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I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge: The book that helps increase your impact and satisfaction at work

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I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge is a real-world, practical book that helps you increase your impact and satisfaction at work no matter who you work with.

Each of the 7 chapters has the following structure specifically designed to generate insight and move you to action.

Why it matters
A brief introduction to the chapter that offers questions for you to experiment with your current belief about the topic of the chapter. For example, if you believe you can’t ask a colleague you admire to be your mentor, then what could you do if you changed that belief?

The story
A fictional story following the protagonist, Sandrine who left her company to get a higher-level role and found that despite the “promotion” everything still feels the same, the people around her are clueless. In each chapter, Sandrine learns something from the people she interacts with that gets her thinking in a new way enabling her to take different actions. Sandrine is not perfect though, she makes slip-ups, promises to change but goes back to old habits, plans for things a certain way only to discover it doesn’t play out that way—just like in real life.

What do we learn from the story
Here we talk about the lesson from the story, and ask you, the reader, what you will do with your new knowledge and insights.

The experiments
At the end of each chapter, there are 3 experiments for you to try. You can choose to do one or more of them to see what happens when you put yourself in Sandrine’s shoes.

Follow Sandrine on her journey to see for yourself how she solved her problems and increased her impact and satisfaction and in the process find a way to increase yours.

By the end of the book you’ll have learned:
How your words influence your actions
How to prosper from feedback
How to set goals that inspire
How to work with others to create a better solution
How to use failure as a data point to inform your learning

Kindle Edition

Published May 1, 2020

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About the author

Alexis Monville

2 books20 followers
Alexis Monville is a member of the Engineering Leadership Team at Enterprise Open Source Software company Red Hat. He brings more than 20 years of operations and management experience from diverse sectors such as the automotive industry, a dotcom startup, IT consulting, public sector, software development, and his own management and organization consulting and coaching firm.

From 2011 until Red Hat acquired eNovance in 2014, Alexis nurtured and grew the eNovance agile organization from a few individuals to more than a hundred people. During this time he maintained the team’s focus on delivering private cloud services with OpenStack while building an open and people-centric culture.

Alexis regularly speaks about management and agile transformation, and participates at industry events such as the Open Infrastructure Summit, Open World Forum, and Agile Lean Europe.

Alexis Monville builds high impact sustainable organizations.

Alexis is the author of Changing Your Team From The Inside, a book published in 2018.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
6 reviews3 followers
May 10, 2020
This book is a straightforward, thorough, and insightful door to leadership, personal growth, and constant self-evaluation.

As someone that spends a lot of tine reflecting and trying to understand other people's perspectives, I appreciated the emphasis and information this books puts on the argument.

I recommend this book to engineers and managers of every level. If nothing else, I'm sure refreshing existing knowns won't hurt at all.

I liked the structure of the book as well as the numerous references to other sources where the reader can go to read more about a specific technique and/or topic.

Well done, Alexis and Michael.
Profile Image for Emilien.
1 review
April 19, 2020
Indispensable book to someone who appreciates working in a team and contributes to its success and also being satisfied by the impact made at work.

While not being a long read, I already feel the need of getting this regular "shot" by reading again some chapters from time to time. Alexis and Michael know how to go straight to the point; to the essential and what the reader should remember.

The first part of the book goes straight to real-life situations, and spoil some concepts that later in second part are explained with great details. This book isn't just about reading the words but also playing the exercises, learning about yourself. Depending on when in the week you're reading it, it might even inspire you the day after and you'll already experiment some changes.

I've been lucky to work with Alexis for nearly 8 years now and everything is that book is real. This isn't theory or perfect-world situations. I've seen the personas in the real life, these situations in pretty much all the teams I worked with and this book is a key to "unlock" your potential to make an impact where you work and on yourself.

While targeted for Software Engineering, a lot of (if not all) concepts described in the book can be applied in nearly any job. It's inspiring, and honestly I wish I had this book when I started my career!

Reading this book for me was like in the old times when Alexis and I worked in the same office and I could ask him for advise. Except now I have it written and can read it infinitely. Perfect timing when you like to challenge yourself.
May 16, 2020
Cuts-though with great clarity to deliver potent learnings via mini-stories

Being an avid reader, I go through lots of books. While most books meander through lots of content to deliver a single message. This lean book, on the other hand, conveys new learnings with every chapter! The format is simply brilliant! The closest thing, I can compare it to is Aesop's Fables in an enterprise setting. It allows us to relate to the emotion the main character feels and driving home the point using dripping empathy rather than dry preaching. Each chapter is followed by simple experiments that can be tried out and woven into our professional lives

The book chronicles through everyday challenges, provocations, passive-aggressive behaviors that the main character Sandrine faces, within and outside her team, just like we all do in a typical organization. The surprising and brilliant element of this book is how Sandrine manages to look at her own demeanor and reactions in these situations. With the help of mentors and wise colleagues, she manages to acknowledge and understand her own shortcomings. She goes on to alter her attitude and mindset, which helps in successfully navigating through these issues faced and in the process influence and motivate her team members.

“Maybe this isn’t the job for me. Maybe I should be in a different company. I just wish everyone around me would do more, be better somehow.” a thought Sandrine echoes at the beginning of the book, is a common one that resonates with a lot of us when we are frustrated with people that we work with. Every week brings on new disappointments, exposes more incompetencies in people, uncover large gaps in strategy and execution. How much of this is real and how much perceived? How much personal power and influence we have to make a positive impact? While we crave for people around us to improve, are we taking the time to step back and look at our own contributions or lack thereof?

Written in a really straightforward manner this book walks us through how Sandrine slowly opens up to feedback, reflects on her reactions and way of working, makes simple changes in her perspective, and attitude which ultimately delivers her from frustration to renewed enthusiasm. The simple examples and explanations illustrated in this book make it easy to follow and understand. I've found the book motivational, inspiring, actionable, and a positive read.

Profile Image for Bart Haak.
1 review1 follower
May 15, 2020
This book is great if you are progressing in your career as a software developer. I wish I had all this information at hand when I was starting as a lead engineer. The book is well structured with stories you will definitely recognise. It provides practical tools (as experiments) to try out yourself. A great and quick read for all those engineers wanting to get in charge.
Profile Image for Julien Danjou.
Author 8 books14 followers
April 10, 2020
If you're an engineer and want to develop your career, this is a must-read. I've seen way too many engineers focusing on their technical expertise while what they would need to grow is their social skills. This book covers this aspect of your engineering career and what you need to understand and learn the ins and outs of being a senior engineer.

The first part covers a story where you follow different characters, which makes it super easy to read and understand the concept. It's hard not to recognize oneself!
The second part of the book provides technics that you can apply right away to your daily job and influence the way you work, getting better outcomes of the time you invest in your routines.

This is an excellent publication if you are ready to rewire your brain to take charge of your development rather than enduring your work.
Profile Image for Dave Neary.
107 reviews2 followers
June 27, 2020
Wow! For such a short book, I found it very useful. It mixes aspects of Stoicism and mindfulness with productivity, communication, and team development topics. The exercises, all detailed in part 2, look like they will be very useful in helping me adopt a positive mindset and be more productive and impactful at work. In general, I enjoy "business fable" books, but this is the first one I have read that adopted the practice of "one lesson per chapter", starting with an explanation of how it is important, and ending with advice on how to develop that skill yourself. I read this cover to cover in one sitting.
2 reviews2 followers
November 5, 2020
Loved how each concept is explained with simple everyday relatable examples in a story format.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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