Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual

John Sonmez

June 07, 2020

If I sell a share of a stock for the ask price of $19 and at that same moment you buy that stock for the bid price of $20, the $1 difference is collected by the market

May 31, 2020

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents. Andrew Carnegie

May 31, 2020

There once was a farmer. One day the farmer’s only horse broke out of the corral and ran away. The farmer’s neighbors, all hearing of the horse running away, came to the farmer’s house to view the corral. As they stood there, the neighbors all said, “Oh, what bad luck!” The farmer replied, “How do you know this is bad?” About a week later, the horse returned, bringing with it a whole herd of wild horses, which the farmer and his son quickly corralled. The neighbors, hearing of the corralling of the horses, came to see for themselves. As they stood there looking at the corral filled with horses, the neighbors said, “Oh what good luck!” The farmer replied, “How do you know this is good?” A couple of weeks later, the farmer’s son’s leg was badly broken when he was thrown from one of their new wild horses that he was trying to tame. A few days later the broken leg became infected and the son became delirious with fever. The neighbors, all hearing of the incident, came to see the son. As they stood there, the neighbors said, “Oh what bad luck!” The farmer replied, “How do you know this is bad?” At that same time in China, a war broke out between two rival warlords. In need of more soldiers, a captain came to the village to conscript young men to fight in the war. When the captain came to take the farmer’s son, he found the young man with a broken leg, delirious with fever. Knowing there was no way the son could fight, the captain left him there. A few days later, the son’s fever broke. The neighbors, hearing of the son not being taken to fight in the war and of his return to good health, all came to see him. As they stood there, each one said, “Oh what good luck!” The farmer replied, “How do you know this is good?” The

May 25, 2020

wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to do Pluralsight courses if I wasn’t marketing myself and getting my name out there. I was able to meet David Starr because of my blog and because I was speaking at code camps. I was also constantly trying to open doors. I was pursuing many different projects and I was investing heavily in my skills and my career. I’m convinced that if the Pluralsight opportunity hadn’t come along, some other life-changing opportunity would have taken its place. In fact, I’m sure that’s true, because I’ve actually had

May 21, 2020

A good real estate deal stays a good real estate deal, because rental prices don’t tend to fluctuate much. As long as you’re able to secure a fixed–interest rate loan on a property, that property is very stable in terms of the income it can produce. If rents do change, they usually go up, not down.

May 21, 2020

One of my favorite spreads is called the iron condor. In that spread, you sell options on both sides of a stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) and you buy options a bit further out in price. You make some money off of selling the options and you spend some of that money to buy some protection for yourself by buying options that will limit your losses if the stock goes too high or too low. If the stock or ETF stays within a certain range of values, you get to collect the full premium. If you create a good iron condor, you have a very high chance of making money. Of course, if you’re wrong, it can be very costly. (If you’re interested more in iron condors, a good book I recommend is Profiting with Iron Condor Options: Strategies from the Frontline for Trading in Up or Down Markets by Michael Benklifa [FT Press, 2011].) Taking action Look up a stock you’re familiar with and see if you can find what is called an option chain for it. Most stock quoting sites have option chains that you can find. Take a look at the option chain and calculate how much it costs to buy an option on that stock that’s one month in the future. Notice how the price of the option changes based on the different strike prices. Chapter 52.

May 20, 2020

don’t recommend negotiating beyond this point. If you’re really brave you can try, but past a second counteroffer, you risk losing goodwill and souring the deal. You want to appear shrewd, but not greedy. No one likes to feel like they got worked or taken advantage of.

May 20, 2020

“I’d prefer not to say what my current salary is because if it’s higher than what you expect to pay for this job, I wouldn’t want that to eliminate me from being considered for this job—because I might be willing to accept less for the right position—and, if it’s lower than what this job would pay, I wouldn’t want to sell myself short either—I’m sure you can understand.”

May 20, 2020

application, leave it blank if possible or simply put “negotiable depending on overall compensation package.”

May 20, 2020

One important thing to understand is that the first person to name a number is at a distinct disadvantage. In any kind of negotiation, you always want to act second.

May 10, 2020

The way I handle email now is in batches. I might check my email a couple of times each day and answer any urgent emails. But in general, I process all of my email at a single time during the day. I go through my entire inbox and deal with it all at once. I’m much more efficient, because I’m not interrupting my other task and I can get into the “email zone”

April 10, 2020

The real difference between great musicians and superstars is nothing more than marketing. Marketing is a multiplier for talent. The better marketing you have, the more it magnifies your talent. That’s why it’s critical for you, as a software developer, to learn this crucial skill.

April 08, 2020

For that reason, it’s better to project an aura of confidence and capability, knowing that you’ve faced challenges in the past, you rose up to meet them, and there’s no reason to believe you won’t do the same in the future.

April 03, 2020

Decide what would be the most valuable thing to educate yourself on and create a plan to get that education

April 03, 2020

Keep a daily log of your activities— Send this log as a weekly report to your manager. Offer to give presentations or trainings— Pick a topic that would be useful to your team. Speak up— Do this at meetings and any time you get the chance. Be seen— Set up regular meetings with your boss. Make sure you are seen often.


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