This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here: https://developercareers.wordpress.com/contents/

 

At the LJC we have recently set up an LJC Book Club, lead by our very own book worm Ged Byrne. I realise that many of you would not have thought about writing book reviews before and may not see the benefit in it… others may have the interest but not really know how to write one so I thought I would pull a few handy links together to make it easy to make a start.

Firstly why bother?

As Tim Love writes in this article there are several obvious benefits to writing reviews:

– Free books
– Makes you read more carefully
– Helps you assess work more critically
– Helps you get friendly with editors

To me there is another massive benefit to writing book reviews. Writing a blog is a great thing to do for developers at any level and can have a great impact on your career. Many employers will search the internet for you and will pay close attention to any posts you have written. I have personally made placements based largely on the strength of a candidates online presence. Having a few opinionated blog posts can help your career by encouraging employers to interview you, provide talking points at interviews. One problem with blogging, especially for junior developers, is getting started. I have spoken to many junior and mid level developers who have said that they would like to blog but lack either the confidence in their opinions or the subject matter to write about. This is where I feel writing book reviews is a perfect way to get started. It will help you build confidence in your opinions, this confidence will then help you to blog about other subjects, especially when you start building up followers for people reading your posts🙂

Another big reason for writing book reviews, blogs or giving lightning talks was taught to me by LJC Organiser John Stevenson. Whenever John learns a subject he imparts that knowledge in some way on the community and is not satisfied until he has either given a lightning talk, written a blog post or spoken at a conference about the subject. It is a wonderful way to ensure that the knowledge is not just read and forgotten but becomes part of his technology portfolio and he is then able to implement what he has learned. Writing a book review is a good way to ensure that you can go back to the books key points months or years in the future, without having to reread it.

Here is some advice from LJC Book Club leader Ged Byrne on his approach to book reviews:

“When we read a good book it takes us on a journey, and I’d like to hear about those journeys and the role the book played.

Some journeys are profound.  You read something and it changes the way you think or you finally find something you’ve been searching for.  Hearing about these journey’s is inspirational.

Other journeys are more mundane.  You want to get a better job so you learn about a new topic or gain certification.  They journeys are often more interesting to others than we realise because they are all searching for the way forward.

So I don’t want people to be too concerned about the proper form or correct style.  If you have a story to tell, then please tell it.”

One recommendation from Ged Byrne, for budding book worms, is to read this review <http://lesmuug.org/reviews.html#Anchor-Mac-49575&gt; Ged writes “I like that review because it has a good personal voice, something I’m trying to achieve myself.”

You can read Tim’s article for some more guidelines on how to write reviews.

If you are interested in reviewing books for the LJC Book Club please contact Ged on Ged Byrne ged.byrne@gmail.com or myself at bc@recworks.co.uk.

@RecWorks

This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here: https://developercareers.wordpress.com/contents/

Originally titled ‘the top 2%’ the copy has been researched, compiled and edited continually over the last five years by the team at RecWorks Ltd. An IT recruitment consultancy aimed at spotting and developing technical talent with a focus in Java and Graduate developers.

Book reviews and how writing them can have a great impact on your career

One thought on “Book reviews and how writing them can have a great impact on your career

  1. Terry says:

    This might be a good place to start: http://www.infosecreviews.com

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