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 133: Herding Linter Cats and Surviving Until Severance Time

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. How can I make my team be more proactive and go out of their comfort zone more?

    I recently started a new job as the team lead for a team of four developers. Each developer has their own pet things that they keep themselves busy with; one likes to configure linters, another has a long-running project they keeps to themselves, and so on.

    We have been tasked with a new, high-priority project which involves new technology and would require everyone to pitch in. So far, though, that has only happened when I’ve directly asked someone to do something.

    I absolutely do not want to end up in a position where I have to tell people what to do. How can I make them realize that this new thing should be their top priority, even if that means going out of their comfort zone?

  2. TLDR: My role and product are moving to a different country. I don’t want to relocate.

    I have to stick around at least another 3-4 months to get my redundancy package. In some ways this is great as I’m pretty unprepared for interviewing right now. On the other hand, this is terrible because I’m pretty unprepared for interviewing right now.

    How do I keep morale up, for me personally and the wider team during this period?

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Episode 132: Should I tell my boss I'm planning to quit and keeping tech talks going

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Recently I was approached by a manager and informed that I needed to decide if I wanted to stay at the company or not. I initially said I would like to stay, and was told there was some negative feedback from coworkers I’d need to work on to do so. I agree that these were issues I need to work on to become a better engineer, so I’ve engaged in something like a performance plan with her over the last few weeks. But I’ve decided that I don’t want to stay after all, and I’ve started sending out applications.

    I don’t want to burn bridges when I do end up putting in notice, but I also would like to continue working with her on these issues, and I’m worried if I declare I am leaving that will end. So my question is: should I tell my manager I’ve changed my mind, or stay quiet?

  2. We used to have regular “tech talks” in the office - opportunities for people to share something they find interesting that doesn’t have to be work related but usually is tech/development focused.

    The talks were 30-45 minutes in length, and there used to be free food (at a place that doesn’t normally do that kind of thing)

    I wasn’t here at the time when it last fizzled out, but used to give similar talks at my last company and I’m interested in starting them up again here. People say they’re interested now but the novelty of free food eventually wears off - do you have any suggestions as to how to sustain people’s interest in attending giving talks?

    I might be able to convince a few people I work more closely with but there’s 60+ or so technical people in this office I’m still getting to know.

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Episode 131: Coworkers with stinky feet and Was my salary expectation too high

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I have a question - I sit in a desk with 3 other people. One of those people does a great job of personal hygiene…the other two not so much. I have dropped a couple of hints about it (I mentioned it is a good idea not to wear the same pair shoes/trainers every day so you’re feet don’t start to smell). Some days, my stomach will churn from the smells that inevitably waft over. What should I do - I am worried if I tell my boss to talk to them, he will mark me as a troublemaker/overly sensitive.

    To make things worse, one of them sits opposite and puts his feet under my desk, so the, let’s be frank, absolutely awful stench is right under my nose! :?

    It’s not just feet by the way, we are talking the full BO experience.

  2. I was at a interview recently. When being asked for expected salary. I mentioned a number lot more than what the company was expecting. It’s already been a week and I haven’t received a response from them. I really really love the company and the project they are working on. I would love to to contact the HR personal and tell that I am interested in the position even if it means less money. How do I approach the situation? I don’t want to mess it up more than I already have. 🙁

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