After going through short free blogging e-mail course by John Sonmez, I didn’t sign up for the marketing course. I was a bit sceptical about paying few hundreds for the course. But not to miss on the opportunity to learn from John I decided to read his book “Soft Skills”. (Actually I listened to it via Amazon Audible.) The book wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be – it was much more. It’s kind of a book I would like to write myself someday. The book isn’t just about soft skills needed to perform your everyday tasks at work, it is much more generic and broader in topics. The book is about skills you need to succeed in your life as a software developer. “Soft Skills” includes advise on career, productivity, finances and even fitness and nutrition.

There is a lot of unique in the book, but probably you will find yourself familiar with some of the recommendations. For example, in one of the chapters on productivity John suggests using pomodoro technique. Obviously, it isn’t something new. But the author explains how to make it work and also adds few of his own practices. Everybody knows that their health is very important, but unfortunately too many of us neglect to do anything about it. I think emphasis this book does on fitness and health in general is something that makes the book special. Personally, I didn’t really enjoy some of the chapters on finances. Maybe that’s because I’m almost done with my goal of reading 13 books on finances and investing this year. But, still, I think that others might find it useful, plus it is interesting to know about the financial experience of the author himself.

My takeaways

I’ve certainly learned few concrete tricks and technics I’m going to use when searching for my next gig, like creating a resume that stands out, applying for a job, hacking the interview, negotiating effectively and other.

I will also apply some of the productivity recommendations at my current work.

A lot from the section on learning is very practical. Hopefully, concrete steps this section is offering will help me overcome some of the inefficiencies in my learning process. I have to admit that I often learn incorrectly. For example, frequently I first read a book and only then try things out. Intuitively it felt to be an inefficient way of learning, but I continued to do so.

The other big takeaway is health related. This year I started to run (well, again), but this is not enough to feel myself fit and full of energy. The problem is that I’m not consistent in my runs. I will add some scheduled fitness exercises to my runs and will try to follow John’s advise on the topic.

John has managed to retire at age of 33 and even I’m 5 years away from that age I have less aggressive target of retiring at 41. Best takeaway on the financial side was realising that I share same opinions on the matter and have already taken few of the first steps on the way to financial freedom.

Conclusion

Soft Skills” is up to date book with very sensible, practical and actionable advice for any software developer. It has a potential to greatly improve your life – not just your career. I would highly recommend to read this book. I’ve even ordered a printed copy of the book as a gift for my friend for his birthday.


See the book on Amazon or buy it using my my referral link below.

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