book review soft skills

One of my goals for 2015 is to read more books. I’ve set myself a target of 12 books. Just 12? Yep, one book a month, that should be doable right? I used to read lots of books when I was young (those were the days), but work got in the way. So I slowly start my reading habit again with an achievable goal for 2015.

The first book I’m reading is Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual from Jon Sonmez. Yep, the same guy who got me blogging again 🙂 I haven’t quite finished it yet, so I’m already behind target, but I’ll catch up, I promise.

This book is about developing the “less tangible” skills for the typical developer. Developers love to code, create beautiful programs, write unit tests (or not) and not worry too much about the rest, such as managing their career, office politics, etc. Just let me code, they’ll say.

However, this book is for the developer who wants more, who wants to purposefully plan and develop their professional life and career. It contains an eclectic collection of topics ranging from the obvious Career, Learning, Productivity to the less obvious topics like Marketing yourself, Financial, and even Fitness and Spirit. Actually, I don’t think this book is for developers only, much of the advice applies to people from all professions.

I’m not going to do an in-depth review of the book. There’s many people out there that already did this. I will say that I can highly recommend this book and I want to leave you with a quote from the book itself:

To all developers who strive for continuous self-improvement…
Who are not satisfied with good enough
Who always seek every opportunity to expand their horizons
and explore the unknown
Whose thirst for knowledge is never fully quenched
Who believe that software development means more than just writing code
Who know that failure is not the end, but merely a step in the journey
Who struggle at times, and sometimes fall, but always get back up again
Who have the will and determination to seek the harder path in life
And, most importantly, who are willing to help others along the way

That’s who this book is for.

to blog or not to blog

Years ago, 9 to be precise, at the very early stages of our, at that time, start-up CWR Mobility, I was very active in the Dynamics CRM community, answering questions on news groups (anyone remember Usenet?), writing technical blog posts about CRM, etc. Actually that was one of the ways we got known in the community and built our brand.

I haven’t been doing that for a long time and frankly I miss it. So I was thinking about getting a new blog up and running and start again. And just at that time I received an email invitation from John Sonmez from to sign up for his email course on starting to blog. Perfect timing!

I’ve been following John Sonmez for quite a while now and he has some good quality content on his blog, YouTube channel and pod casts. Together with Scott Hanselman, he must be one of the most productive people in the business.

Back to the email course about blogging. It’s pretty straight forward. You get an email every few days with a very focused lesson, e.g. Choosing a Theme. Every lesson ends with a homework assignment. It’s short, it’s focused, I like it. If you just follow along with each lesson (shouldn’t take you more than an hour or so) and do your homework, you’ll end up with your blog and your first entry. The first step to building your own personal brand!

Are you already interested? Just sign up at, you won’t regret it 🙂

It’s the end of the year, so you know what that means: time for a list! I have a daily commute of almost 2 hours to the office so that means there’s lots of time to listen to podcasts. So, here is my top 10 podcasts I listened to this year (in no particular order BTW):

.NET Rocks!

 Awesome podcast for .NET Developers by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell. Topics are much broader than .NET alone though, ranging from web technologies, architecture, mobile, .NET to nuclear fusion and space travel geek-out shows! The only downside of this podcast is that I can hardly keep up with them with 3 episodes a week. 🙂



5 Minutes of JavaScript

The latest news in the JavaScript community. The episodes are short (as the title suggests) so this is an ideal podcast for when I finish a longer one and I’m almost at the office :).

Gone Mobile

Gone MobilePodcast about everything related to Mobile Development, but with a strong focus on Xamarin. Hosted by Xamarin MVP Greg Shackles.





Adventures in Angular

AiA logo - smJust recently started listening to this show. It’s sort of a round table discussion about all things angular with industry experts.






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