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The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact
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The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  408 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
The most effective engineers — the ones who have risen to become distinguished engineers and leaders at their companies — can produce 10 times the impact of other engineers, but they're not working 10 times the hours.

They've internalized a mindset that took me years of trial and error to figure out. I'm going to share that mindset with you — along with hundreds of actionab
Paperback, 260 pages
Published March 19th 2015 by Effective Bookshelf
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Feb 19, 2016 Dillon rated it really liked it
Shelves: interest
Great book filled with career advice that I plan to take with me for a long time. I will probably find myself re-reading sections too. The author cites evidence for most everything he says, and can speak to all of the points made from personal experience. Five stars on content.
My only issue is that the writing style is a bit formulaic, i.e. introduce concept, cite personal experience, cite best practices at other companies. There is also a lot of repetition - some of the companies are re-introdu
Adegoke Obasa
Jun 20, 2015 Adegoke Obasa rated it it was amazing
I learnt a lot of things from this book, top on my list are
- Focus on high leverage tasks.
- Long hours don't make you an Effective Engineer.
- How important Estimation is when building products.
- Avoid one man teams.
- Automate mechanics.

This book is a great resource that every Software Engineer should read especially those that are just starting out.
David Haber
Jun 04, 2016 David Haber rated it really liked it
Edmond Lau discusses techniques that can make both junior and senior engineers more effective in their work. This book focuses on software engineers but many of the principles outlined here can be applied to other engineering disciplines, professions, and life in general.

I think that every software engineer can benefit from reading this book. Emond Lau is a software engineer himself and shares many of the lessons he learned the hard way. I found it interesting to read about engineering practices
Muhammad Dhito Prihardhanto
Jan 12, 2016 Muhammad Dhito Prihardhanto rated it it was amazing
"Time is our most finite asset, and leverage—the value we produce per unit time—allows us to direct our time toward what matters most."

Buku bagus, sangat direkomendasikan utamanya untuk mereka yg berkecimpung dalam dunia IT. Lebih cocok lagi bagi mereka pelaku start-up.

Banyak tips dari Edmond Lau, sang penulis, terkait bagaimana kultur atau contoh manajemen di sebuah start-up agar mampu membentuk effective engineer di perusahaannya. Getting things done, learn quickly, and not wasting effort.

Feb 20, 2016 Manju rated it it was ok
Shelves: tech-reads-2016
Disappointing read for me. The author should have specifically called out the intended audience for this book (strictly suitable only to a complete newbie software engineer). As a result I had to wade through the lazy writing (reads like a series of bullet points with a smattering of routinely cited works - every business/tech book is referenced here once every couple of lines, is that really necessary? This often came across as filler material). $35 for a book that reads like a collection of bl ...more
Bjoern Rochel
Oct 07, 2016 Bjoern Rochel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Give this one out to all of your new engineers. It's a great writeup of modern engineering practices and ideas.

Beware: This book might be easily dismissed by hardcore techies as too fluffy and not technical enough. For people embracing a more holistic view on engineering it's great though. Fits perfectly in line with Goldratts and Gene Kim's books.
Abhishek Kona
May 04, 2015 Abhishek Kona rated it it was ok
Its a shit book
Amrullah Zunzunia
Apr 08, 2017 Amrullah Zunzunia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other
Much of what's written in this book is something you would have experienced yourself too, in your job as an engineer at a startup. But still there is enough advice on how to be an effective (and not just technically sound) engineer. Perils of accomplishing short term goals at the expense of long term ones is well illustrated throughout the book. A highly recommended read
Jan 10, 2017 Kent rated it really liked it
A good book that offers insightful and actionable advices. It touches upon best practices you need to know and offers a guiding framework for making everyday decision as an engineer in the software industry. Highly recommend it to people who are beginning their career or looking for tips to advance their technical career.
Apr 09, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sharon by: Veronica
Shelves: funemployment
I wish I had this book when I was starting out in the industry. Even with a few years of experience, I feel like I got a lot out of it, but mostly as a guide for reflecting on what I've learned through my own mistakes.

This book is structured like a pretty typical business book, but explains the concept of high-leverage activities with very specific explanations of what actual engineers have done at actual tech companies. The best part is that it summarizes enough things from general audience boo
Feb 05, 2017 Abhijith rated it it was amazing
Nice and easy read. Useful for new guys. I guess the experienced guys would already know most of this.
Dushan Hanuska
Jan 13, 2017 Dushan Hanuska rated it really liked it
It's a good book for every engineer who wants to improve. I found the beginning to be of most value to me. The rest of the book was more story telling of personal experiences of the author or material I was already familiar with. Last chapter about team's growth was also something very useful to know, yet not typically addressed or even discussed at companies.
Overall it's a great book that I will be recommending to my fellow engineers.
Jun 18, 2015 Vladimir rated it really liked it
Although it is a technical book, I enjoyed the style, how it's written, and it hooked me to read through it. Overall, most of the insights are known, but it's nice to read them, with examples, in a single place.
Jul 04, 2015 Umair rated it really liked it
Good read, great insights. I found the book very motivating, with a lot of great suggestions on how to become a more effective engineer.
Jean Bahnik
Dec 07, 2015 Jean Bahnik rated it liked it
A few good pieces of advice here and there but could easily have been summed up in a blog post. Very autobiographical.
Oct 02, 2015 Valia rated it liked it
Shelves: skills, msl
«Лучше быть богатым и здоровым, чем бедным и больным».
Nov 04, 2016 Katherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: programming
I read this book with a friend from work during a time when both of us were feeling rather cynical. Nevertheless, I think there are good and useful ideas in here, especially in the first few chapters for the non-senior individual contributor perspective. The glowing quotes from engineering management are there because yes, it paint a good portrait of effective engineering work, that they would want to have on their teams.

