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

Soft Skills Engineering is a weekly advice podcast for software developers.

The show's hosts are experienced developers who answer your questions about topics like:

  • pay raises
  • hiring and firing developers
  • technical leadership
  • learning new technologies
  • quitting your job
  • getting promoted
  • code review etiquette
  • and much more...

Soft Skills Engineering is made possible through generous donations from listeners. A heart with a striped shadowSupport us on Patreon

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Why should you listen?

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Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 324: Understanding accents and mega soft skills

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m currently a junior engineer. I often struggle to understand speakers with accents. I became aware of this when I listened to a coworker in a meeting and barely understanding anything, but when I asked my other colleagues, it seems they got it completely.

    I know how to handle this in relaxed situations, but how do I handle it when the stakes are higher? (i.e. talking to higher levels and not wanting to ask too many questions based on my inability to hear them, interviews, …). How should I prepare to respond to these situations productively?

  2. Hey fellas,

    As a backend dev of 3 YOE, I have what I would describe as average technical skills and much stronger than average soft skills. This has been reflected in my feedback across all of my jobs and while the feedback has always been very positive, almost all of it relates to my interpersonal and communication skills, as opposed to my technical chops.

    I’m wondering what’s the long term outlook for this is? I frequently receive more accolades and recognition from leadership than my colleagues whose technical skills and code output are objectively far superior to mine, simply because I communicate better and am more charismatic

    Given management’s favorable view of me, I have been ascending the ranks quicker than is warranted, beating out those that are much more qualified from a technical perspective. While I am able to complete the work that’s asked of me, I can’t help but wonder when I will stall as a dev and no longer be able to meet expectations, nor is it really fair to anyone involved.

    At this point, I can’t help but feel that I would be able to contribute more in a position that utilize my skillset more favorably, but I’m unsure what roles would be a good fit for someone like myself.

    Thanks guys!

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Episode 323: Shopping offers and returning equipment

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m planning to leave my job purely because of low compensation. I like my growth in my current company - but low compensation than what market is offering is quite a mental hiccup in my regular work (yep! I’m slowly becoming one of the quiet quitters). I’m thinking of going to my manager with my new offer and ask him to match it. Do retention offers actually work? As mangers yourselves, how would you want me to approach a retention discussion? I don’t want my manager to make my life hell under the pretense of “Oh he’ll leave in a year” if I do decide to stay after taking the matching offer. Love the show - pretty much my single source of wisdom for all my behavioural interviews xD

  2. I was recently let go from a company. They said they would send me a shipping label so that I could return the hardware. I didn’t hear back from them for a week. A few days later a label came in for the laptop, but not for the dock or the two monitors they also sent.

    I did not enjoy my experience there and I’m feeling resentful at having to pester them so that I can get what I need to send them back their hardware.

    What is my due diligence on the score? I don’t even like the monitors.

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Episode 322: Cover blown and no one cares

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Listener Olexander asks,

    I was a tech lead on some relatively known project since the beginning for more than a year. I made several trade-offs with technologies and wrong decisions. I participate in some generic Slack organisations and met several users of my product. I haven’t told them that I was connected to implementing the project but sometimes shared some insights on how the product is tested and asked opinions about some of features of the product in comparison to the competitors. Now there is a person who continuously critiques the product. Sometimes the criticism is valid but sometimes is’s just a rant. How can I influence that person without blowing my cover?

  2. Listener Kieran asks,

    Hi guys! Loving the podcast from down under. I’m working part time as a dev while I complete my software engineering degree. It’s been fun, but there are almost no processes in place for development and not many other devs seem to care about improvement.

    Although I am the most inexperienced here I feel some of the devs do not care about the quality of the work as I often have to refactor some of their code due to it being buggy, slow and undocumented (still using var in javascript).

    I’ve talked to management about improving our standards. However, they brushed me off saying yeah some of the developers are stubborn. They are not brushing me off because I lack technicality as Ive been given an end user app as a solo project. How should I go about encouraging the team to improve our processes?