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 experience 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

Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 176: Afraid to disappoint and tech co-founder advice

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I am a junior developer with a low salary but I’m happy with my job.

    Recently, a personal/family problem occurred I needed more money to pay for it. I am three months away from my EOC (end of contract).

    I’ve found a job referral from my dear friend with higher salary and more benefits and I’m planning to apply. But after told my manager about my plans on leaving they told me they wanted to assign me to a top priority project they thought I could handle. I am so worried to disappoint them.

    They’re offering a raise but it’s not close to the other job. I’m afraid to ask for more because I don’t feel confident with my skills and I believe other people deserving it more. What are your thoughts?

  2. Hi guys, I am starting up a company in a few weeks together with a friend of mine. I’ll be the only developer in our new firm (for now!), while he’s got the domain knowledge. I’m not so worried about getting the tech stuff up and running. I get no constraints when it comes to the tech stack I choose, which is fantastic!

    What worries me is how to get into this brand new domain as quickly as possible, so I am able to deliver some value (MVP). Do you have any tips for how to go about this? I know I am not going to be an expert in the field, so at some point I just have to accept that and start coding. Anyways, I’ll learn more on the way..

    Thanks for a great show btw, Regards from Runar in Norway

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Episode 175: Famous devs at conferences and becoming obsolete

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hi Dave and Jamison, thanks for the awesome show.

    How should I conduct myself at software conferences when my dev community heroes are in the midst?

    I recently attended a conference where one of my developer heroes was in attendance and I was really looking forward to meeting them. I couldn’t muster up the courage to introduce myself. What do you do in these situations to break the ice and not come off as a creeper or a nuisance? It’s a weird feeling to hear someone’s voice on a podcast every week or read their blog posts and feel like you are best friends with them while knowing that the other person has no idea who you are. Am I overthinking this?

  2. Recent new listener here and I must say that I love the show and to keep up the good work. My question can possibly be answered with the standard soft skills answer BUT I have my reservations about quitting my job. I work at a consultancy doing work in a niche web development framework that interfaces with an old monolith ERP system that I’m just not excited by but I am very good at creating web applications in.

    I know eventually these skills will become obsolete, and I had a new job opportunity recently that I decided not to take. Am I being stupid?

    Should I stay in the niche and hope I can get a newer job in the future where they just accept I can learn new tools?

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Episode 174: Bottleneck manager and how to tech lead

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. “I’m into my second job of leading a team of software engineers and want to level up my coaching skills. In my first role I accidentally fell into the deep end of management “fun” by taking on a team of 10 people. One of the big problems I faced was being the “go to” or “sign off” person for a lot of different things, and I perpetuated this problem by showering people with my incredible answers (based on my obviously incredible know-it-all-ness) and thus reinforcing my goto factor. I was aware of coaching as a concept then, but didn’t incorporate it into my leadership style, which I believe contributed to my eventual burn out in the role.

    Over the last year in my current team lead role I’ve been much more deliberate about various aspects of leadership, but my coaching prowess is still struggling. When I’m asked questions by my team, my default response is to jump to a specific answer based on my own opinion, and it’s only afterwards that I slap my forward and yell out “missed coaching opportunity!” (as people near me back away slowly with concerned looks on their faces).

    What are some effective techniques to try and build a habit of using coaching as a primary means to help my team work through problems?

  2. I just became a technical lead for a team at my company. I’ve never held a leadership role like this before. Do you have any advice for how to do a good job?

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