As an individual, though, the main thing to question is the extent to which
Dec 17, 2016 Juvoni rated it really liked it
An eloquent and principles focused dissection of what makes a truly effective engineer. The core message is, 'Time is our most finite asset, and level — the value we produce per unit time — allows us to direct our time toward what matters most. Edmond first helps you develop the right mindset, understanding what leverage is, how to find activities that lead to it, how to prioritize and how to cultivate the capabilities to take advantage of leverage. Good execution is around the right tools and p ...more
Anh Le
Jun 24, 2017 Anh Le rated it really liked it
A succinct compilation of good advice on engineering practices, with everything aiming towards being more productive. That goal may be simple, but there are many ways to reach it. There are tips to be more productive now (write clean code, automate your workflow, catch failures earlier), more productive later (emphasize learning and growth), and to make your team more productive (via hiring, communication).

I've read most of the advice on the blogosphere, but it's really helpful that the author c
Milhouse Van Houten
May 15, 2017 Milhouse Van Houten rated it it was amazing
I feel much more effective! The most effective engineers — the ones who have risen to become distinguished engineers and leaders at their companies — can produce 10 times the impact of other engineers, but they're not working 10 times the hours.
They've internalized a mindset that took me years of trial and error to figure out. I'm going to share that mindset with you — along with hundreds of actionable techniques and proven habits — so you can shortcut those years.
Introducing The Effective Engin
May 17, 2017 Shahin rated it it was amazing
This book is not technical but offers very useful high-level tips for any software engineer. Edmond Lau has worked at a few prestigious companies in Silicon Valley that are often recognised to hire the best software engineers, working and being surrounded by them has helped Edmond writing a very good guide to be an effective engineer. Edmond describes various techniques, strategies, best practices to both become a better developer and helping your team grow. The books is not long and is very eas ...more
Andrew Berezovskyi
Jan 02, 2017 Andrew Berezovskyi rated it really liked it
Shelves: _2017
A wonderful starting guide on the path to improve yourself as an engineer and/or engineering manager (because many advices in the book are not just the tips that affect your skills, but make you shift, or more correctly, balance certain priorities instead). I've already experienced a how a small fraction of them makes the project go smoother. Look forward to implementing the rest in 2017!

4 stars because it did exceed my expectations, but was quite repetitive at times.
Aris Fernando
Jan 09, 2017 Aris Fernando rated it it was amazing
101 Software Engineering Practice in Workplace, should be introduced to everyone that want to take their career path in engineering. Not only applicable for software engineer, 5/5
May 29, 2017 Damien rated it did not like it
Lots of name dropping and buzzwords. But very basic content overall.
Mugizi Rwebangira
Mar 07, 2017 Mugizi Rwebangira rated it it was amazing
Very very practical. Maybe because I am an engineer, but I was really surprised how useful I found this.

In a certain sense, Lau isn't really saying anything new: (1) prioritize, (2) communicate and (3) simplify are 3 of the main ideas and these are not earth shattering revelations.

But the way he phrases it and the examples he used resonated with me a lot more than (for example) when I read some similar ideas in "Seven habits of highly effective people" (which definitely talks about prioritizing)
Shahriyar Nasir
Mar 10, 2017 Shahriyar Nasir rated it it was amazing
The Effective Engineer is loaded with strategies from real world tech organizations that will help engineers increase their effectiveness. There is a simple formula presented in this book for leverage which is a measure of one's effectiveness. This book has changed the way I approach software development.
Sep 30, 2016 Yannick rated it it was amazing
This is a great book full of good advices for every engineer
Dec 30, 2016 Ivan rated it it was amazing
Отличнейшая книга. По итогам записал себе строк 300 заметок. Похожа на Soft Skills Сомнеза, но с намного большим техническим уклоном.
Nov 05, 2016 Coltin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: learning
I had a lot of really positive takeaways from this book. All of the material in here can be found elsewhere, and if you've worked as a Software Engineer for any length of time you've likely picked up a lot of the benefits available in this book already. However, I think this is a great resource if only for the overview it gives on how to be a better software engineer. I will be referring to this book periodically to remind myself on areas to focus and improve.

If you're more junior and just at th
Andi Nugroho
Dec 29, 2016 Andi Nugroho rated it it was amazing
I'll put this book on "never finished" shelf since this book teach us not just the concept or approach about how to become the effective engineer, but also how to do it practically like "Making some notes. What kind of notes?", "Making todo list. What list should I put on?", this book contains all of those stuff. Also the other attractiveness is this book contains a lot of real engineer experience and story from several well reputed start up like Google, Facebook, Quera, etc. so we can learn fro ...more
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