Contact details

Siamac Nikoo
Software Engineer

Life as a Software Developer

Published 15th May 2010

Life as a Software Developer: Best practices and life skills, First Edition

Knowing what to expect about working as a Software Developer is crucial and can go a long way towards succeeding in the software industry. Life as a Software Developer was written for just this purpose, to help students studying software development and to give recent graduates insight into their prospective field. You will learn about:

  • Education strategy
  • Career strategy
  • Working with people in an organization
  • Tactics for finding work
  • How to write usable code
  • Industry best practices
  • Maintaining your health

The book contains much practical advice which you can take away, together with the skill set gained from obtaining your qualification. The transition from student to a working professional will become easier because the advice given can be learned quickly rather than through your own experience - taking years to acquire. This book acts as a coach so you avoid common pitfalls saving time, money, and other resources in your life.

As a result, the book will give you more structure in your career instead of figuring out the hard way what you should do. It will enable you to make better decisions, find ways to generate more money, and be employed in the right company. I believe the experience I've had working in the industry, and some of the mistakes I've made and almost made have added more value to this book.


"I found it to be a great read. Helped me to really focus my career goals, and much of the advice was good practical life skills. Thank you very much, I have recommended your book to my friends."

-Anonymous, Auckland, New Zealand

"The book gives an overview of the issues which a software engineer face during their career selection and on job. The book is equally beneficial for software engineering students and fresh graduates. It also gives solutions to different issues based on the experiences of the author. I enjoyed reading the book as the language is simple and the examples are very easy to comprehend. I hope students will benefit from this book."

-Shafiq Alam, PhD Candidate, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

"It was a very easy read. I think the length of the book and the blog-like style in which it is written makes it easy to get through it quickly, while gathering the essential information required before entering the workforce. The many things you have covered, I myself have experienced and seen from my internship at a software company, so I found it relevant. For a student who is about to finish University and is at a point where they are wondering, "where to from here", this book acts as a valuable guide."

-Medha Ghatikesh, Vice President, Software Engineering Students Association,
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

"Many people are very uncertain about what they will actually be doing after graduation as a software developer, or what the New Zealand Software development scene is like. Nikoo's book covers some of the issues concerned with starting out in this exciting area, and gives some tips for surviving the hunt for, and the first few weeks of, the first job out of university."

-Dr Dave Parry, Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

"It offers a concise, interesting and experience-based perspective on your initial years as a software developer."

" experience-based book such as yours might be of interest to some students who are looking to work in industry after graduating."

-Dr Ian Warren, Senior Lecturer, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

"I found it a very interesting general summary of useful information for those thinking of embarking on a software developer career."

-Caroline King, Lecturer, UNITEC Institute of Technology, New Zealand

"What I like about the book is it wasn't just going on about code it was very much in our business and our trade. He wasn't saying you have to write this certain way or you have to comment your code or you have to do this. It wasn't so much technical. It was the other bits around that actually mean you stay in your job and progress in your career. It's looking after your employability more than your plan on basic skills."

"He points out very clearly in the book about the cost benefit of pursuing higher qualifications"

"Don't be deceived by the size of the book. It is similar to management books that you need to read in short flights such as the 5 minute management books which are fantastically successful and full of knowledge and you got the point in 1 hour. Same thing applies to this book."

-Course Coordinator from a tertiary education provider, Auckland, New Zealand

"After reading this book, I felt my experience as a software developer actually increased. It gives you an insight of things you would not often consider before taking up a software development role; things such as how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the job, deciding or considering further education options such as a Master's degree and how this would benefit you, and practical coding knowledge all of which I was able to ascertain from this book without having to find out the hard way myself over time, which is great as I can now avoid certain pitfalls and enabled me to progress my career a rapid pace.

There is other advantages to this book which I found as well which you would not often find in other sources, specifically elaborating on advantages and disadvantages of different business sizes, the types of different systems that an organization may have in place and how to manage them practically, and how to work more efficiently in a team role.

Overall this book has been an excellent source of increasing my awareness in an organization and handling different day to day scenarios effectively, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is just starting out, as well as those who have been long time developers, who may be after help keeping up with current practices, trying to solve an issue that only another developer would have experienced firsthand or after some information about how to further their career."

-Gavin Marshall, Software Developer, Auckland, New Zealand

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