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Soft Skills review

June 2016

Soft Skills gathers advices for developers to advance their career and get ahead in life.

Have you ever worked with good developers that somehow struggled with money and who were afraid of unemployment? Have you ever worked with terrible developers writing spaghetti code but that somehow managed to get a good reputation and to get ahead financially? Of course you did ! Soft Skills might interest you.

What’s in the book?

There is no technical talk in this book, it’s all about “soft skills”: career, marketing, productivity, finance, fitness etc. The book is divided in 70 small chapters (+ 3 appendices) so do not except any deep thought. Be prepared for a book that reads like a talk from an hybrid motivational speaker / developer / gym junkie.

My personal opinion

The excellent

It’s super easy to read. The book is organised in small chapters and John mostly goes straight to the point. 90% of the book advices would apply to anyone but you can clearly tell that this has been written by a developer.

The good

The book is full of sound advices. Since it’s divided in 73 sections, you can just skip the parts you’re not interested in (or already know about).

The bad

Some chapters are a bit shallow and repetitive. This is the biggest complain you’ll find if you look at this book reviews on Amazon . I also dislike how John talks a lot about himself. I know he does it to show how open he is and he also briefly talks about his mistakes. I however think it would have been more interesting to read about other IT professionals.

The terrible

The foreword by Robert C. Martin; just skip it ! Nothing wrong with Robert, it just puts this book in a very bad light explaining how John rushed him to write a foreword. I don’t even understand why would John keep this in.

Who’s this book for?

When I read it I couldn’t help myself to think, I wished I knew that 5 / 10 years ago. I would strongly recommend this book to student and junior developers. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you haven’t graduated yet or fresh out of college, this is a must read.