The High-Tech Illusion

"The widely held conviction among people who deal with any aspect of new technology... that they are in an intrinsically high-tech business" - Peopleware

That might sound trivial to some, but it was the most liberating idea I'd come across while making the software-developer-to-project-lead leap. When asked what you do for a living, have you ever found yourself saying "I'm in computers," or "I'm in software development"? So have I. That's the illusion. Just imagine your boss replying to the same question by saying: "I'm in the talking business."

Realizing that writing code is just one way to add value to our projects is instrumental in letting go of the "I'm just a developer" role, and starting to deliver value in other ways. Become an expert in your domain. Mentor the junior developers. These "sociological" aspects of the project add just as much (or more) value than writing code.

So before you pick up your next technology-specific book, try reading books like Peopleware or The Mythical Man Month. If you're like me, it'll really put things into perspective.

And at least the things you'll learn in those books won't be obsolete next week.