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Book Review: The Passionate Programmer written by Chad Fowler

I just happened to get to know about this book while browsing through the books on Flipkart and the book immediately caught my attention. So here’s my review of the book:

First things first:

Introduction:

Choosing the market: 
Author tries to address about:
  • You were fascinated by that technology but didn’t try to read about it because it wasnt used at work?
  • Influenced by your parents urge to play safe with the job even if you didn’t like it.
  • You are not so excited to go to work and look for reasons to stay back home
  • Still stuck with old technologies and not sure what to decide to learn
  • Worried of losing your job to someone else
  • Why should you care about the business domain you are working on.
In short, this section is all about preparing your self for the change by identifying your current situation, assessing your interests, choosing or short listing the technologies you are planning to learn. Also there are 2 beautiful and inspiring case studies to help you get upbeat.
Investing in Your Product:
Various lessons learnt in this section:
At times participating in Forum discussions can help you a lot in Finding a mentor and being a mentor.  Also I would encourage participating in the open source communities and try reading the code and writing patches (This is something I didnt do and I would encourage people to practice this right from their under-graduate studies)
Executing:
Important section and explains how one can start executing the ideas and plans formulated in the previous 2 sections. Various strategies highlighted for executing ideas and plans are:
Marketing:
Its not enough to just analyze, invest and execute the plans, gain more expertise in different technical areas, but what’s more important is how you present/market yourself. The author tries to-
  • Explain the need for presenting your skills.
  • Throw light on how you can get under the focus of your teammates and manager- “Out of sight is out of mind” so one has to avoid that.
  • Explain the importance of writing articles, speaking at conferences and also going to the extent of authoring books on your favorite technologies.
  • Suggests to participate in open source technologies- write code, try to gain visibility in the community
  • Setup a blog- and start writing, sharing your ideas, learning. But don’t try to make a fool of yourself in the process.
Maintaining the Edge
“Its easier to get to the top, but its difficult to stay there”- this section is written keeping this in mind.
  • Keeping updated about the technologies – what’s promising, what’s going to be stale.
  • Trying to incrementally change – keep getting better each day
  • Planning the career – Being agile, welcome changes and adapt.
Final thoughts:
  • Must read book for any software developer
  • Explained the ideas through sensible analogy
  • Provides tips to actually implement the discussed idea.
  • Simple language, short chapters
So what are you waiting for: Buy from Flipkart or Amazon.
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