Communication for Engineers

Communication skills are crucial for engineers to reach the next level. Listen to the Tech Lead Journal Podcast for an in-depth interview with Chris on this topic.

With a 12 hour course, a 6 hour masterclass, and a 300 page book, software engineers can become more productive, more impactful, and happier.

Book️

The C4E book contains 20 chapters with lots of theory, experiences, tips, and actionable advice. Read a chapter a week, when you have time. Apply the lessons from the book. Increase your productivity and become a happier software engineer.

This book is rated 4.8 out of 5.0!

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Course

Join as a group to follow an interactive course to make you a better communicator. Better communicators tend to increase their impact, get paid better, and are promoted to the next level more often. Of all attendees to this course, 100% would recommend it to their colleagues.

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Workshop

This workshop is compatible with the 12 hour course, but is condensed into 6 hours, and focuses on specific topics, such as: Personal Branding, Emotional Intelligence, Meetings & Collaboration, 360° Feedback, Incident Management, and Career Growth.

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Communication Course for Engineers

This course helps engineers develop their communication skills to an advanced level. The class is filled with practical tips that allow engineers to apply the theory behind communication to their software development practice.

The course focuses specifically on things that matter to engineers, such as design documents, planning, code reviews, tickets, incidents, and stakeholder management. Of all past attendees, 100% found the course useful for their career and recommend the course to their peers.

Classes are usually taught to groups of individuals that work at the same company or organization. The course spans a total of 12 hours of online training. The actual schedule of the course is determined by the group. In-person training takes place in all-day events. For online courses, sessions of 2 hours per week are recommended. In general, group size is limited to maximum of 20 attendees.

When asked what attendees learned from the course, answers included:

"Communication is not just talking to people, but it is happening all the time"

"Communication helps me improve my career."

"To communicate well, I need to control my emotions."

"You are a brand. Not only when you are planning to find a new job, but all the time."

"This course taught me to see how my experience aligns with others."

"Branding yourself can be fun."

"I can do much better in the process of code reviews."

"Writing is an important skill to develop!"

"Tickets are communication tools."

"Everything is connected. The way you reply to emails, write tickets, write documents, write code, comment on code reviews. Everything plays a role in your "brand" and in how people see you. Doesn't matter whom you're talking to in the "hierarchy chain", you need to be polite, objective and effective when communicating. Thinking about engineers (encoding, decoding, channels) make a lot of sense when thinking about communication."

Check out the detailed synopsis for the course with motivation, plan, and expected outcome for attendees. To schedule a course, or discuss more details, please contact Chris.




The Book

The book is written by a veteran engineer, Chris Laffra, to help other engineers become better communicators. To provide context, here is the foreword to the book by Urs Hölzle:

"Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most crucial life skills to learn. Through communication, we transfer information to produce a greater shared understanding. Communication is multi-faceted. You can share information verbally or through written media, such as books, websites, and documents. You enrich your communication visually using graphs, charts, images, and maps. Finally, you complement the picture with non-verbal communication such as body language, gestures, tone, and voice pitch. All these communication techniques are addressed effectively in this book. It is the first example where all the insights related to communication for software developers come together in one single, nicely organized collection of actionable advice.

As an engineer, we care a lot about our code. It defines us. We study the programming languages we use in great detail. We become experts in the tools we deploy. We fight with other engineers who are not using the same editors we use. Education tracks for software developers focus on the development of technical skills. We learn how to write compilers. We learn multiple programming languages. However, "softer" skills get less attention. Examples of those softer skills are: how to collaborate, how to get consensus on an idea, how to articulate our thoughts, and how to listen to others.

At some point in your career, you can no longer communicate effectively just by talking with others. Stand-ups, planning meetings, and peer programming sessions all have their physical limits. This effect applies to you sooner than you think. At that point, you need to switch to asynchronous communication techniques. In short, you need to switch to *writing*. Those who can write well suddenly have a headstart. Through well-written communication, your influence suddenly grows exponentially.

As an engineer, you should invest in your communication skills. This book provides an excellent plan, combined with a methodical approach. It contains actionable advice in its various chapters on communication skills.

Reading this book leads to you becoming a more successful engineer. You will become more impactful. More importantly, you will be a happier software developer. Enjoy reading!"

— Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of Engineering and employee #8 at Google

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