I finished reading “Being Geek” by Michael Lopp. I am sure that Panagiotis (one of my “Your People“) will appreciate it more than me. For the first 20 chapters or so I got increasingly bored (to the point that I switched to reading another book). Then in the middle the book changes pace and provides valueable advice on how to prepare yourself before delivering a presentation. The author argues that there exists no good advice on how to write a presentation, I urge people to read Tufte‘s work, or at least “The cognitive style of PowerPoint“. Then the book becomes boring again.
While the book tries to be a personal growth / career book, it deals so much with interdepartmental politics and intrigue that it is no wonder people work overtime. Their regular worktime is spent not on what they are supposed to work on, but on forecasting fault and making sure it is delegated to others. I’ve got two more issues with the book. First, either it is full of grammatical and syntactic errors, or it makes use of so many American idioms that it is difficult to be read by someone for whom English is not a native language.
Second, I am highly irritated by the liberal use of the word engineer and its interchangeable use for computer scientist and programmer. There are people who are none, one, two or even three out of three, but the terms are not interchangeable. My absolute worst was when the author implied that engineers are not good project managers. Oh really? An Engineer knows his science, understands deadlines, knows that has to deliver a withing the budget solution and can manage people. Sorry Rands, I have an army Engineers to prove this. For example, Civil Engineers do this for a living in Greece and in the process manage people (and teams of people) of multicultural, multilingual and varying educational backgrounds. The fact that one can engineer solutions, does not make one an engineer.
I should have listened to Ozan. So why did I buy the book? Kudos to O’Reilly for providing cool bargaining deals on their eBook offers! I bought it in a buy one, get one free offer. Then why did I recommend the book to @stsimb? The book is not without value. I simply found it hard and tiring to decipher it. On the other hand I know @stsimb for ~15 years and can understand that there exist books that he might like while in fact I definitely did not. Given that I read most of the book while in the bus, this was not a total waste of time.