Seven years ago in 2012 I spoke at RubyConf China 2012. It was a technical talk on how to become a better developer, if you're interested…
It was a moment of discovery that lead to a stream of delightfulness.
After a long day at work, I was so beat I couldn’t even listen to audio books like I always do on my way to and from work. So I drove home that night in total silence. One thing that was on my mind at the time was - who should I reach out to for some advice and mentorship?
"Probably no one." I shrugged, and decided to simply suck it up and sleep it off, hoping solutions to the problems I had would come to the light of the day.
I got home, opened up my laptop and started reading unread emails. "Software Lead Weekly, ah I haven’t read the latest issue yet," I thought to myself, "I wonder who the curator is."
And that had lead me to discover Oren Ellenbogen’s book Leading Snowflakes.
On the book’s landing page it says:
This isn’t another 350-page book you’ll agonize yourself over not reading. It’s short, concise and pragmatic. You’re busy, I get that.
"This is great!" I thought, with a sense of uncontrollable excitement. After all, these days I found myself hard to justify spending hours and hours on books that talk about subjects in a hand-wavy manner. A short, concise and pragmatic book on leadership was exactly what I needed.
There was a free sample chapter for download, so I clicked on it without hesitation. To my surprise, after downloading the sample chapter, Oren reached out to me with a personal email, and that had quickly lead to a chain of emails of me writing about the things at work that I found challenging, and Oren providing sound advice and suggestions.
I felt not only grateful, but lucky. Over the years I had worked at varies places where I was fortunate enough to have met quite a few people who I consider my mentor. But to run into one who I had never met before, on the same night my spirit was crushed, and who were willing to not only listen to my rant but also to walk me through my problems and offer advice - it was like finding a needle in a haystack.
My decision to purchase the book was made half way through our email exchanges, as I was browsing through the links Oren provided on his book landing page (under the section of "Sharing my lessons learned"), I found them to be very insightful.
Convinced that Oren’s book would offer even more value, I quickly bought the complete package with the book and all 10 interviews.
Fast forward to today, I have finally finished reading the book, and I could confidently say that this is a book every software team manager should read.
There is no hand-wavy theories or lectures, what the book offers is exactly what is said on the landing page - short, concise and pragmatic.
The book contains a lot of sound advice, practical tools and techniques as well as a ton of useful links. Reading through it, I can recall many moments where I thought to myself, "hey, that indeed is a very cool technique, I can totally see how I could use it and be better at leading."
I am now ready to implement those techniques and I am hopeful that I would become a better team leader and my team would become a better team as a result. :)
If you are a software team manager, or aspire to be one, I highly recommend this book!
To purchase only the ebook itself, Oren has kindly offered a 20% off discount, click to buy now.