The long way through Software Craftsmanship

The Senior Software Engineer, Chapter 6

May 23, 2017 - 2 minute read - Comments - bookreadingquotesenior-software-engineer

Chapter 6: Play Well With Others

challenges you’ll face as a programmer is to explain what you do, or how you’ve done it, to someone who is not a programmer

Translating your work to non-technical people is a skill that can be more valuable than any specific technical knowledge you have. It’s what makes a senior developer in the eyes of others.

(p 77)

6.1 Empathize With Your Audience

these “interested parties” understand the problem more deeply than you, but lack the technical knowledge, skill, or time to solve it directly.

(p 78)

Instead of thinking of them as “pointy-haired bosses”, think of them as partners. They understand the problem and you know how to solve it. This “division of labor” is why teams can achieve greater things than any individual.

(p 79)

6.2 Adapt and Abstract Information

We want to adapt our terms to theirs, and we want to abstract away irrelevant information as much as we can.

(p 80)

When communicating with others, you need to learn how to speak the language.

(p 80)

Some tips:

  • Avoid technical jargon of your own
  • Listen carefully and ask questions
  • Don’t “talk down”
  • longer descriptive phrases in place of acronyms or other jargon

(p 81)

need to distill your message to its absolute minimum without giving out false information.

(p 82)

As a conclusion:

Being able to “talk the talk” with others can make you more effective and more valuable to your company. Being able to briefly summarize technical details even more so.

(p 87)

The Senior Software Engineer, Chapter 5 The Senior Software Engineer, Chapter 7

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