Sunday, 31 January 2010

Book Review: “The Passionate Programmer” by Chad Fowler

I’m a huge fan of books and from now on I’ll write a review on each technical (or may be not) book I read. The first book reviewed will be a wonderful book by Chad Fowler: "The Passionate Programmer”. Actually, it’s full name is “The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development”. This is what this book is about – your career.

Chad Fowler is a great programmer, Ruby practitioner, musician and conference organizer. He recently lived and worked in India, setting up and leading an offshore software development center. He is co-founder of Ruby Central, Inc., a non-profit corporation responsible for the annual International Ruby Conference and The International Rails Conference, and is a leading contributor in the Ruby community.

As the author highlights, your career is the most important project in your life and you, as it’s result, is the most valuable product of it. That really makes sense if remember that your time is the most valuable resource: you can’t replenish it.

As Chad assumes you are a product, he splits his book into parts on how to promote this product:

  1. Choosing Your Market
    Here Chad describes what you should be and what niche you should take, what skills to develop and what technologies to specialize in.
  2. Investing in Your Product
    This part is about how to develop yourself, not what but how. How you should sharpen your skills, how you should choose a mentor.
  3. Executing
    Where to apply yourself, how much you are worth, how to behave in stress situations – you are a product and this part is about how to execute you and produce value.
  4. Marketing… Not Just for Suits
    Advertise yourself, make people believe you’re the one they need, be public – the marketing of product from all practical aspects.
  5. Maintaining Your Edge
    You’re at the top, you’re the king – but what next? Chad devotes this part to you-product maintenance: looking for future employments, planning your next career steps.

This book is good. Very good. My favorite statement from it is “Be the worse” – be the worse in your team meaning that all around are better than you. In this case you’ll grow up much faster than in any other case.