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Mike Riley

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Land the Tech Job You Love Book Review

June 23, 2009

It goes without saying that times are tough and finding the perfect job is even tougher.  Chicago-based technologist and author Andy Lester offers no-nonsense job search and interview advice in his recent Pragmatic Bookshelf title, Land the Tech Job You Love.  Read on to find out if the tips he shares are worth the book's cover price.

Unlike the pile of job search and interview tip books on the market, Land the Tech Job You Love is a book exclusively optimized for the devoted IT professional looking to improve their chances of landing the ideal job (or, at the very least, *a* job) in the highly competitive and job-constrained technology sector.  Keenly written especially for the highly intelligent yet often introverted technical crowd, Andy Lester has distilled a number of excellent reminders for readers seeking out what jobs they desire and what they qualify for, as well as customizing their resume for the targeted employer, ace'ing the interview and negotiating the job offer.

Having been on both sides of the hiring fence, I can attest to many of Andy's recommendations for interviewees.  I can also relate to some of the horror stories he relates in the book, since I have interviewed some of the very character types Andy uses as worst-case scenario examples.


The book itself can be read in an hour or two, but putting into practice all the suggestions will take days or even weeks to refine.  Like most Pragmatic Bookshelf titles, this book takes a very pragmatic approach to the resume and interview process.  Strongly opinionated do's and don'ts are punctuated with real world examples and continued emphasis on what it will take to honestly impress hiring managers and interviewers.  I appreciated Andy's honest, take-it-or-leave-it approach to getting serious about the job search, coupled with the real-world realities of the current economic and job availability climate.  The book is devoid of rah-rah feel good pep talks.  Instead, the author tackles the reality of the current tech job market head-on, dealing with tough interview questions, avoiding clichés and generally telling it like it is - very refreshing.

While most tech managers and executives will probably not discover any new insights shared in the book, Land the Tech Job You Love supplies an excellent distillation of all the 'best of' job search tips amassed over a successful IT professional's career.  For those seeking a change in their current tech employment situation, this book is definitely worth its asking cover price.  Given the author's welcome knack for hard truths combined with real-world examples, I'd like to see him follow up this book with a sequel, possibly titled "Keep the Tech Job You Love" to carry forward the successful practices of people who make themselves invaluable participants to their organizations.


Title: Land the Tech Job You Love
Author: Andy Lester
Publisher: The Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN: 978-1-93435-626-5
Pages: 280
Price: $23.95 US


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