There is more on career development for programmers than just train hard on their technical “features”.

Know how to communicate, understand better peers roles and tasks, be in sync with the business plan, this list could go on with an infinite number of skills that are as much important as programming better or being the best mathematician ever.

I’ll try to start spreading what I’ve learned about being a better professional along these years as well for the next ones, and I guess that picking a good book is a nice way to begin with.

The Passionate Programmer cover

The Passionate Programmer from Chad Fowler is a non-technical book that gave tips on how to be a better professional. Its targeted to programmers and yet can be easily read by others.

It has 54 chapters full of tips, gotchas and real histories. Between those myriad of words there is one thing at the end of each chapter that totally got my attention: The “Do something” section.

As small as this request seems, each small step counts towards improvement. Furthermore, as small steps are easier to accomplish they also provide faster the good feeling of moving forward.

So when you’re reading this book DO NOT SKIP those activities, try to complete them or a version of them, but DO IT!

Some of this book ideas opened my mind, both for things I didn’t know and for things I already knew (in this case adding to them). Nice huh? Ok so here is a glimpse on the book with my comments.

Now is the time to think in the domains that you invest your time.
(Chapter 3)

Understanding your business can be the difference between the bad, the good and the excellent (totally cliché I know).

Another example of good knowledge spread throughout the book that I see ignored by peers is about who you work with and who you seek knowledge with.

A mentor is someone in whom you can trust enough to ask: “What should be different in me as a professional”
(Chapter 13)

The people around you affect your performance. Choose wisely your group. (Chapter 4)

There are some point of views that Chad exposes which I have to disagree, yet different opinions are good to help increase your judgment about the subjects and construct knowledge and therefore I must say not to skip even when you start feeling like drifting away.

Ready for a boost of inspiration? So is it cheap? Yeah it is! (Worth every cent)

If you want the English version Amazon has a $10 kindle version here. Or get a e-reader friendly version for $18 at The Pragmatic Bookshelf.

And if you want the Brazilian Portuguese version the Casa do Código has a R$29,90 ebook version here.