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Book review: "Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual" by John Z. Sonmez

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading book Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual by John Sonmez. The book was heavily advertised by John on his website and after watching a couple of videos from John I found that there was something I can learn from him.

In fact it's a lot to learn from that book. But for me, it's not what John advertised was helpful, personally I did not found too much new information related to career or advertising yourself with blog as he suggesting in Sections 1, 2 and 3. First of all, all his advices are very obvious and as an independent .net contractor like me, I already was familiar with most of his advices and most were already implemented in my life and career, the only one thing, which I want to improve after reading that book is to create blog posts more regularly.

What I found interesting and valuable advices are in chapters 4 and following chapters. In chapter 4 he shares some interesting techniques for productivity, which I tried after finished the book and found than they are working and really increasing what I can have done during the day. The most helpful personally for me are: "quota system", "routine" and "how to eat elephant". Using some of his advices I was able to better plan my day and spend more time during the day for productive work, instead of wasting time.

In Section 5 he share his financial experience and even explains how he was able to get retried so early. I was never very interesting in financial, and never even think than person can retire before his retirement age, but this section make me think and look into financial differently.

Section 6 about fitness was a little bit boring for me, but I agree than it’s very important to be healthy and exercise regularly.

Section 7 tells about your mind influencing your body, and the following from Mahatma Gandhi will explain the best what that chapter about.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi

That section written well and really interesting, but some additional books would be needed on the same subject as well.

However one of the most helpful from this book is reference to different resources, after finishing John's book I get a right direction where I have to follow by exploring different people's opinion. I already finished reading "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and found it a great book about financial planning, even if it not going to make me millionaire, it's going to improve my financial situation very well, and in fact it's already happening. Also "The War of Art", which explains why I waste so much time doing nothing and how to fix it. I also read some of the books he suggested even before reading John's book, such as "The power of habits", "GTD" by David Allen and books from Dave Carnegie and found them very helpful, so definitely going to read all books which John refer.

Alex Shapovalov

Alex Shapovalov is a founder of Yaplex - an IT consulting and software development company, located in Mississauga, Ontario. Alex provides IT consulting and .NET software development services in Canada and the USA.

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Yaplex ® is a custom software development company located in Mississauga, Ontario. Yaplex was founded in 2013 and provides website development, mobile development, and custom .NET software development services.

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