As a software engineer, you recognize at some point that there's much more to your career than dealing with code. Is it time to become a manager? Tell your boss he’s a jerk? Join that startup? Author Michael Lopp recalls his own make-or-break moments with Silicon Valley giants such as Apple, Netscape, and Symantec in Being Geek -- an insightful and entertaining book that
Lopp advises the reader on job-searching, but it's a style of ...more
This is a collection of blog entries, loosely edited into a book. Emphasis on the "loosely." Lopp says that the goals of the book (it has goals?) are to improve the reader's improvisational skills (presumably as regards career curveballs) and to define one's career strategy. Those would have been great, and I picked up this book sort of hoping for exactly that. He delivers on neither, though -- those are pretty lofty goals for something written ...more
i really did enjoy reading it & i totally recommend it to everyone, and for parts where it feels boring, just skim it and keep the book near so that you can return to it when needed ... you will need it, as it discusses all phases of a geek's life/career.
Plus...I know this is a book that grew out of blog posts, but it ...more
Most if not all chapters come from blog posts usually come with additional polishing. For example, one of my favorites, The Nerd Handbook, is converted from a blog post to Chapter 23 with an introduction on how it should be handed to someone who needs to understand people like me plus an introduction for the recipient.
The best of: Chapter 8: The Culture Chart - "Culture is the undercur ...more
I also can't say I've worked in any environments where his advice would apply. And, encouraging pigeonholing people as certain "types" is not a way to get along in the work place. That's just going to give you tunnel vision and shut you down.
The real reason I quit reading this book halfway through had its seeds in the introduction: "For much of this book, my prototypic ...more
As most of Lopp's books this one is also a bit scattered, but there are enough fun bits and the books is quick enough to read so hat you give it a try.
I didn't end up writing anything down, and there were no "cool! I have to remember this!" moments. On the other hand, I did think about my own j ...more
Several takeaways I have from the book:
1. Prepare for the unexpected: things can do wrong will do wrong. What distinguishes a competent engineer is his ability to face the unexpected.
2. Be efficient. If we are more efficient, then we have more time to enjoy what we love to do. Therefore, to ...more
Some of the chapters in this book are so good and so matching my experience that I wrote some notes on the side while reading the book. Other chapters, I don't even know what he's talking about.
Most chapters revolve around their title. The author sums up a certain situation - which is the center of this chapter - in the chapter title. To expla ...more
Lopp cuts through the nonsense and focuses on reality, and I respect that.
I am not at all sure that I share his view that a man ...more
I don't remember exactly who recommended this book to me. I think I saw ...more
My biggest gripe with this book was that it sometimes didn't make sense. Certain chapters were clear and concise, for example the chapter outlining the author's method of organizing himself for the day. I cannot say the same about c ...more
A bigger weakness is that few of the articles really lead to any conclusion ...more
In the introduction, Lopp states that the majority of concepts and chapters in the book were ones from his blog - Rands in Repose. I had never read the blog, so don't know how similar/different it is from that venue to the printed on paper ...more
I read about a half and skimmed over the rest. There are good ideas in the book, but i feel th ...more
If I were to recommend this to others, I'd instead seek out the useful sections and direct them to their related blog entries online.
I felt that Lopp helped me crystalize some phenomena, personality types and interactions that I ...more
This book attempts to provide a selection of essays to help a geek in their life and career, but frankly unless you fit Lopp's specific definition of a geek a lot of the advice flows by you.
Written from the perspective of the workaholic crisis manager in a tech community with no values on non-tech and non-work activities, it was somewhat difficult to complete. The Rands blog with it's occasional posts are much more digestible.
Parts of the book can be found on Rand's blog, but it's still a great package of his posts. Ans if your like me, you haven't read them all anyway.
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