Tag Archives: Books

Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual – A Review [Audiobook]

I’m almost through the book Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual. I’m listening to the audio-book.  I like it, it’s pretty good. Along with the benefit of having the author, John Sonmez narrate his own book, he also provides a lot of commentary, discussion, and elaboration.  At first I thought it was annoying that the author would go off on a tangent every once in a while, then say “back to the book” and continue the verbatim reading.

However later I realized that the commentary and discussion were worth the tangents.  There are several very valuable tid-bits of information in this book, such as references and discussion of Pomodoro Technique, and KanbanFlow. The book touches a very broad scope of topics, from software development methodologies to personal finance management tips.  The book tries to help it’s readers see the habits and actions (or lack thereof) that are required to achieve a high degree of quality, consistency and professionalism in your career.

One of the things to keep in mind is that this book discusses a lot of tools and techniques that are documented external to the book itself.  The author frequently references his company’s website where the reader can find more information.

This book and the topics it discusses are very relevant to the success of an aspiring software developer.  Worth a read!

[Quote] Alan Watts on the difference between where we are, and where we are going..

“… To most of us living today, all these fantasies of the future seem most objectionable: the loss of privacy and freedom, the restriction of travel, and the progressive conversion of flesh and blood, wood and stone, fruit and fish, sight and sound, into plastic, synthetic, and electronic reproductions. Increasingly, the artist and musician puts himself out of business through making ever more faithful and inexpensive reproductions of his original works. Is reproduction in this sense to replace biological reproduction, through cellular fission or sexual union? In short, is the next step in evolution to be the transformation of man into nothing more than electronic patterns?”

” All these eventualities may seem so remote as to be unworthy of concern. Yet in so many ways they are already with us, and, as we have seen, the speed of technical and social change accelerates more than we like to admit. The popularity of science-fiction attests to a very widespread fascination with such questions, and so much science-fiction is in fact a commentary on the present, since one of the best ways of understanding what goes on today is to extend it into tomorrow. What is the difference between what is happening, on the one hand, and the direction of its motion, on the other? If I am flying from London to New York, I am moving westwards even before leaving the British Coast.”

– From: The Book.. On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan W. Watts,  First Collier Books Edition 1967

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Once Again Read, Once Again Loved!

Some say it is easier for humans to remember negative experiences than positive ones. I’ve found this to be true often enough, where I forget how much joy I experienced from a well prepared ethnic dish, or how good it feels to walk on the sandy shores of a beautiful beach on a sunny summer day. The same goes for simple routines, like watching a favorite television show, or reading a good book.

Don't Panic!

I had this same feeling again recently when I decided to read through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve read the book before, and had found it to be an endlessly funny sci-fi adventure. This time however, I found the book to be so much more. Douglas Adams is so brilliant in his writing, that he puts even the most mundane of topics into a new light, and forces you to view it from such an angle that your head ends up under your armpit, which just happened to be relocated between your legs.

A movie version of this book came out a few years ago, but it does not do the book any justice. So many layers of plot, witty narration, and internal dialog of the characters is missing that the movie totally misses the depth of the book by 7 billion light years.

If you haven’t read this book, please do. And if you don’t understand it, read it again, with a dictionary by your side. It is in your best interest to fully grasp the ferocious satire and intelligent humor that only an author like Adams can bring to the table.