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 288: Too excited about learning and furious boss when quitting


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I am working at my first job as a software engineer for 2 1/2 years now. I really enjoy working as a programmer and I’m super excited about the tech industry in general.

    However, sometimes I feel like I’m too excited about everything. I spent a lot of time reading blog posts, watching tutorials or taking online courses. I think about what books to read and what languages to learn all the time. Not everything but a big part of it happens during my working hours. While I know that “loving to learn” in general is considered a positive trait, I feel like I might take it a bit too far and I should focus more on the actual tasks I have - especially, because I think my coworkers spend much less time keeping up to date with everything.

    What is a reasonable amount of time to spent on these things during working hours and beyond? How do I know I spend too much time not working on my actual tasks? How can I make sure I learn the right things that are useful to my career?

    Love the show and wish you the best. Thanks for your advice!

  2. I landed a new job that nearly tripled my salary realative to the job I’m about to leave (yes, I was horribly underpaid)! The stories and tips from this podcast really helped me out but I also landed this job through (the podcast sponsor).

    Any good tips regarding leaving a job when you know your boss will be furious that you’re leaving? Also, should I tell my boss which company I’m going to when he asks (he definitely will)?

Show Notes

  • Tom7, the most amazing YouTuber of all time:
  • - anagraphs
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Episode 287: Informal favoritism and post-hoc finger pointing


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Listener Sara asks,

    How can I deal with favoritism towards informal leaders in a group? The group is losing group intelligence because the informal leader’s reasoning and direction is favored. Example: when member A propose an argument is dismissed, but when the informal leader proposes the same argument it is cherished.

  2. How do I react to the question “why didn’t you do it this way” for features already in production? I am frustrated by being asked that. I got scolded for an idea that turned out to be bad after I implemented it (in production), although I asked the Lead for his opinion ahead of time. As soon as trouble came up a.k.a performance issue in production, he pointed the finger at me. Lost all kinds of respect for him.

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Episode 286: I don't care about borkchain and morning procrastination?


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I keep hearing about Web3, DAOs and Smart Contracts. Part of me wants to get excited about these and other shiny things but I just don’t seem to care all that much any more.

    How long into your careers did y’all stop getting excited about shiny stuff and how do you keep learning when it is not all that exciting to you any more?

    Maybe it is time to be a manager? 😛

  2. Every work day seems to start the same way. I check slack, then procrastinate for about 2 hours before feeling so guilty about getting nothing done that i actually start doing some work. Once i get started i don’t have any issues concentrating.

    I want to work, i like my job but i also can’t crack this habit. I am assuming this is not normal…any ideas that could help me out?

    PS: I think (might not be true) i use to be better at getting started before the WFH was the norm

Show Notes

Article by Dave on how to make your standups awesome: