Professions of a Silicon Valley Double-E
Sunday, October 17, 2010
  Book Review: "Being Geek: the Software Developer's Career Handbook"
I have yet to find a career book that doesn't tell us "YOU are responsible for your Career" in some way, and while this book is no exception, after finishing it (3:ooam this morning), I had new insight into the rules of the career game, why I'm considering taking that internal posting at Headquarters (WTF? Leave Silicon Valley?), why my boss has been loosing sleep over my project, and 3 things I can do to put an end to that.

"Being Geek" is not for the general population. If you are an Entrepreneur, or CEO at heart, if you already add MBA after your name, if you got that CS or EE degree just for the money rather than because you couldn't stand the idea of any other job even if the pay wound up being crappy, if you are not a geek, then this book probably won't scratch your career itch. Spend your money on "What Color is Your Parachute?" a book designed for a much broader audience.

While this book can be read start to finish in one day, (I did skip some chapters last night as I had read a version on the author's blog, and those didn't apply to MY current career decision) it is written in standalone chapters each focused on a single issue in one of 4 sections: (links are to blog postings that became a chapter in the section)
Like those other dog-eared books on your shelf that you actually use while you get your stuff done, this one is from O'reilly - and you can access it through your Safari Online subscription while one of Your People is borrowing the book because he never developed a game to drive his own development and stagnated at his last gig too long.

If you are a geek (checklist pg 4) this is probably a book that should have been on your shelf a couple of years ago, if it had been published then. Still not sure?

my List of 3 things?
  1. "Gaming the system" - make my teams progress toward's its goals a game.
  2. "A Deep Breath" - provide the "breathing" structure of information flow to and from my team to energise the work in the middle.
  3. the Trickle List - identify the small actions I can take everyday to improve - and KEEP TRACK of my progress in taking them.
now Go Build Something!
Jonathan
 
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Ruminations about the Electrical Engineering profession as practiced in Silicon Valley by an IEEE Senior Member. Disclaimer: All Posts here are official IEEE business in that they are messages about IEEE activities from an IEEE volunteer. These messages do not constitute official records of R6-PACE activities, nor official IEEE or IEEE-USA policy statements. Website: http://www.ieee.org/scv/pace

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When he is not working on IEEE stuff, Jonathan does Mixed Signal Design Verification at Qualcomm. Senior Member IEEE. Founder IEEE-SCV-SSC (the first Solid State Circuits chapter). Past Section Chair, Santa Clara Valley Section - the Largest Section. Co-founder IEEE-SCV-CAS. IEEE-SSCS Membership chair 2001-2003. IEEE SSCS chapters Committee member. IEEE-SCV-PACE committee member 2001- IEEE-SCV-PACE Chair 2006-2007. IEEE R6 PACE coordinator.

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