Sunday, 29 April 2012

Book Review: "12 Essential Skills for Software Architects" by Dave Hendricksen

First up I should say that the title is mis-leading. It shouldn't be 'architects' but rather 'people' (or 'personnel').

This is a damn fine book and should be read by every person involved with IT.

The author is an architect for Reuters and has a solid grasp of the 'soft' skills required to deal with the entire scope of IT personnel, projects and the executives they have to engage with.

The book is broken down into 3 main sections: Relationship Skills, Personal Skills and Business Skills. Each section has a set of chapters devoted to the requirements for being successful in that scope.

What the book boils down to is a way to understand yourself, be yourself, be gracious, communicate effectively, negotiate effectively, lead, deal with politics, be transparent, have passion and understand the business needs.

As a software engineer with 34 years of experience I found it startling to see what I was doing that was holding my projects back. I honestly thought what I was doing *was* effective. I can now see a little more clearly what I'm doing on a day to day basis that is causing grief and I can also see the things that I'm doing right and, more importantly, why. I will change my bad habits and see what happens.

Although the primary focus is on working in a large company, I think it equally applies to small teams and startups.

All in all an excellent read and IMHO should be part of Information Technology 101.

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