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Being Geek

Being GeekBeing Geek by Michael Lopp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book contains many astute observations about the life of a software developer combined with practical advice about how to approach your career. The book touches on aspects like interviewing for a job, office politics, transitioning to new responsibilities like becoming a manager, how to manage your time, dealing with crises, and thinking about when it's time to find a new job. I found the book did a great job of helping me think about the three questions it lays out at the beginning: What am I doing?, What do I do?, and What matters to me?.

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Some notes I took while reading:

  • What am I doing? What do I do? What matters to me? What do I care about? [6]
  • Technical direction. Growth. Delivery. [9]
  • It's OK to quit a job with people you like because there are a lot of people to like out there. [8]
  • ... do I know what I want to do? [23]
  • We must not ship crap. [60]
  • 1:1 agenda: What are you worried about? Here's what I'm worried about. And discuss.... [109]
  • staff meeting agenda: Operations (Where are we?), Tactics (What are we going to do about that?), Strategy (No, really, what are we going to do about it?). [110]
  • All of Chapter 23 (a.k.a. Nerd 101) [165-172]
  • Where do I want to go? What do I want to build? And how do I want to build it? [262]
  • Have you failed recently? Is there someone within throwing distance who challenges you daily? Can you tell me the story of something significant you learned in the last week? [298]

Tags: books life


Being Geek has some wonderful insights, and it's written in Lopp's classic style with a lot of charm. Another book I loved, that is very complimentary and in some ways an even more practical and entertaining read, is "Making it Big in Software" by Sam Lightstone. It's a nice mix of practical ideas, interviews with major software geeks, and great stories. Everything from CPU efficiency to starting your own business. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0137059671