As you start reading this book, I hope you are prepared to keep an open
mind and are willing to try some new approaches to your daily life.
My name is Dave Hendricksen, and I have the privilege of being a software
architect for Thomson Reuters, where the focus of my work is on producing
intelligent legal information. This includes everything from data capture to
data display of legislative, regulatory, and intellectual property materials on
Westlaw.com. I have been married for 22 years to a beautiful lady. We have
two great kids, one cat, one dog, and a koi pond.
As a technology person, I have always considered myself to be slightly different
from the rest of the “normal” world. Thinking analytically, focusing
on problem solving, building things, and gaming for hours on end all come
quite naturally to me. I love to learn new things. For me, going to school has
always been great fun; I have a bachelor’s degree in math and Bible and two
master’s degrees (one in computer science and one in the management of
I love to work hard and am willing to put in whatever amount of effort is
needed to get a project done on time. I love to hear my boss say, “Great job,
Dave.” Of course, my thinking would be this: Do great work, get promoted,
and life is awesome—and to a degree, this has been true, at least up to the
point where technology enters management. An invisible ether exists here
that prevents a large number of talented individuals from moving up the
organizational hierarchy and any further in their careers. This magical
ether detects a lack of soft skills and quietly prevents these individuals from
advancing to the next rungs of the ladder.
My goal for this book is to enable you to learn the essential soft skills that
you will need to master as a software architect.