«Soft Skills» by John Sonmez

I kept an eye on that book for a while before buying it and I’m totally happy I did that. It’s pure gold.

«Soft Skills», in my opinion, is a bit misleading title. The second title «The software developer’s life manual» is more precise and that what it is: life manual. It’s seven different topics, one per section. Section itself is divided in 2-10 pages long self-sufficient chapters, so it’s easy read.

Here’s what it covers, plus a little something I’m trying to adopt from each topic:

  • Career. Imaging myself as a business that has one customer is unusual way of looking at myself, but I’m practicing.
  • Marketing. Some things from this topic, like talking at events, I did intuitively before. But this blog is the result of reading that section (ok, this book + Dev Career Boost course I bought later)
  • Learning. Made me think how much time I spend learning new stuff and which part of that time is wasted. I’m still waiting to apply 10-step learning process to something new.
  • Productivity. Oh my… Firstly, I finally started using Pomodoro Technique on regular basis. I don’t see how it would work for me when I was a manager, but now it’s my thing. Somehow this chapter caused me to adopt weekly goal ritual. Each sunday evening I make a small plan for a week, day by day, about what exactly I’m going to do that will move me forward. This blog post is one step of a weekly goal. So far, so good.
  • Financial. Made me think more about money I spend and save. It’s unlikely I’ll retire at 34, like John did (I’m 31 now), but retiring at 44 would be good as well.
  • Fitness. Sorry, nothing at the moment. But eventually I’ll be there. Seriously. I did workouts before, but got sick at some point.
  • Spirit. Can’t recall anything significant. Maybe wasn’t attentive. Maybe didn’t find something new. I dunno.

On my internal usefulness/interestingness scale it’s 9 out of 10. That’s a lot. Out of ~60 books I read last two and something years, only 5 are comparable or better. I definitely recommend checking that out.

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