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 experience 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 136: My family thinks I'm over paid and Is a 10% raise good

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I am a software developer and as such, i get paid nicely. My family doesn’t think I work hard enough or deserve the money. Any advice?

  2. I am a software developer that was promoted earlier this year. I received a 10% raise with this promotion. Since working for this company for some time, this is the first substantial raise I have received. Previous raises ranged from nothing to sub-inflation raises.

    Today, my manager informed me that at my annual review I would not be receiving a raise. My manager said this has nothing to do with my performance but more with the fact that I was given a raise with my promotion earlier this year. I was caught off guard by this and did not really know how to feel about this information.

    Does this seem reasonable? Is this something worth following up on with my manager? If so, what are good questions to ask?

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Episode 135: Publicly Correcting Speakers and Forced Into a Dev Role as a Product Manager

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I went to an internal company developer meetup recently. The speaker was really new at the topic they were presenting and shared some incorrect information. I didn’t want to correct the speaker in front of a bunch of people, but I also didn’t want everyone at the meetup to leave with incorrect information.

    How can I be respectful to the speaker while making sure attendees aren’t misinformed?

    Thanks for doing the podcast! I think it’s great!

  2. I recently joined a new company as a Product Manager, this is my first non-development role after 5 years of development. It took me a lot of time to get to this role. During the interview they said I would be involved in development at the beginning of my role to get to know the system and not implementing my own features. After ramping up a bit, I was able to define a bunch of features, but management kept telling me that they are finding it hard to find people and they want me to implement the features myself. I have no problem doing it for my first project but I feel this is going to continue and 6 months from now I will still be working a as developer again. I can leave and get another Dev role but I am really excited about product and I want to continue in this career transition.

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Episode 134: Boredom vs Money and Agile vs Long-Term Schedules

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This episode is sponsored by Pluralsight. Pluralsight is hiring data scientists, machine learning engineers, and software engineers. Check out the jobs at https://pluralsight.com/softskills

In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m current doing nearly nothing at work (not by choice) and getting paid a king’s ransom for it, just to stay on the roster. I’ve never been in this situation before. Would I be foolish to give it all up just to not be miserably bored? I’m pretty sure this isn’t sustainable, and I’d get laid off in the next economic downturn before you guys might get to my question, but just curious what your insights are.

  2. How to deal with teams that are run as “Agile”, but management who want timelines and deadlines to steer the business?

    I’m at my second large software development company that’s following the agile/scrum ceremonies with weekly sprints that entail grooming/planning/retro meetings. Management keeps track of progress to align the efforts of multiple teams spread across the organization. I’ve noticed over the past year an increased desire for estimated timelines for when each team will be done with their portion of the project. This forces the team to groom and size stories months out ahead. These estimates end up becoming deadlines that need justification to be pushed back, which is common since as you get into the work you find more stories need to be added.

    I had a very similar experience at my last company. Both have 5-10k employees.

    I understand the needs of the business to plan ahead. So saying “it’ll be ready when it’s done” is not a good answer. However, it feels like we’re constantly falling behind arbitrary deadlines and in a constant frenzy to catch up.

    So….what do?

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