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Book Review: Being Geek: The Software Developer’s Career Handbook by Michael Lopp

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With its large concentration of software and semiconductor companies, the Santa Clara region of California has come to be known as the Silicon Valley  since the 1970s and ’80s.

Associated with the information technology industry which then emerged are typical professional types such as nerds and geeks. The preface of Being Geek: The Software Developer’s Career Handbook starts out with an amusing explanation from the author about choosing the titular ‘geek’ over other options such as ‘nerds’ and ‘dorks’. This kind of humor is more or less the tone throughout this entertaining book.

Author Michael Lopp goes a long way in clarifying concepts in order to avoid leaving our personal career plans in the hands of the boss and HR, and deciding the exact reason and choosing a next job which makes a close fit to our career plan. He also offers interview tips to get the best bargaining on the next milestone in career plan, and identifying the manager type and delivering accordingly.

There is also a wealth of advice on preparing and making professional presentations, and identifying broad patterns of employee exits in terms of ‘waves’ to decipher the health of the employer and accordingly make the career decisions.

With many career guide books out there, Being Geek stands out as totally useful for the geek and thoroughly satisfies its qualification as the software developer’s career handbook. This is a highly recommended book which can guide the life-time career development from a fresher to the CEO level. Moreover, it does so in a frank and honest language that the engineer understands and connects with easily.

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About Ganadeva Bandyopadhyay