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 205: Old code outage and questions leaking

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve been working in a rising tech company for almost 5 years. I’ve been working on some project and different teams, and it has been more than 1 year on my current team. One day, someone mentioned me that their service is down because of my code from when I was on the previous team and I didn’t even touch that code for almost 2 years. I explained that I am in different team now, so I refer them to the current members of my old team. I also gave some suggestion on how to fix it, but that team didn’t respond fast enough and eventually other person fixed it. Somehow I feel really guilty that I didn’t do anything to fix it. My question is: Until when I responsible for the code I wrote? Is it as long as I’m on the team, or as long as I’m still working in the company? Please advise. Thank you.

  2. An external recruiter learned what would be on my technical screen from a previous candidate and shared that with me. Should I warn company X that their technical screen is compromised?

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Episode 204: Remote work and ghosting your employer

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. My whole team recently transitioned to working from home. How do I handle this? The good news is I don’t have a fever.

  2. Working remotely, what should you do if either you ghost the company or the company ghosts you? (Ghosting as in the relationship)

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Episode 203: Downturns and conflict

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I am worried it is only a matter of time before the growing pandemic impacts the job market. I work for a young start up, and as of yet I am gainfully employed. But if this goes on as long as some folks say it will, I’m just not sure. I’ve heard there was a software job market crash after the dot com boom. What was that like ? What’s the best thing to do if you get laid off in a market downturn? Wait it out? Look for software jobs? Switch industries, temporarily?

  2. I’m a technical lead on a small team. Two of my teammates are constantly annoyed with each other and I need to know how to talk them down so we can be a better team. Let me introduce them:

    Alice (the names are made up), an experienced programmer, who is slower to catch on, keeps dragging old arguments and old ways of thinking in, works very slowly and in her own vacuum, and often comes across as difficult to work with. Alice constantly disagrees with the team on things like naming conventions and solutions to problems.

    In the other corner, Bob, a 2nd year coder, eager to follow leadership but still learning when to ask for help. He takes criticism constructively, but not from Alice because to him it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Alice and Bob constantly bump heads. Yesterday, Bob rewrote Alice’s stored procedure because it was slow and he had some ideas with how to reuse some code. Today it was SQL formatting - Bob’s SQL is ugly, according to Alice, who wants to confront him on it. I suggested we create a style guide to settle that argument.

    This kind of thing has been going on since the team was formed. My question is, what can I do? They both look to me as the leader, and I don’t want to take sides, but we’ve had this problem for nearly two years.