It takes more than great code to be a great engineer.

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Soft Skills Engineering is a weekly advice podcast for software developers. We answer questions about all the stuff you didn't realize you needed to know about being an engineer:

  • navigating pay raises
  • hiring and interviewing
  • deciding to go into management
  • dealing with annoying co-workers
  • quitting your job
  • managing meeting creep
  • micromanagers
  • installing a ball pit in your office
  • and much much more...

For answers to these and other questions, our hosts Dave Smith and Jamison Dance are here to help.

Why should you listen?

Soft Skills Engineering listeners are awesome. Here's what they are saying about the podcast.

Saad says:

I owe you a lot, listening to Soft Skills has completely shifted my thoughts on what it means to be an engineer. It’s probably one of the more useful things I’ve gained during my time at Amazon. I kind of brushed this stuff off, considering some of it politics, and the rest unimportant, but boy was I wrong. It definitely helped me grow, and I’m totally indebted to you for that.

Recent Episodes:

Episode 77: Boss Wants Me To Speak and The 2% Raise

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This week Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My boss wants me to speak at conferences, but I’m very new to software. What should I do?
  2. How do I get more than a 2% raise? That is the company average.

We talked about conferences a bit more way back in episode 6.

We also talked more about playing the salary game in episode 23, which is a technique for sharing salary information with your co-workers.

Episode 76: Writing Goals and Firing Jokes

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This week Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My organization requires me to set goals for myself. What advice do you have for writing good technical and non-technical goals?
  2. My managers openly joke about firing people all the time. What should I do?

Episode 75: Self-Promotion For Wallflowers and Moving in a Year

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This week Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. What are some good ways for people who aren’t good at self-promotion to promote themselves?
  2. I’m moving to Europe in a year. How much notice should I give my company that I’m leaving?

Way back in episode 26 we talked a little bit about self-promotion as well.

Episode 74: Switching Languages Without A Pay Cut and A Missed Negotiation

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Jamison and Dave will be at the UtahJS Conference on September 18th. See conf.utahjs.com for more info and to buy tickets. Come say hi!

This week Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to take a pay cut when switching languages?
  2. I was promoted at work but didn’t get a raise or a title change. What do I do?

Episode 73: A Rampant Rewriter and Overexplainers

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Jamison and Dave will be at the UtahJS Conference on September 18th. See conf.utahjs.com for more info and to buy tickets. Come say hi!

This week Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. A developer on my team has been rewriting my code under the guise of “code cleanup” without saying anything to me. Is this normal? What should I do?
  2. How do you deal with co-workers who over-explain unimportant issues?

Episode 72: The Micromanaging CEO and The Only Developer

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My CEO is micromanaging the developers. What do I do?
  2. I’m about to take a job as the only developer at a company. How do I handle working without technical coworkers?

Episode 71: Informal Leadership and Dealing With Burnout

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. I’m sometimes an informal lead on project teams. How do I help the team get stuff done as a peer?
  2. How do I deal with burnout after an extended period of crunch time?

Jamison mentions the blog post by Jamis Buck called To Smile Again where he talks about his experiences with burnout.

Episode 70: Appraisal-Driven Development and Meeting Creep

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. I’m a new team lead with a team member who is very appraisal-driven. How do I deal with them?
  2. Have you ever experienced meeting-creep? What do you do about it?

Jamison mentions the 37 signals blog post on the downsides of group chat.

Episode 69: A Know-It-All Lead and Selling Your Boss on Remote Work

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My supervisor is a know-it-all who needs to be the smartest person in the room. How do I deal with it?
  2. I want to move to another city and work remotely. How do I convince my boss to let me?

Episode 68: Paying Your Dues and Non-technical Hobbies

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. It’s been a yearn and I still haven’t touched the codebase. What should I do?
  2. All my hobbies revolve around computers. How do I develop other interests?

Jamison mentioned Dan Luu’s article on how bad teams are always hiring. Here it is.

Rich Hickey’s Hammock-Driven Development talk was also mentioned.