By John Sonmez July 4, 2016

The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide – Introduction

There is no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it…

I’ve Decided to Write Another Book

Yes, you heard me right.

Not only am I going to write another book, but also I’m going to write it right here—on this very blog—in real time.

You are going to see and read every chapter as it is produced as a blog post first on Simple Programmer before they get put together to make a complete book.

Right now, the tentative title for this new book is The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide.

You might be wondering what this book is about and why I decided to write this particular book instead of writing a second volume of Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual, or perhaps something on stoic philosophy or picking up girls as a programmer—and also why I’ve decided to write a book in this way.

Why I’m Writing a Book on the Internetz

Write A New Book - Book Author

Well, let’s start with why I decided to write a book, publically, on the internet and published first on this blog.

One of the biggest reasons for doing so is because I want to write blog posts, but I don’t feel like it’s currently the best use of my time. I’d also like to write another book, but writing a book is not a very profitable endeavor—in most cases.

So I figured if I can write a book at the same time as producing content for this blog, I’m able to get a double benefit for the work, and it makes two unprofitable prospects a lot more appealing. Sort of killing two birds with one stone.

I’ve been wanting to start writing again because I feel that writing is a valuable skill and exercise that provides a unique set of benefits that other mediums do not.

Writing forces you to organize your thoughts better than any other medium that I have discovered. For that reason, I would always like to be in the process of writing something—and I’d like to make it a daily habit.

If you aren’t currently writing, in some form or another, I’d highly advise picking up that habit. Right now, I’m devoting two Pomodori to writing around 1,000 words a day. It’s not all that difficult to do, and it’s a great way to start the day.

Why Am I First Publishing My Book in This Way?

By writing the book publically on the blog, I’ll be able to get some excellent feedback while I’m writing the book instead of only after readers finish it.

This will allow me to make changes and help tailor the book to more of the needs of you software developers out there seeking to get the most out of your careers.

I’m sure you’ll come up with topics that I haven’t thought about and that the book will be altogether better with your input.

Yet another reason is accountability.

I’m pretty busy lately, and I’m not planning on taking two to three months to dedicate solely to writing a book, like I did when I wrote Soft Skills, so doing this in public will force me to be accountable and to keep producing chapters.

And finally, I think this will provide encouragement and be a good example for those considering writing a book and, for whatever reason, haven’t started yet.

You’ll be able to see the book coming together as I write it piece-by-piece, one blog post at a time, and I’ll probably do some additional posts and videos talking about the process, which will hopefully give you some insight and encouragement to write your own book.

But Aren’t You Giving the Book Away for Free?

Aren’t you afraid no one will buy it if you essentially publish it piece-by-piece for free on this blog?Online Shopping Cart

No, and I’ll tell you why.

First off, I know that people will buy something they find valuable, even if they can get the pieces of it for free.

Right now, we live in a world where we can get just about any kind of information for free. However, it’s extremely valuable to have that information packed up nicely for us, so we don’t have to go hunting for it.

Also, the posts you’ll see here on this blog are the early versions of the complete manuscript. The book itself will contain revised versions of these posts as well as additional and expanded information in some cases.

I’m also planning on doing an audio version of this book since Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual did so well in that format—and that happens to be my preferred method of consuming books.

Free Does Not Equal No Value

A lot of people seem to operate from the scarcity mindset, believing that giving away value for free somehow reduces the value they get.

I don’t believe this at all. I’ve always held to what I’ve said about giving away for free 90 percent of what I produce and charging for 10 percent of it.

I also believe you can’t outgive the universe. The more you give, the more you get. Abundance has to flow without fear and without regret.

I’m practical in the sense that I do want to make money from my business and my work, but I also believe in not holding anything back and giving away as much free value as possible.

The Book’s Purpose

Now we get to the question of why I decided to write this particular book.

The most common questions I get from readers of this blog and from my YouTube channel are about how to get started as a software developer and how to have a successful career.

I haven’t been able to find a complete manual that teaches new—and experienced—developers how to really excel at their careers and how to deal with inevitable issues that come up when working in our industry.

I briefly touched on some of these topics in the careers section of Soft Skills, but I felt like a more in-depth treatment of the subject was greatly needed.

So, while Soft Skills focused on a software developer’s complete life—including one’s career—this new book is focused only on your career.

The Book’s Goals

Software Developer Goal

First of all, I want to help new software developers learn all the important things they need to know to get started and jump into this sometimes tricky and complex field.

I want to give new software developers a resource on all the important aspects of the field, teach them what they need to know to get started, and show them the best way to get their first job.

In my mind, these are the three most important struggles that new software developers face.

Next, I want to help existing software developers fill in the gaps of knowledge they may be missing — as far as their career is concerned — as well as provide them some guidance on how to survive as a working software developer.

I’ll address problems concerning how to balance things like life and work, how to work on a team, how developers can sell their ideas and get raises and promotions, and how to deal with both leadership and prejudice.

Finally, I want to help software developers at any stage of their career advance to the next level.

I plan to talk about how to build a reputation in the software development industry, the different career paths you can take, and books you should read. We’ll cover side projects, conferences, and other topics that will help you get to that next level and become an exceptional developer.

Everything in this book could still be classified as soft skills since I’ll be talking more about what you need to know and do theoretically rather than how to do it.

I believe this type of wisdom is still greatly lacking in our community and industry, and I strongly believe it is more valuable in the long term than learning a particular programming language or framework.

I plan on breaking the book down into five sections, each with small chapters—just like I did in Soft Skills. You can expect those sections to be:

  • Getting Started as a Software Developer
  • Getting a Job
  • What You Need to Know About Software Development
  • Working as a Developer
  • Advancing Your Career

Even though writing a book is a pretty big undertaking, I’m excited to get started on this journey.

While you're waiting for chapters to come out, do check out a few courses I've created in the past, namely How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer and How to Create a Blog to Boost Your Career.


About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."