Standout by Benjamin Kelly – book review

Disclaimer I’ve got discounts coupon for this book from Ben. And we both are a member of Ministry of Testing slack community.

standout book cover

I have few friends looking for the job. I’ve also seen a lot question connected to recruitment on different forums and groups.
So when I learned about Bens book I wanted to check it as something to recommend to others. And I am so glad I did it.

This book is so good that I wish someone would give it to me six years ago. Even today I have learned quite a lot from it.

I can safely say for me it joined cannon of books that every tester should read. It is short concise and to the point. The author knows his stuff, and he also knows how to share it.
I know this is anecdotal evidence, but I can relate to most of his stories and argument provided.

Who is this book for?

All Testers – even all IT specialist.
– Advice about growing your career.
– Guide how to prepare for an interview.

Bad Both are minor issues
– Too little warning that this is the generic solution and your experience may be different.
– Too little is said about the visibility of information on cv/resume.

– Stories from Trenches

Grow Your Career

I love this section how to build your career. It reaffirmed me in some of my actions, and also he helps me reject some ideas I wanted to try.
His idea of keeping a log is great I will try to implement it for my self.

Preparing to interview.

Another section of good advice. Especially worth mentioning is the article about interviewers dirty tactics.

Minor issues

But YOUR Mileage will vary. Core ideas will be useful for everybody.
I am not so sure about practical advances; Ben worked with IT market in UK, America, and Japan. But I can see that some of his advice would do you much good in Poland. Mostly due to cultural differences, and market specifics. My advice here is using this book as a template and check local forum how stuff operates in your local job market.

There is one more thing that I don’t entirely agree:
Bens love for long formed Resumes and long descriptions of skill work experience. I think an author should put a little warning here that visibility is still more important.
But this is balancing act visibility will help your with first triage and description will help you at later stages.

Tales from trenches.

I don’t like the last section with more out of the trenches stories. I understand their goal – to give you more examples and viewpoints.
But Some of the writing styles were colliding so much with authors that it was making it difficult to read. It is a shame cause I was enjoying Authors writing style.

Get it

Overall I cannot overstate how useful this book is.
Standout by Benjamin Kelly is available at leanpub for a meagre prize of 15 USD you can get it here 

More book reviews here.

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