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

Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 193: Playing the field and paying for speaking

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’ve been recently looking for summer internships and I have had a couple of video interviews. I don’t consider myself an interview rookie since I’ve had my fair share but there is one question I can’t understand whether to answer honestly or not so here it goes: “Are you applying to other job opportunities?”. The question is kind of stupid since no one puts all of its eggs in one basket but on the other hand I’m afraid answering ‘yes’ will make it seem as if I don’t care about the company (spoiler alert: I don’t really care :)). How do I answer honestly to this question and at the same time make them feel like they are special? By the way, love the podcast!

  2. Hi guys! I just started listening to your show and I already have experienced a steep improvement from a puny 10x dev to 11x one. My question, if you’ll be kind enough to answer is: How do I convince my cheapskate boss to sponsor me flying across the pond to give a talk at a conference I was selected for. Should I sponsor it myself in case of a decline? Should I hint at a possible job quitting if I am declined (I am currently seeking a new job)? Should I go forward with the talk if I do quit and the content of the talk is largely about the job I did there in the last couple of years.

    Note, I am widely regarded as an excellent employee by my superiors and colleagues. I earn quite a bit less than my current value and I am currently back, looking for a job.

    That’s it from me, love you guys!

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Episode 192: Giving feedback and messaging a team change

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Hey, want to use Dropbox as your app’s production database? Well, check here.

In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hello Dave & Jamison, first of all thank you for the show! I recently moved to a tech lead position and as such I will be asked by many people to provide feedbacks for performance reviews and promotions. Do you have any tip on how to provide good feedbacks, especially in the cases where you don’t constantly work with the interested people?

  2. Hello, guys! Thank you so much for the amazing content produced. I really enjoy the show. Thanks for the laughs and the knowledge.”

    I am a backend software developer working on a multidisciplinary team. There’s this other developer that really gets on my nerves. To maintain my sanity I am asking to change teams, and people keep asking me why I want to change. Should I tell my manager the real reason or is it better to say that I want new challenges? Maybe my manager can solve the problem and no one else leaves the team (I am not the first one to leave for this reason)

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Episode 191: Overshadowed and demos and credit

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m an introverted person but am not afraid to present my work and have strong 1-1s. For the past few months, I’ve been working on a project with a coworker who is very extroverted and expressive compared to me. During meetings with higher ups to present our work and progress, he overpowers me in conversation unwittingly. Most of the time, I feel he does a good job but other times I notice that he makes claims without gathering all the data. I’m much more deliberate and will let people know if I’m uncertain about something; But he is willing to just say something outright then later apologize if he was incorrect. I want to make sure that in meetings, I don’t come across as weak. I’m pretty confident in my technical ability and am polite at work, but don’t think I come across as very approachable due to my lack of expressiveness. Is this something I should work on?

  2. Hey Jamison and Dave! I absolutely love your show and have listened to every episode. You guys keep me company on those commutes to work and keep me sane. Every quarter, we have an organization-wide demo. Usually, it’s one person demoing the feature - usually the person who has been working on it most recently. For some of the features, I put in a lot of hard work and time into the feature but was later moved off to another project after completing my part. Essentially, I wrote the foundation of the whole feature. However, everyone has long forgotten that I ever contributed to it and I only found out it was even being demoed on the day of. I feel really disappointed my efforts aren’t recognized, but is it too petty to care? From a career standpoint, I worry that the person demoing will get a lot more visibility from leadership and it will lead to faster career growth for them. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

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