The Pragmatic Programmers sent me the above titled book for review. My first initial take was that this book would bash India and the other countries who are leading the way in (stealing American’s jobs) offshore outsourcing. This topic has become literally the hottest discussion topic in the IT field. (see our sister site).
The subtitle for this book, “52 Ways to Save Your Job” is really more appropriate for the book. I guess Mr. Fowler threw in India for shock value.
The first chapter of the book explains the author’s journey to India to create a “seed team” for offshore development. He looks to hire 25 initially with an ultimate goal of hiring 250.
After the initial chapter the balance of the book focuses on the subtitle above. It is the balance of the book that has led me to share this book with my entire team at work. It describes in detail what I have been teaching my people for years now, its not about the hands-down work, it is about marketing, learning the business and selling yourself. Or, as our CIO puts it, being employable versus being employed.
The chapters I found most interesting are:
- Supply and Demand — you can/t compete on price
- Coding don’t cut it anymore — learning the business is what keeps your job, your job
- Love it or leave it — find your passion
- Understand business basics — this allows you to create value for yourself
- Mind reader — think ahead, think way ahead
- Marketing perceptions — perception is reality
- Being present — clients want to see you — this is something the offshore worker cannot provide (yes I know there is video conferencing but its not the same)
- Lead ’em — lead the offshore workers
- Manage /em — manage the offshore workers
My conclusion is that this book is an absolutely essential read for all levels of IT workers. The book is a short read at 185 pages and is easy to read as well. The book is priced a little higher than I would like; it should be priced in the $15 range. The only negative is that some of the chapters are too light in actionable steps. Consider this an intro and then go research the topics that you find interesting and rewarding.
The Pragmatic Programmers
Excellent book for keeping your job.
A little pricey, could go more indepth on some topics.
Absolutely worth a read for any IT worker.