Book Review: “Being Geek: The Software Developer’s Career Handbook”

Many geeks face the all-too-common struggle of successfully interacting with co-workers and employers. The days of a geek are often spent alone, behind a giant computer screen. Geeks often prefer interacting with the computer over interacting with people face-to-face… Because people are messy and act in unpredictable ways. Bosses come and go, companies shut down, but the computer is always there. It is a place of mental safety.

This book is not just for software developers, but for any geek  who struggles to understand people in the workplace. Ever had to work with a irritating coworker? Or a boss that was incompetent? Or draconian? Or perhaps mistook your quiet personality as a lack of skill? Well, you are not alone. After reading this book, I learned that my experiences with other people in the workforce are amazingly common among geeks.

I wish that I had this book at the beginning of my career. It discusses not just different personality types, but real-life circumstances that geeks in the workplace will inevitably face, such as: annual reviews, giving a presentation without throwing up, negotiation and getting hired, what to do during company restructuring, dealing with a boss who has set you up for failure, task management for maximum productivity, and finding a new gig.

This book avoids the touchy-feely HR talk about learning to simply accept others; instead, it simply explains how to work effectively with a variety of people… even the annoying ones. The information is presented in a clear, geek-friendly way.

What I also love about this book is that there is an entire chapter written just for a geek’s Loved One. It’s a mini-manual about how geeks operate, and what makes us tick. Reading this chapter made me suddenly realize why traveling and vacations stress me out, why I hate small talk, and why geeks have control issues and may sometimes come off as anti-social.

If you are a geek, you deserve it to yourself to get this book and give your career a bit of clarity.

Title: Being Geek: The Software Developer’s Career Handbook
Author: Michael Lopp
Publisher: O’Reilly Media

  • Print
  • Ebook
  • Safari Books Online

Print: August 2010
Ebook: July 2010
Pages: 336
Print ISBN: 978-0-596-15540-7| ISBN 10:0-596-15540-9
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-9403-5| ISBN 10:1-4493-9403-5

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