Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers

05 Oct

Episode 17

First book review is here. There will be a lot of bullet points ;)

I’d like to share some thoughts on the book I’ve read recently. Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers by Ed Burns.  I read quite a lot IT – connected books, but usually those are about particular technologies, topics (like coding interviews riddles), people (like Iwoz) or how to be a good programmer in general (like the Clean Coder).


This one, however is a bit different. It is actually a set of detailed interviews with, so called, A-list programmers. Here is the list:

Interviews are divided into sections: Brief introduction, Soft Skills, Hard skills, Business and Personal.

Some Topics discussed in the interviews are:

  • Importance of awareness of one’s ignorance – how people are dealing with the lack of knowledge in a given subjects.
  • Attributes of successful developers – is it problem-solving skills, energy, self-awareness, communication, tools mastery or else?
  • Reinventing the wheel – balance between in-house versus external solutions.
  • Importance of business acumen and entrepreneurial instincts.
  • What languages and environments will be used in 10 years – and why.
  • Dealing with hard to diagnose an hard to fix bugs – divide and conquer, Russian debugging, or just walk in the nearby park.
  • The “waning interest” syndrome – how to keep people from getting bored.
  • Starting over from scratch – when is it good to throw everything away and start anew, and what are the real downsides.
  • Staying current – how to find value in increasing data noise. Valuable news sites, blogs, books and information filtering process.
  • First computer technology experience, first machines, useful university courses and mind-transforming books.
  • When it’s time to change a job – or what else can be changed instead.
  • Work/life balance – sitting late versus 9 – 5 syndrome.

You may have read 100 pure technology books, but this is kind of very valuable meta-book, that may change your outlook on information technology. Or, in the worst case, give you some hints useful in everyday programmer’s work. Highly recommended reading.

Have fun!

June 20th, 2014 @ 02:36:45

1 Comment

Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Books


Tags: , ,

One response to “Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: