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Living by the Code

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Before You Begin

Section 0: 2 chapters
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Section 1: 14 chapters
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Getting to Work

Section 2: 17 chapters
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i. Prologue
Written by Enrique López-Mañas

A few years ago, a copy of Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss fell into my hands. I devoured it. It was different from the books that I usually read; it was neither narrative, nor fiction, nor an essay. Tim had interviewed several reputed folks from different fields, such as the literature, sports, or the film industry. The common denominator among all of them is that they were role models in their fields. They all had a story to contribute about their routines, beliefs or success stories.

When I finished the book (a book that you can get value from reading every few months) I thought: “I would love to have a similar manuscript interviewing people in tech.” After making a living developing software professionally for around 12 years, there were a few things I was still struggling to understand—things that were not clearly available to me.

How can we make our daily routine as productive as possible? What do the daily routines of the titans of the tech industry look like?

How does a permanent job compare with contracting? How do we switch from one paradigm to the other? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

How can the transition between technical and management positions be done? Do we strictly need to become managers to make our career progress?

What is good leadership? How can one achieve those traits?

How can we work remotely effectively? Are companies willing to accept this? What do they expect?

It is not easy to get a unique answer to those topics. There might be multiple answers. There is no formal education about it; you need to try by yourself, sometimes fail, and take your lesson. The problem is that we only have a limited number of decades in our professional career. So, in order to be successful, we need to observe what others are doing. We need mentorship. We need to hear the opinions of others that have walked that path.

This project aims to connect all those dots. I have personally failed many times trying to get those answers until I reached a professional status I felt comfortable with. Although the process of learning never ends; there is always the next step you want to reach.

In this book, I wanted to explore a set of core principles that were immutable for developers. Aspects we could research today, and that would still be valid in a few years. That was the motivation behind Living by the Code.

I ran this idea among some peers. I probed a few colleagues, asking them their thoughts and feelings about this. The enthusiasm grew slowly but steadily when most of the comments about it were positive. And this project finally kicked off.

I feel extremely proud to have convinced a few of the role models I have to be a part of Living by the Code. You will find some of them discussing technical interviews. You will find others discussing soft skills, academia, career or different work paradigms. You might find some of your answers to remote work. Each contribution to the book is brilliant on its own. I wished I could have had this book when I started my career in tech, more than a decade ago.

Our main wish and objective with this book is to deliver value to you, dear reader. We hope this will be a book that you might review from time to time, trying to disentangle some of the questions you have had in your career. If, as a result, your life improves and you’re able to be more effective and successful in your job and life, we will have achieved our goal.

Have a technical question? Want to report a bug? You can ask questions and report bugs to the book authors in our official book forum here.
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