Book review: The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide – John Sonmez

I’ve got a lot of respect for John – I discovered him through his YouTube channel a couple of years ago and used to watch his videos regularly. He was a software developer for many years and shared his technical knowledge through his videos, blogs and numerous Pluralsight courses he released. Now he spends most of his time talking about the soft skills required to be successful in the industry, and his first book was specifically on this subject. He is literally a living example of how you can transform your life by working on improving yourself, and is hardly recognisable compared to what he used to be like when he first started releasing content. His biceps have come on in leaps and bounds too – what’s not to love?!

John’s most recent book, The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide is about… well I’m sure you can guess. It’s a pretty big book and covers a great deal, touching upon almost every aspect of the software developers career, from how to get into the industry, to how to to create a personal brand. It’s well structured and provide many links to additional resources (mostly his own content) which you can check out to explore a topic further.

A lot of words are spent on self improvement and marketing yourself which I don’t think is a bad thing. He talks about the importance of building a network, choosing a specialty, and writing a blog (check!)

It is worth mentioning the conversational, almost rambling at times style of the book – it is a long book, the audio version even more so, coming in at over 20 hours; this suited me, as I enjoyed listening to John talk casually about interesting subjects when I was driving to and from work, however for those that simply want to get as much knowledge as quickly as possible, it may seem a little long winded. The audio version also included asides – sections where went into more depth/slightly off topic – in a number of chapters.

While there is so much covered in the book, you should be aware that software development as a career is extremely broad, and therefore you may find that it doesn’t go into detail as much as you would have liked. For this reason, I would recommend the book more to either those that are just getting into the field and want to gain a better picture, or those simply with a general interest in software development. If you’re thinking of buying the book and don’t know the author, check out his YouTube channel first and see if you like his style, the book is very similar.

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