can be applied by all knowledge workers. The book is available in Kindle format at Amazon.
The book is divided into three parts, each chapter describes a skill, and there are 21 of them in total. Each skill has a descriptive text, exercises you can do and a Real-World Tale (Cory’s own stories from his life and career). Here is the total list:
Part I: About You
- Skill #1: Always Have a Definition of Done
- Skill #2: Reason From Facts
- Skill #3: Question Assumptions!
- Skill #4: Be More Than A Coder
- Skill #5: Build Speaking Skills
- Skill #6: Attitude Is Everything
- Skill #7: Lead Or Follow
- Skill #8: Don’t Hit Send
- Skill #9. Own Your Mistakes
Part II: Your Professional Relationships
- Skill #10: Be Interested In Others
- Skill #11: Practice Building Trust
- Skill #12: Adapt To Your Audience
- Skill #13: Handle Criticism Professionally
- Skill #14: Manage Perception
- Skill #15: Value Others’ Time And Expertise
- Skill #16: Get A Mentor, Be A Mentor
Part III: Your Organization
- Skill #17: Respect Other Roles
- Skill #18: Understand Organizational Dynamics
- Skill #19: Support The Business Direction
- Skill #20: Talk To Customers
- Skill #21: Know Your Product
Here are some of my personal reflections after reading all parts. In part I – ”About you” I found #4 to be really good, very few developers that I know of shows passion that goes beyond coding. #8 ”Don’t hit send” is also a personal favorite since I have a colleague that have a one minute delay on sending emails. After he hits the ”Send”-button it will wait 60 seconds before it’s actually sent. It has saved him from a lot of trouble he claims 🙂 For part II – ”Your Professional Relationships” I really like the opening joke in #10 (that I obviously can’t tell you here). The rubber duck in #15 is another thing that you really have to read! The last part is about ”Your Organization” and how you navigate in such a structure. If you want to advance beyond coding you have to have ”political”-skills.
I can really recommend this book, and to the current price it’s a real bargain! The chapters are short, convenient, and quick to read. You get the ”I have to read one more chapter”-feeling! I really like the ”Real-World Tales” where Cory shares his stories. This book is very good reading when you are traveling (but not driving a car I presume :). I will also keep coming back to this book to be remembered of all the tips, it’s easy to fall back into old habits.
All the best,
Tomas from TheAgileist