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 72: The Micromanaging CEO and The Only Developer

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My CEO is micromanaging the developers. What do I do?
  2. I’m about to take a job as the only developer at a company. How do I handle working without technical coworkers?

Episode 71: Informal Leadership and Dealing With Burnout

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. I’m sometimes an informal lead on project teams. How do I help the team get stuff done as a peer?
  2. How do I deal with burnout after an extended period of crunch time?

Jamison mentions the blog post by Jamis Buck called To Smile Again where he talks about his experiences with burnout.

Episode 70: Appraisal-Driven Development and Meeting Creep

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. I’m a new team lead with a team member who is very appraisal-driven. How do I deal with them?
  2. Have you ever experienced meeting-creep? What do you do about it?

Jamison mentions the 37 signals blog post on the downsides of group chat.

Episode 69: A Know-It-All Lead and Selling Your Boss on Remote Work

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. My supervisor is a know-it-all who needs to be the smartest person in the room. How do I deal with it?
  2. I want to move to another city and work remotely. How do I convince my boss to let me?

Episode 68: Paying Your Dues and Non-technical Hobbies

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. It’s been a year and I still haven’t touched the codebase. What should I do?
  2. All my hobbies revolve around computers. How do I develop other interests?

Jamison mentioned Dan Luu’s article on how bad teams are always hiring. Here it is.

Rich Hickey’s Hammock-Driven Development talk was also mentioned.

Episode 67: Graduate School and Asking Good Questions

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Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

  1. Should I get a Masters in Computer Science?
  2. How do I ask good questions?

Episode 66: Nepotism and Minimum Junior Requirements

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Jamison and Dave talk about these questions:

  1. My cousin is a manager at my employer. How do I avoid nepotism?
  2. I’d like to become a developer. What are the minimum requirements for a junior developer? When will I be “good enough” to get a job as a junior dev?

Episode 65: Left In The Dust and Imposter Syndrome

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Jamison and Dave talk about these questions:

  1. I have a great, comfortable job that doesn’t push me very hard. How do I deal with worrying about being left in the dust?
  2. How do I deal with imposter syndrome?

Episode 64: Negative Peer Reviews and On Call

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Jamison and Dave talk about these questions:

  1. How direct should I be in a peer review of a coworker who I really dislike?
  2. How do I convince developers to go on call?

Episode 63: (Rerun) Management Snobs and Two Bosses

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Jamison and Dave were out this week, so here is a DEEP CUT from the archives.

This originally aired as episode 41.

  1. How do I deal with someone who says their job (management) is so much harder than my job (engineering)?
  2. How do I deal with a two-boss situation where I am one of the bosses?