Podcast Review: Soft Skills Engineering

My career is in software development. Developers have a reputation for being good at the technical skills required for the job but lacking in the “soft skills” that are essential for a well-rounded, successful career.

The podcast Soft Skills Engineering aims to help developers get better at those skills. Jamison Dance and Dave Smith, the hosts, have many years of experience both as software developers and as leaders at various levels of engineering organizations. Each week, they take two explicitly non-technical questions and give their advice and ideas.

I’ve enjoyed listening to their show for several months now, but one recent episode is particularly relevant to our topic here: Episode 80: New Team Leads and Constant Follow Up. The questions they discussed were

  1. How do I keep up with new tech as a team lead?
  2. I manage a team. A manager from a different team wants me to run everything I do in my team by him. What do I do?

When you’re new to management, like I am, it’s often hard to make a transition from individual contributor to manager and know how your job is different. In this episode, the hosts discuss making that career change successfully, giving your team control of their technical decisions, and working with other leaders in the organization to accomplish your goals.

Here are some other episodes that deal with various management topics:

Dave and Jamison’s self-deprecating humor and erudite jokes make the podcast very enjoyable to listen to. I’d recommend giving it a try.