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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Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 197: Rambling co-worker and awkward resume leak


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Help! I have a co-worker who can’t get to the point. They keep rambling, throwing in useless jargon, with veiled bragging of their knowledge and accomplishments, and answering questions that weren’t asked; and all in a very monotone voice. My brain starts to zone out now every time they start in to “explain” something.

    They also somehow survived at the company for 8+ years and have recently become a team lead. Our paths don’t cross every day because we work on separate products, but I am interested in their team’s product and might want to join them in a year or so.

    What do I do?

  2. Listener Zezima asks,

    Hi! I’ve been at my current job for about a year and a half now. My boss says we should be getting more money and investors and will soon give everyone a raise. I’ve seen many people being hired and others given a raise but have not yet received one myself. I recently started applying to other jobs. I don’t want to leave but want to learn my market value and get a slight increase. I was demoing some work in a meeting, and sharing my screen to do so. As I went to upload an image…. my RESUME file is open. resume,coverletter,resumeadobe,resumeTesla. I mashed the cancel button and bounced in to panic mode but continued like nothing happened. I hear some typing shortly after closing. Did they see it? Are they talking about me…? Do they know I dont want to leave but just want some sort of compensation? These questions are going through my brain and I have no clue what to do. Should I call up the people in the demo and have a heart to heart?

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Episode 196: "Offshore resources" and ageist layoffs


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hi, thank you for the great podcast!

    I work for a software consultancy as a senior product manager. For 5+ years, our team of 40 designers, developers and QA has designed, built, deployed, and operated a large SaaS platform. We are passionate about evolving the product, know the domain well and managed to improve a lot of processes in the client’s company. We go way beyond “just development”.

    The problem is that the client’s internal staff treats us poorly, especially when it comes to product decisions. As a product manager, I have all the responsibilities of a respective in-house specialist, but almost no power. When I refuse to prioritize a feature that does not make sense based on data and user research, the client’s customer success reps go crazy and escalate it to the CEO. I have seen email threads where internal employees call us “offshore resources”…

    How can I change this situation? I don’t want to leave this job because I really like the product I am working on, as well as the team.

    Thank you!

  2. Connor asks: “I recent round of layoffs at my company has me thinking about my future as a software engineer. Every layoff I’ve been through, the more tenured employees are the ones let go. I also, generally speaking, haven’t seen a lot of older software engineers (50+) in the companies I have worked for. I love programming, but can I reasonably expect to stay employable in this field for the next forty years?

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Episode 195: Ad-hoc promotion and quitting a huge company with Charity Majors


We’re excited to have special guest Charity Majors on the show! Charity is the CTO and former CEO of Honeycomb. She has worked at Second Life, Parse, Facebook, and more. She blogs at

Dave, Jamison, and Charity answer these questions:

  1. I’ve had the role of tech lead informally for the past two years at a fast-growing tech startup. We were a team of 6 developers, and now we are 16. Recently, we had a department meeting in which the Software Development VP communicated that we have 3 teams and I was the tech lead of two of them. I was surprised. He hasn’t mentioned his decision of splitting the teams nor that I’ve been officially promoted to tech lead. I was expecting a one-on-one where he would “pop the question”: Will you be my tech lead?

    I asked him privately if that meant I would be officially promoted and would have my title changed. He said that he was going to have this conversation with the HR Manager and would get back to me, but potentially.

    He doesn’t spend time on one-on-ones, nor is he very good at managing people although he’s good technically. How weird is this situation? A manager tells his team that they now have a tech lead along some org changes. I haven’t been informed, haven’t had my title changed yet, and haven’t been offered a raise yet.

  2. Hi! I love your show and have been listening to it almost since day one. I was an engineer for about 10 years, and I’ve been a manager for about 1 year, and I love my team. They’re high performers, we have a high level of trust. I also like my boss! But the larger org has some issues, and in time-honored Soft Skills Engineering tradition, I plan to quit. I would like to stay in management. So I have these questions:

    1) My employer is a very large public company. How much should I care about negative headlines and Wall Street’s opinion?

    2) How long should I stay in my role as a manager before looking for a new job?

    3) How do I message this to my team when I leave?