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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Recent Episodes

Latest Episode

Episode 179: Pushing preemptive promotion and de-motivated by promotion

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hello! I love listening to your show. I often relisten to old episodes. I’m a Front End Developer at an IT consulting company. I will be reaching my 1 year anniversary at the company in March (it’s September right now). How do I talk to my manager about a promotion? I would like to become a Sr front end Developer. I have never had to have this conversation because I have always changed jobs before reaching 1 year with the company. I need help on how to start the conversation. Thank you!

  2. A member of my team asked for a promotion; we discussed and it was decided that if we worked on a set of core skills we could push for the promotion in a few months time. Since this conversion they have lacked motivation and productivity has dropped. What should I do now?

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Episode 178: Procrastinating colleague and working remotely for an on-site company

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. One of my co-workers never does their job in time and always postpones things. We are both leaders in the company. Especially when we depend on each other, it becomes really difficult.

    I tried many things like taking over their tasks, reminding them (in person, in Slack), escalating to their manager etc. None of these worked.

    As a different strategy, I organized a workshop with leaders to brainstorm how to collaborate and work together. That was really positive. We talked about each other’s responsibilities. This person was active in the workshop. Contributed and also agreed on many things. I felt really positive after this. :)

    But then shortly after, I ended up with frustration again. Nothing actually changed. Agreeing is easy but taking actions is not.

    Please give me recommendations other than quitting my job or waiting this person to quit. 😅

  2. I work remotely for an on-site company. How do you manage that relationship?

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Episode 177: Work life vertigo and work life interviews

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I started working at a big fintech company doing cutting edge work. I was given a ton of responsibility (owned a major component, built it from scratch, manage external relationships with vendors, had a team of 3 engineers, filed a few patents). I was extremely successful at this role but I was working 60 hours a week. Even though I was successful, I felt like I didn’t have good work life balance.

    I left and joined a well established tech company with 600 engineers. I’ve been here almost 1 year now and looking back I’ve only worked on menial feature work and software maintenance. Now I work 30 hours a week and have great work life balance. I feel like I gave up a great opportunity with my old role. How do I make the most of this role? How should I tell my manager I’m not happy? should I just look for a new job?

  2. How and when do you ask about or gauge work life balance in a job interview? I recently got to round 4 of an interview and a developer told me that a person wouldn’t do well at this company unless you put in a lot more than 8 hours per day and the CEO rewarded those who stay late at night. This indicated a bad work life balance to me so I didn’t proceed any further.

    Does it look bad to bluntly ask an interviewer “what’s the work life balance like” or ask about this in round 1? Do you think I am lazy?