Manning Publications recently released Soft Skills: The software developers’ life manual by John Sonmez. I’ve been reading a digital copy of the book through Manning’s Early Access Preview program and I have to say it really is a must read for anyone in the software profession.
There’s no question that John Sonmez has achieved the kind of success that many of us aspire to. He’s the author of several Pluralsight courses, an international speaker, and a well regarded (and highly paid) software consultant. Through all of this he’s gotten to the point where he probably doesn’t have to work much anymore. Yet he continues to put out free content on youtube, the two podcasts he hosts and of course his excellent blog. Content that many of us, myself included, consume to better ourselves in this industry.
This book, Soft Skills, serves as a life manual on how to achieve the type of success that John has found. And I don’t just mean financial success; There are chapters in here devoted to learning new skills, marketing and even fitness.
One of the best things about this book is that each chapter is easily digestible, the average chapter length only being about 6 pages. So even if you’re like me and tend to prefer consuming video content like Pluralsight over written content, you’ll still find this book to be an easy read. Just read one chapter a night and think about the concepts John went over and how you can apply them to your own career/life. Most of the chapters actually end with a ‘taking action’ section on how you can quickly get started in improving yourself with the lessons learned from that chapter.
I’m still working on the book myself, I’m trying to read at least one chapter each night so that I can really absorb the material. All of the content I’ve already read so far has been excellent. I might actually skip ahead to the fitness chapters soon so that I can motivate myself into getting into better shape this year. Unlike most technical books this type of skimming and skipping around chapters is really easy to do, and is actually encouraged by John in the introduction.