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Soft Skills Engineering is a weekly advice podcast for software developers.

Hosts Dave Smith and Jamison Dance answer software developers' most pressing questions about life, the universe, and everything. Join us each week to laugh at our terrible amazing jokes and gasp at our pretty good ideas pure wisdom.

Recent Episodes:

Episode 11: Negotiating offers and dealing with an oblivious boss

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In episode 11, Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

I’m looking for a new job. How do I negotiate to get a better offer?

How do you deal constructively with a boss who is well-intentioned, reasonably nice and intelligent, but incompetent, oblivious, and who has minimal to no oversight on their work performance?

Episode 10: Mentors and Stock Options

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In episode 10, Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

How about an episode about mentoring? Why is it important, how do we do it, and how do we find the right mentor for us?

How do stock options work? How can I tell whether an offer with stock options is any good?

Episode 9: Deadlines and Titles

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In episode 9, Jamison, Dave, and special guest Layne Mosely answer these questions:

As a software developer, is it better to put an aggressive deadline on myself? Or should I let it be open ended? What are the effects of these two approaches on me and my team?

What do all these titles mean? Technical lead. Senior software engineer. Director of engineering. VP of engineering. CTO.

Episode 8: Work life balance and on-boarding new engineers

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In episode 8, Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

How do you achieve work life balance? Do you have any strategies that work for you? Any bad examples from your own lives?

How do you on-board new engineers?

Episode 7: Finding meaning and quitting your job

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In episode 7, Jamison and Dave answer these questions:

How do I quit my job? What’s the process? How do I avoid burning bridges? What will my employer expect from me? How do benefits work?

I’m worried my job is not meaningful? Am I just cranking out code for “the man”? What can I do to get more meaning out of my job?

Episode 6: Speaking at Conferences

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In episode 6, Jamison and Dave answer this question:

I’d like to do some public speaking. How do I get accepted to speak at conferences? How do I give good talks once I’m there?

Episode 5: Developer Compensation

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In episode 5, Jamison and Dave answer this question:

What are common ways developers are compensated? Do developers usually get a bonus? Stock options?

Episode 4: Should I build my personal brand?

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In episode 4, Jamison and Dave answer this question:

I have heard a lot about “marketing myself” and my “personal brand”. For example, some people say I should be writing a blog post every week or creating lots of YouTube content. They talk about being a “thought leader”. I love building stuff as an engineer, and obviously I want to have a great job, so how important is this stuff?

Episode 3: What to look for in a dev team

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In episode 3, Jamison and Dave answer two questions:

  1. What should I look for in a dev team?

  2. I don’t get enough done at work. I work on a small team that has aggressive plans for developing its product, but I don’t feel like I get enough work done or move fast enough for the company.

Episode 2: Influencing your team and dealing with anger

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In episode 2, Jamison and Dave answer two questions:

  1. I work on a team, and I am not the team lead. I have lots of ideas for how to do things better. How can I influence my team without being the team lead, or without stepping on his or her shoes?

  2. How do you deal with anger at work, both on the receiving and giving end?