Tag Archives: Career

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!

Doing What You Want To Do

I just recently finished reading two articles by noted essayist Paul Graham

These two articles essentially discuss the idea of doing what you want to do in life, without feeling guilty.

I find that I can relate closely to the ideas presented in these articles, as I’m sure many people can. In many ways, these articles focus on the same idea from different angles.

There are two basic ideas outlined in these articles. The first is that your work should reflect what you like to do (what makes you truly happy) and vice versa. The second idea, is that you should not feel guilty for procrastinating, or putting off smaller or seemingly less important tasks in order to do what you really want to do.

Now I know what most of you may be thinking, that there are always things that have to be done, such as paying your bills, mowing the lawn, or taking out your garbage. What most people don’t realize, is that they have put themselves in a situation where mowing the lawn, or taking out the garbage is a bigger problem than it needs to be.

For instance, you would not have to mow your lawn if you lived in a condominium. However, many people “upgrade” their standard of living by moving to a house with a large lot, not realizing that they are essentially giving themselves more work that they don’t want to do! In the case of paying your bills, you know that the more you put it off, the worse it will get. The best way to resolve that problem is pay them right away (or automate them with pre-authorized payments :)

Usually the motivation for buying a new or bigger house, or nicer car is simply because of the prestige associated with it. Many people are quick to say things like “money isn’t everything”, or “an education is more important than anything else.” Yet, they don’t truly believe this themselves. To this type of person, education is a means to an end, and that end is simply to acquire more material wealth (more money).

However, the truth is that money never makes you happy. It is possible that what you do with your money can make you happy, but depending on what you do, that happiness may not last very long.

In any case, I don’t want to detract from the essence of these two beautiful articles, which I believe can change your life if you take the time to understand them.

How to Do What You Love
Good and Bad Procrastination

J. Bobby Lopez, VMware Certified Professional

Well, I did the course, I did the advanced training, then I did the exam… and I can now proudly put the initials VCP beside my name.. ain’t life grand?

All kidding aside, I did have a great time in Ottawa. There really isn’t that much to do there, but I didn’t have to pay for anything, so I’m not complaining.

As soon as I got back, I had to go through a week of advanced training (the stuff that you can only learn if you work at VMware). I found that material way more interesting.

Preparing for my VCP Exam

Well, only a few more days before I head out to Ottawa for a week to do my VCP training. There is a crazy amount of information to remember, but since I’ve been working at VMware for over a month now, I’ve been thrown into some pretty complicated situations and have gained a lot of experience, so I think (hope) the training will be easy for me.

After I’m done the training, then I’ll have to head out and take the official VCP exam. If I pass that, then I will officially be a VMware Certified Professional.

Working at VMware

So I’ve started my new job at VMware, and it’s great. I’m working there as a Technical Support Engineer for their ESX Systems Division. I’ve only been there a week now, but I’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things, and also solve some pretty interesting problems.

I have to say, I haven’t used the VMware product (ESX, or GSX/Workstation) at all before I started working there… but the VMware software would easily fit into my DAMN COOL software category. Now don’t get me wrong, I have heard of VMware before, and was well aware of what it’s intended uses are, but there is a difference between being told what it is, and actually using it. It’s like the Matrix, you have to see it for yourself! Anyway, before I go on, I’ll just leave you with this one thought… A VMware “VM” or Virtual Machine is basically a virtualized (not emulated) version of an actual physical system. It does not just host a virtual operating system, but infact to do this, it has to virtualize the hardware as well (CPU, NIC, HD, etc..) Now if you have complete replica of a physical computer system in a “virtual world” of VM’s, isn’t it possible to run a VM within a VM? How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?

Montreal vs Toronto?

I recently had an interesting discussion about the difference between living in a city like Toronto, verses living in a city like Montreal. I was speaking to a woman who had been living in Montreal for over twenty-five years, and had come to Toronto in order to find work. She had three kids, was a single parent, and basically had the impression that Toronto was where she could make a living to support her kids.

However, after living in Toronto for four years, having to work three jobs, she has decided that she would rather be back in Montreal. Why? Well it seems her impression is that Toronto is “more about money” than Montreal is. On the other hand, Montreal, in her opinion, runs at a slower pace, has a lower cost of living, and generally is a much friendlier place to live. I like the sound of that, so I’m going to do a bit of personal research on Montreal to find out what other people think the differences between these two cities really are.