Schneider’s debut guide will help information technology professionals rise to the top.
The book’s structure mirrors the progress an individual would make as he or she ascends a career ladder as a developer, quality assurance or support professional, project manager, etc. Employees would develop solid communication skills (Chapter 1) before considering the nuances of outside perceptions (Chapter 3), moving up (Chapter 5) and finally becoming the boss (Chapter 7). Chapters are divided into subsections of varying length and importance, with lists, examples, charts and anecdotes included for additional clarity. In Chapter 1, for example, subsections include: “Email Communication”; “Know Your Audience”; “When Confusion Reigns,” about coping with the technologically inept; “Handling the Crisis”; and “The Power of Two,” which highlights the benefits of having the right ally in the workplace. Although the shorter sections aren’t rigorously organized and some of the anecdotes meander, most of the advice is insightful and succinctly articulated. The author doesn’t waver from his stated aim to target the specific challenges and concerns of IT professionals; he endeavors to help them “stand out amongst the multitudes of mediocrity.” He makes frequent but friendly concessions to the stereotype that IT employees can be difficult to work deal with, they have anxiety speaking to groups of people and may approach career advancement with a certain aloofness. Designed for “technical” people, the broad advice may also help others who work closely with technologists or struggle to overcome the same issues. The book is positive without being saccharine; words like “integrity” and concepts like hard work are stressed but not forced. In the useful text, solutions are generally free of subterfuge and offered in a tone so casual it occasionally dips into crass, with some mild curses and quirky slang—“fugly” or “wannabe”—that are colloquial but a bit immature. Intended primarily for entry- to mid-level technology professionals, this swift read could also serve as a solid refresher for executives.
An amicable, instructive handbook for anyone looking to grow in a technological field.