Being Geek: The Software Developers Career Handbook
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Many books teach you how to interview for a job or how to manage a project successfully, but only this book helps you handle the baffling circumstances you may encounter throughout your career. This book was a great read for a long plane flight. There's some really good ifnormation for individuals who often interview potential employees, as well as some all-round decent advice for your average software developer. The sub-title for this book is missing a word. I realize that's awkward, but that's really what this book is. Ask yourself the following: Have you failed recently?
Is there someone within throwing distance who challenges you daily? Can you tell me the story of something significant you learned in the last week? The primary goal of both jobs is to identify and act on opportunity inside of the company that is going to challenge you, force you to learn, and push you to the edge of discomfort. It takes years of work to develop and a single missed key responsibility to destroy. To me, the fundamental unit of growth is knowledge. This knowledge may not be novel, but what makes it unique is that you built it for yourself.
Figure how to speak their language so you can learn how to convey your bright ideas to anyone. A day has passed and I had time, but never got to it. What felt so important last Wednesday loses importance five days later when the larger context of your week, your month, and your career shows up. You need to develop a practice of strategic information shedding where you are constantly and intelligently jettisoning ideas and work. A well-maintained to-do list gives you a daily sense of professional well-being.
It constructs the pleasant illusion that you have a degree of control in a world where you have no idea how tomorrow will taste. Before I explain how to get your head around this meeting, I want to talk about intent behind this meeting. Intent starts with a question: Marketing speaks marketing, Legal speaks legal, and Engineering speaks engineering. Everyone Hates Engineering Outside of engineering, no one really likes engineering. They believe that their understanding is somewhat related to the work involved in developing a product.
Worse, this misunderstanding goes both ways The curse of the Silicon Valley is: Trusting your gut and charging forward. It can be addictive. Jan 08, Andrew rated it really liked it. Is it a collection of blog articles: Are the chapter titles too cute to find what topic it's on: But is a apt description and frank discussion about what I do and what managers do: Having worked in the industry for a decade, moving from service desk to DBA to manager, from small SMB to global enterprise: A speed read with some colorful language at times, but still worth reading.
And then Googling for the original blogs and forwarding them to peers Is it a collection of blog articles: And then Googling for the original blogs and forwarding them to peers or reading amusing snippets to my spouse. Jul 10, Vladimir Rusinov rated it it was ok. Lots of interesting thoughts, but not very well composed and written.
May 08, webdad3 rated it liked it. I finally finished Being Geek by Michael Loop. I started this book about 2 months or so ago. First off I got it on my Kindle and for some reason I couldn't get the page numbers to show up. As you can see, I said "finally". That would infer that it took a really long time to read. In my mind, this book was not a quick read at all. However, that doesn't mean it was a bad book. I don't remember exactly who recommended this book to me.
I think I saw it in an answer on programmers. I really had no idea what to expect when I bought it. It was one of those books that held my attention mildly, but it didn't have my full attention. I read it when I could, but it sat for a couple weeks at a time.
Some of the information presented in this book was pretty relevant and other parts were very dry. As a senior programmer I'm beginning to wonder if management is in my future I'm just wondering, and I'm probably far off from that conclusion. The author of this book is a manager of programmers so his insight is helpful.
The book covers a very wide range of topics, from interviewing to dealing with different types of people and then to dealing with an exodus. I almost feel it covered too much. It might of been a better book if the subject matter was a little more concise. Overall I would probably suggest this book, rather than out right recommend it. If you are a new programmer or going to school to be a programmer then it is a good book to gain insight into a programmers life.
I would also suggest this book to new managers or to colleagues that tell me they are thinking of management as an option. Other than those 2 groups, I'm not sure if it is worth your time.
Ultimately I would give it a 3 out of Feb 28, Bill rated it really liked it Shelves: Michael Lopp is the person behind the blog 'Rands in Repose', which explains the blog-like feel of this book. It may be presented as if it's a coherent guide to a career in the software industry.
