Making it Big in Software

You can read on the back cover of this book “Here’s all the information you need to jumpstart your software career: the best way to get hired, move up, and blaze your way to the top!” There is certainly more marketing ambition than developer modesty in this statement. This being said, this book contains some valuable information for the computer science student of somebody who is freshly graduated and has just started his professional journey.

Usually, you get out of school with a lot of technical training, but a lack of “people” skills that are important in your career. Influenced by the writer’s IBM background, a lot of the content is related to jobs in large organizations and it seems that “making it big” means mostly belonging to or creating a big company. Organizational politic and size make it more difficult to determine personal influence in this type of context. Larry Ellison made big bucks with software, but I doubt that many developers will consider him as a role model. You might find it more rewarding to be successful in a smaller company where you have more control on you own job and life.

If the book is strong on career related content, I will be more cautious with the “software development knowledge” content of the book. When you read that the Agile development process is “also known as the Disciplined Agile Delivery Process” or that Scrum is doesn’t “address starting a project or releasing into production”, you can smell that there is some RUP preferences in the reader background, even if this process is not mentioned in the book.

The book is easy to read as you can either browse through chapters with frequent headlines that give you a high level view of the content or get deeper into a topic. The interviews of famous software development people inserted between chapters don’t’ reveal a lot of extraordinary insights, but they follow the same pattern and you can compare answers between the different participants.

Reference: “Making it Big in Software”, Sam Lighstone, 417 pages, IBSN 978-0-13-705967-5

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