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 61: Product Managers and Notifications

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We answer these two questions:

  1. What should developers know about product management?
  2. I have TOO MANY notifications interrupting me all the time. What do I do?

Episode 60: Office Arrangements and Disarming A Code Owner

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We answer these two questions:

  1. What is the best seating arrangements for software developers?
  2. How do I disarm my CTO who is emotionally attached to his code?

Episode 59: Buying Training and Unrelated Experience

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Thanks to all the people who pointed us to the Single Level of Abstraction Principle which we obliquely referred to in episode 57.

We answer these two questions:

  1. How can I convince management to pay for developer training?
  2. Should I mention unrelated experience on an application?

Episode 58: Dropping Out and Interview Prep (Rerun)

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Dave and Jamison were out this week, so we have a re-run of a DEEP CUT for you.

This originally aired as episode 18. We answer these two questions:

  1. I have a part-time job as a developer while I’m still in school. Should I drop out and just work full time?
  2. How do I prepare for a job interview?

Episode 57: Disliking Management and Difficult Co-workers

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  1. I’ve been pushed in to doing management tasks I really don’t enjoy. What do I do?
  2. How do I handle a co-worker who I really struggle to get along with?

Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

Episode 56: Keeping Meetings On Track and Designer-centric Culture

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  1. How do I keep meetings on track?
  2. I work in an agency with a designer-centric culture. How do I make myself heard?

Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

Episode 55: Ng-Conf Live Episode

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It’s a special ng-conf live episode! Dave and Jamison answer these questions in front of a live audience:

  1. When you go freelancing, do your coding skills atrophy?
  2. What is something you wish you knew about freelancing before you started?
  3. I met all my aggressive career goals. What next?

Here is the Khan Academy Engineering Ladder Jamison mentioned towards the end of the show.

Episode 54: Sneaky Contractors and Job Titles

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Our codebase is really bad, and management hired a contractor behind our backs to rewrite it. What should I do?
  2. How important are job titles when looking for a new job?

Here is the Khan Academy Engineering Ladder Jamison mentioned towards the end of the show.

Episode 53: Bait and Switch and Informing Your Manager

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I was hired for one thing, but ended up doing something very different that I don’t enjoy. What do I do?
  2. How do I tell my manager that I’m moving in to management on another team?

Episode 52: Slowness Guilt and I Have No Side Projects

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I feel guilty about how slow I’m working. What should I do?
  2. I’d like to find a job, but I don’t have any completed side projects or an interesting GitHub profile. How can I explain this?