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An Emotional Guide To Being A World Class Software Engineer

About the Book

Quotes from readers -

... I am going through psychotherapy right now, I also think about issues with work, learning process, etc... this book will help a lot of people out there who struggle a little bit from various factors.

The book has made an impression on me as I could relate to a lot of the stuff you wrote about developers and the disconnect between work and personal life, I have had a number of episode where I experienced impostor syndrome and almost changed my career path, I'm glad I didn't and thanks to you and other writers who debunk the myth that developers are not people.

I was very surprised by the initial overview. Not the content I was expecting. Intriguing.


A guide to increasing your skill set as a software engineer to the next level by debugging yourself and your emotions.

Contrary to what us nerds like to claim - nerds and geeks are extremely emotional creatures. We just reserve them for code and computers and robots. Everything else is deemed inessential. And it works against us in the long run.

We have to deal with the messiness of the real world and all the emotions that come with it. This book is about how to leverage emotions and mindfulness to become a better software engineer.

I forgo all the usual technical advice/training but focus on the principles and characteristics that a good software engineer follows that are not exactly hard or soft skills - but a blend of both. It's more about who you are as a person rather than your hardcore technical skills.

Just like programming, its an adventure to delve into your own mind. You can debug yourself - this book shows you how.

PS - I am always looking for feedback. Did you love something or hate something? Perhaps found the whole thing meh?

Please give your much needed feedback here -

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About the Author

Karan Kurani
Karan Kurani

I have been a software engineer for the last decade - right from starting to learning C in BorlandC in my undergrad days1 to my current role as a CTO of a funded startup in India. I have worked with 50+ software engineers in my career so far, where I went from a complete n00b student coder to my current role leading the tech of a small but potent team of engineers.

I used to be a person who thought that rational thought is superior (like so many junior engineers) to the one who is much more “wise”2 in life. I battled at least 3 depressions that I am aware of and did therapy for an extended period of time twice so far. The therapy sessions led to immense personal growth. This personal growth has directly impacted on how well I do as a software engineer - my productivity has increased, I can solve more uncertain/vague problems, my ability to debug has improved, my design skills have increased an order of magnitude, I am able to mentor other people technically and much much more. All because I am more emotionally aware of myself and that allows me to “hack my brain” to my advantage.

I hope to recreate a small part of that experience with this book.

1 - Yes, we used Borland to code for C and C++ in my Indian college in the year of 2006-2010

2 - I have debated on how to phrase this while not coming across as a complete smug and an asshole. Honestly, thats how people around me have described my attitude change. That is the only thing I can use it in my defence. And hence this footnote.


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The Book + Personalized Advice (1 Hour Session)

Get 1 hour of one on one advice on how to work with your emotions as an engineer. These include (but are not limited to) issues such as - - Managing Personal Productivity. - Being stuck in one place as an engineer. - Switching roles. - Exploring Career Direction. - Dealing with coworkers and asshole bosses. - Anything else that bothers you. Help me help you. We will talk on skype. After purchasing, please contact me on twitter here -

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Table of Contents

  • A Few Points
    • Request for Feedback
    • Grammatical mistakes
    • Thank You Readers
  • self.debug - Introduction
    • Debugging Yourself
    • Why you should NOT read this
    • Reading once is as good as not reading at all
    • Reading Order
    • Who is this aimed at?
    • About me
  • Feel the pain
    • Taking emotional investment to the next level - Skin in the game
  • Internalise Internalise Internalise
    • Choosing what to internalise
    • Applying it to your work
    • Cutting both ways
  • Technical - Importance of Structuring Code
  • Discovering your inner being
    • Tactics for self discovery/debug mode
    • Self reflection rhythms
  • Hacking Skillz - Jack of more than 1 trade
  • Technical - Why you should not have Managers in your class name
  • Mind your Language!
    • Labels are limiting
    • Perception vs Beliefs
    • The Language You Speak In
  • Brain matter
  • Technical - Write to read
  • Don’t be Alice
  • Frameworks - but not the kind you usually think about
    • Mental models for building software
    • Debugging General Mental Models
  • Resting in peace
    • Small Breaks
    • Long Breaks
  • Clarity of thought
    • Applied to software engineering
    • Example of muddled to clear thought
    • Embrace the muddled thoughts
  • Identity and Labels
  • You don’t know what you don’t know
  • A life outside the terminal
  • A case for not learning
  • Read till your brain bleeds
  • Being Clever vs Kind - On Mentoring New Developers
  • The PSHE scale applied to engineering
    • Path of the PSHE curve
    • Multiple PSHE curves
  • Ethics in Software
  • Recommended Reading
  • Credits
  • Notes

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