Being Geek: The Software Developer's Career Handbook by Michael Lopp
But it's clearly just an edited collection of articles on topics related to career, career management, and a management career. This is not really a weakness, but it's not always a strength, either. The book sometimes lacks flow. A bigger weakness is that few of the articles really lead to any conclusion Michael Lopp is the person behind the blog 'Rands in Repose', which explains the blog-like feel of this book. A bigger weakness is that few of the articles really lead to any conclusion.
Most will get you thinking about your own career or situation. Some also make solid suggestions for how be successful. But not all do. And even those that do are most relevent within the specific context of California's Silicon Valley during the first decade or so of the 21st century. In an industry that's always changing, career management is just as volatile. The strength of the book comes in the voice of the author, Michael Lopp or Rands.
He strikes a friendly, beleaguered tone that helps the reader identify with the situations and with the nuggets of advice being offered. Even though the advice is often more implied than spoonfed, I think most software developers will find something in here to help them in their working life, whether they are an individual contributor or a manager or on their way to being a manager. Just read with a your own good judgement intact and use the articles as jumping off points for personal reflection. Jan 13, Amy rated it really liked it Shelves: I really enjoy Michael Lopp's writing.
It makes me feel like the chaos of working with software is not an end-of-the-world experience, but the norm. And in that case, there's no need to fix it or escape from it, and the real solution is to learn to live within it. Hearing Lopp's stories of living within it are helpful, and give me an idea of what is, or may be, expected. Lopp cuts through the nonsense and focuses on reality, and I respect that.
I am not at all sure that I share his view that a man I really enjoy Michael Lopp's writing. I am not at all sure that I share his view that a manager is responsible for employees' career growth I really feel that I am responsible for my career growth and my manager is responsible to support me in it to some degree. But I suspect his view is more common than mine. Lopp describes his systems for tracking tasks and daily goals, and I'm going to keep them in mind because I think they'd work for me as well.
Perhaps what I loved most about this book, though, aside from Lopp's willingness to tell it like it is, is that he really does understand geeks. He believes the geek quest is to "Learn enough about my world to predict what's next. Sep 17, Angela rated it really liked it.
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Being Geek offers us geeks and nerds a one-stop location to figure out the best way to go about a career search. While it's geared more to specifically IT related positions, those of us with a geeky mindset will appreciate the insights and tips offered by Lopp. In the introduction, Lopp states that the majority of concepts and chapters in the book were ones from his blog - Rands in Repose.
I really enjoyed this book. Finally, some of the reasons I think a certain way made perfect sense, the reasons why I tend to approach my job in a more straight-forward, I would like to do this by then, route as opposed to the haphazard non-structured route most of my co-workers employ. It also helped me realize why being in staff meetings and deviating from the agenda so much you never get it accomplished was bothering me. In essence, if you're looking for a career change, wanting to ask for a promotion, or just overall want a bit more insight into your way of doing things - AND you've been previously classified as a geek or nerd - this book's for you.
There's a lot of good information in here, for geeks and non-geeks alike. Jan 29, Laura Stone rated it liked it. I think the author's description of this book holds - it is mean as much as a cover-to-cover read as it is a reference guide to return to again and again. It covers all of the basics required to work in development as far as my own experience relates and then some. My biggest gripe with this book was that it sometimes didn't make sense. Certain chapters were clear and concise, for example the chapter outlining the author's method of organizing himself for the day.
I cannot say the same about c I think the author's description of this book holds - it is mean as much as a cover-to-cover read as it is a reference guide to return to again and again. I cannot say the same about certain other chapters; the purpose of these continues to elude me. Another point that riled me up was the sexist assumption that the person reading the book, or the "geek" that is a software developer, is a man. That said, I really enjoyed that the author explored the differences between start-ups and large companies and the overall message of the book.
Sep 20, Simon rated it really liked it. I generally liked this book because it helped established some ideas about what it is like to have a job in software development. However, some of it I felt did not specifically apply to me in my current position at Microsoft. However, Microsoft is such a tech-orientated company and day-to-day I deal with tech orientated peop Being Geek is a collection of Michael Loop's blog posts about a career in Software Development.
However, Microsoft is such a tech-orientated company and day-to-day I deal with tech orientated people. Also, there was some chapters about being a Manager, something that I cannot apply currently in my position, since I am not a manager. I finished this book a few months ago, and honestly I'm having a heard time remembering some of its key points. That may speak for the quality of the book or of my memory. I am going to go back and skim through some of it and make sure it is the latter and not the former.
