Book: Being Geek

Read: July 2012 Rating: 8.0/10

Being Geek is a collection of essays written by Michael ‘Rands in Repose’ Lopp to help software developer’s with their careers. The topics are extremely varied, from office politics, to games, to, well, everything. If you already read Rands’ blog, a lot of it may be repeated… if you don’t, then you’ll discover a lot of interesting things in his book.

Quotes / My Notes

“What am I doing? What do I do? What matters to me? What do I care about?”

“In analyzing a potential new gig, you nee to separate the new from the unique”

“Is it what you want to do?” - the career question

“Figuring out the unknown is the best way to learn”

“An excuse is an abdication of responsibility. There are no healthy excuses”

People you may deal with (in meetings):

  • Interrogator - endless questions
  • Prioritizer - todo lists

“An individual’s decision to engage in the impossible starts with the question, ‘do I respect this person enough to tackle the impossible?‘”

“A sigh is associated with despair. We’re screwed. Sigh. My interpretation is different; this long, deep breath is one of preparation”

“What are you worried about? Here’s what I’m worried about…”

“A nerd needs a project because a nerd builds stuff. All the time. Those lulls in conversation over dinner. That’s the nerd working on his project in his head.”

Gather perspective: “What is going to matter today?”

“Management is the art of choosing what not to do”

“The correct tool is going to make you exponentially more productive”

Performance review isn’t about comparing to others; it’s about what you did and what you could do

Question to ask yourself when pursuing a career:

  • Question #1) Startup or established?
  • Question #2) Industry and brand?
  • Question #3) Management or development?

Where do I want to go?

What do I want to build?

How do I want to build it?

“No one knows what we actually do to build the software, so they assume it’s easy”

A new job is one of “abstraction, synthesis, and filtering”

“Just because you’re kicking ass doesn’t mean you’re successful. Misery is productive. Conflict is learning.”