Book Review: The Passionate Programmer
Partly because of the subject matter, but mainly due to the layout and writing style, you will find this an ‘easy read’. You can open it on a Friday night after a really hard week, and you won’t find your mind wandering.
The book is divided up into 52 mini-chapters (it was originally called My Job Went To India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job). [on a side note, if it had been called that I would never have bought it as I don’t personally see this off-shoring as a direct threat to the UK development industry. The new title is much better and more accurately reflects the content of the book. For instance, there is no direct guidance in the book about finding new job, in fact there are several suggestions for changing your existing job into an awesome one, if it isn’t already.]
The format means you can pick it up and put it down quickly, reading a chapter at a time if you wish – you can get a chapter in during the time it takes a compile a mid-size project. At the end of each chapter are Act on It! tips and suggestions. Having now read the book, these are the points I will be going back to for inspiration. The chapters are diverse: with lots of good ideas about you as a brand, marketing yourself, dealing with people (including managers), and making yourself not only heard, but irreplaceable.
This book keeps you honest. It reminds you that you’re important, yes, but you’re not that important. However, to yourself, you’re the most important, and you need to respect that. The opening sentence of the introduction to this book is: “This book is about finding fullness and happiness in your career”. If you’re feeling that you don’t have that right now, this book may just help you to turn things around.
In 2011, being a successful programmer is about so much more than just programming. You have to look past the here and now, consider all the options, and be continually on your guard against becoming obselete. It’s a tough game, but the rewards are good.
The Passionate Programmer (978-1-934356-34-0) is currently under £15 from Amazon.