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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Why should you listen?

Here's what listeners say:

Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 273: Influencing people and getting a raise in a flat org


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. Listener Anonomomonous asks,

    How do you influence people and change minds?

    I work on a team where things often happen by inertia. I have a lot of ideas about how to improve our process, scope our work better, collaborate more effectively etc. I’m comfortable with sharing my concerns and suggestions with my manager and the rest of the team but the opinion of any single developer is usually politely noted and ignored.

    As an individual contributor, what’s the best way to influence the rest of your team and your manager without being the overly critical toxic person who tries to shut down every idea?

  2. For those who work in a “flat” hierarchy structure, is it unreasonable to ask for a 30~35% pay raise? Normally that would sound like an absurd ask. However, given the fact that everyone is considered an “engineer”, the higher compensation that comes with a promotion isn’t available any other way than explicitly asking for it (as far as I know).

    Not looking to jab an employer for more money, especially since I like my current one, but since what I’m doing on a daily basis sounds an awful lot like the senior engineer positions I hear about, I naturally would like my pay to reflect what I do.

    What do you suggest?

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Episode 272: Consistent or shiny


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. A few years ago my team chose a niche SPA framework (Aurelia) for the front-end of a large multi-year new product development.

    The team started a new product in the same family. I chose to continue using Aurelia. However, some of the developers on the team have suggested using React - newer framework, easier to hire/retain for, etc.

    I personally feel that focusing on solid foundational css/html/javascript skills is more important than the actual front-end framework used, but perhaps they have a good point when it comes to retention and hiring. What do you think?

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Episode 271: Too quiet and quitting too much?


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. Listener Lisa asks,

    Hi Dave and Jamison! How do you answer the statement “You’re very quiet. Like really quiet”? Me? I tend to give a small smile or recently, I said “I know.”

    I’m a software developer in a large defense company and I’m on my third and final year of my rotational program. I just rotated back to the same area as my first rotation, so I know a couple of folks. However, I’m not SUPER close to these people. My team is fairly new, but most of the members started at the same time, unlike me, who started just three weeks ago. I want to try to know people and get close to them, but at the same time I know my energy lowers after a couple interactions. I have always been known to be quiet, but I don’t want to be known as the odd developer out on my team. The team seems to already know and like each other. I still talk, but only when I have things to say. I tend to stick to doing actually work, while others walk around and talk to people. Especially in the environment I work in, I assumed that we should limit ourselves to mostly chargeable time because we would have to make up the time we spent talking about unrelated work topics. It also doesn’t help that most of my team sit around each other, while I’m in a separate area. I think it would just be awkward for me to stand over their area just to talk, then having to make up that time later on.

    Should I just accept that I’m mostly an introvert even though I want to belong/to be part of the team? I feel like I want to talk to everyone, but at the same time I sometimes can’t relate to what they’re talking about or I’m just not interested in some of their topics.

    Aside: I feel like there’s a lot of extroverted developers here and it’s different from what I’m used to.

  2. Hiya! I haven’t listened too all your episodes, but out of the ones I’ve heard, it seems like you both suggest quitting our jobs. How many jobs have you quit? My dad had told me a couple years ago (when I was looking for a job) is that if you quit too many times, potential employers would think that you aren’t committed or are only looking to get more money. Is this the case? Will companies think that if I quit multiple times?