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 55: Ng-Conf Live Episode

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It’s a special ng-conf live episode! Dave and Jamison answer these questions in front of a live audience:

  1. When you go freelancing, do your coding skills atrophy?
  2. What is something you wish you knew about freelancing before you started?
  3. I met all my aggressive career goals. What next?

Here is the Khan Academy Engineering Ladder Jamison mentioned towards the end of the show.

Episode 54: Sneaky Contractors and Job Titles

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Our codebase is really bad, and management hired a contractor behind our backs to rewrite it. What should I do?
  2. How important are job titles when looking for a new job?

Here is the Khan Academy Engineering Ladder Jamison mentioned towards the end of the show.

Episode 53: Bait and Switch and Informing Your Manager

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I was hired for one thing, but ended up doing something very different that I don’t enjoy. What do I do?
  2. How do I tell my manager that I’m moving in to management on another team?

Episode 52: Slowness Guilt and I Have No Side Projects

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I feel guilty about how slow I’m working. What should I do?
  2. I’d like to find a job, but I don’t have any completed side projects or an interesting GitHub profile. How can I explain this?

Episode 51: Junior Scrum Master In Trouble And Jamison Has No Degree

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m a junior developer on a team of seniors, and I’m also the Scrum Master. Our team has lots of problems. What do I do?
  2. Jamison openly talks about not finishing his degree. How did he put it on his resume or explain it to potential employers?

In question two Jamison discovers he has been lying on his LinkedIn profile for half a decade, and freaks out a little bit. The mistake is corrected, but can the damage every be undone? Tune in next week on SOFT SKILLS ENGINEERING.

Episode 50: I Didn't Quit and Manager of Zero People

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I didn’t quit my job. Did I mess up?
  2. I was hired to manage a team, but it is actually just me. What do I do?

Episode 49: Candidate Plagiarism and a Tightwad Employer

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. What do I do if I suspect my co-worker plagiarized my homework assignment in their own interview?
  2. My employer is making me provide my own laptop. Is this normal?

We mention The Joel Test. Also remember to tweet about the show for endorsements from Dave and Jamison for completely serious and relevant skills like doomsday-bunker-building and yodeling.

Episode 48: Quitting a Death March & Am I Underpaid

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. When and how do you quit a company that is on a death march?
  2. How do I find out if I’m underpaid?

Episode 47: Speaking Up In A New Job and Personal Issues

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. How soon in to a new job is it appropriate to raise concerns?
  2. What do you do when issues in your personal life affect your work?

Thank you to Algolia for sponsoring this episode. Check out their job posting at algolia.com/softskillsengineering.

Also thanks to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which I spent 310 hours playing.

Episode 46: My New Crappy Job and Youth vs the Status Quo

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Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. How do I deal with my new job that turns out to be crappy?
  2. How do I know how hard to push back against more experienced engineers when suggesting a new idea?

Thank you to Algolia for sponsoring this episode. Check out their job posting at algolia.com/softskillsengineering.