Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual

"It’s better to think of an employer as a customer for your business of developing software. Sure, you might only have a single customer, and all of your revenue may be coming from that single customer, but viewing the relationship this way moves you from a position of powerlessness and dependency to one of autonomy and self-direction. (In fact, many “real” companies have one big client that makes up a majority of their revenue.) Tip This is the first thing you must do in your career: switch your mindset from that of an indentured servant to a business person who is running their own business. Just having this mindset at the start will change the way you think about your career and cause you to be mindful and present in the active management of it." (Chapter 2).

Any freelancing project would require milestones and deliverables before completing payments. I started a "Journal of Progress" that is simply a Google calendar where I keep track of what I do every day, every hour, to send emails to my managers at the end of the workday summarizing my progress on the projects assigned to me or the work that I am doing.

Created: 2018-09-19 11:51:37 Last updated: 2018-09-19 13:44:43

"Think about the lawyer situation again. If you became a lawyer and had no specialization, technically every person seeking a lawyer could be your client. But the problem is that very few people would want to hire a generalist lawyer. Most potential clients would seek to hire a specialist." (Chapter 7).

Instead of describing myself simply as a "Programmer" in the Summary section of my resume, now I am using "Full stack web programmer (CakePHP)" to reveal my specialization.

Created: 2018-09-11 20:40:09 Last updated: 2018-09-11 20:40:09

"Whatever you do, make sure you pick some kind of specialty." (Chapter 7).

I picked web development stack as my specialty.

Created: 2019-01-11 02:25:45 Last updated: 2019-01-11 02:25:45


Another major factor you should consider when deciding what kind of company to work for is the difference between companies that have software developers to work on their internal software or part of some product they’re producing versus companies that actually produce software or do software development as their core offering." (Chapter 8).

I decided back in October 2016 to work for a company that actually does software development as its core offering.

Created: 2019-09-11 13:07:55 Last updated: 2019-09-11 13:07:55

but there are many alternative ways to educate yourself that can pay off in the future. You should always be learning something new or advancing your skills in some way. (Chapter 9).

I do this by reading Safari Books Online.

Created: 2018-10-29 12:12:15 Last updated: 2018-12-24 12:31:28

"Just make sure the milestones are achievable. If you set out trying to lose 10 pounds a week, you’re going to get discouraged quickly when you don’t come even close to hitting that number. It’s better to commit to a less ambitious milestone that you can easily achieve than one that will be nearly impossible for you to reach. The momentum of success can help carry you forward and increase your motivation to reach your overall goal." (Chapter 57).

I was not exercising because my goal was too ambitious and I was discouraged after never being able to follow my fitness program. The outcome was terrible: Not exercising at all! I decided to start with an achievable program that could help me to stay motivated by consistently reaching my milestones.

Created: 2018-09-19 11:55:06 Last updated: 2018-12-24 13:59:09