Sep 26, Amr rated it liked it Shelves: Being Geek is an interesting read.
Michael Lopp is able to capture that thought in your head and articulate it on paper. But that only works so many times. Some of the chapters in this book are so good and so matching my experience that I wrote some notes on the side while reading the book. Other chapters, I don't even know what he's talking about. Most chapters revolve around their title. The author sums up a certain situation - which is the center of this chapter - in the chapter title.
To expla Being Geek is an interesting read. To explain the title, the author explains the situation and then sum it up with the title and keeps referring to the title and if you fail to 'get' what the title is and what the situation is, the rest of the chapter becomes very boring. So you get something like the 'Holy Shit Moment' which I still not sure what it is despite the fact that it's a common phrase I very well understand. If you liked 'Managing Humans' Lopp's first book or you like this genre of books about the software development process in a non-technical way, you'll find this book interesting.
Oct 17, pluton rated it it was ok Shelves: My first encounter with the book was by its title — "Being Geek". Geeks, nice, should be interesting. It's only when i started reading the book, i noticed the subtitle about careers. So it's far from being technical. It turned out to be a pretty boring book with a somewhat strange writing style too much slang , most likely, adopted from blogs. The chapters seem messy and not related to each other much. I read about a half and skimmed over the rest. There are good ideas in the book, but i feel th My first encounter with the book was by its title — "Being Geek".
There are good ideas in the book, but i feel they're dug up in lots of text. The best piece of advice i found is: I promise two things: Perhaps it's a tool you've never heard of, or maybe it's the way he deftly manages a tool you've taken for granted. Jan 15, Lance Willett rated it really liked it. This was a nice check-in on my career and development after 7 years at Automattic, rating my "toolkit" and progress on growth and relationships. A few favorite quotes: There are no healthy excuses. Directions are better than set rules. Stay involved at the center of things. To stay relevant, informed, and valuable.
Managers must learn to forget and not micromanage. Act on opportunities for challenge, they force you to learn, and push you. You reputation should be "He says what he says he'll do. Sep 12, Gordon rated it it was ok. A little more bland than Managing Humans very much more of the same. This book attempts to provide a selection of essays to help a geek in their life and career, but frankly unless you fit Lopp's specific definition of a geek a lot of the advice flows by you.
Written from the perspective of the workaholic crisis manager in a tech community with no values on non-tech and non-work activities, it was somewhat difficult to complete. The Rands blog with it's occasional posts are much more digestible. Bu A little more bland than Managing Humans very much more of the same. But wait, there is hope - amongst the odd narratives there are gems, little glimmers and insights, tickles that make you think.
It's just this seemed to much less fun than Managing Humans to digest. Sep 15, Svitlana Nova rated it liked it Shelves: If you are looking for a well-thought-out book that was written to deliver some big thought or message, this ain't it. It's a very loosely strewn together series of blog posts with obvious effort to make the story coherent, albeit not a successful one.
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As others have mentioned, I have been very much irked by the usage of "he" almost exclusively throughout the book. I never thought that it would affect me, but something about reading about exclusively male universe just makes it that much less rel If you are looking for a well-thought-out book that was written to deliver some big thought or message, this ain't it. I never thought that it would affect me, but something about reading about exclusively male universe just makes it that much less relevant. What I did find useful, though, is the honest description of the world of politics in large companies, as well as author's psychological evaluation of both his employees as well as his managers.
I have long looked for something illuminating on the topic, and found the author's view very refreshing. Dec 08, Meri Williams rated it it was amazing. I've long been a huge fan of Michael 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 I've long been a huge fan of Michael Lopp 's blog, Rands in Repose.
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! Nov 05, Marc rated it really liked it Shelves: I bought this book to calm my nerves in preparation to look for my second job out of grad school. I'm not even sure how I found it, but or found Lopp, or realized he was the same part-time madman that created Jerk City, which I loved when I was in undergrad.
Anyway, this is a great read. Since then I've become a I bought this book to calm my nerves in preparation to look for my second job out of grad school.