Book Review – Deal With It

Earlier this year my colleague at Box UK released his first book Deal With It: Attitude for Coders.

Book Cover of Deal With It: Attitude for Coders

Here’s what I thought.


The book has 5 chapters, each with a handful of articles. Each article stands its own ground and could just as well be read independently.

By Gav’s own admission, the idea is that you can hand an article to a colleague and they can read it in a minute. In fact, the whole book took less than an hour to read.

The format reminds me of 37signals’ ReWork – one of the few books I’ve read end-to-end lately.

Life TDD

The advice in Deal With It should be applied like TDD. Each day – or maybe week – skim through the book. Treat each article as a test. Did you help a colleague? Did you steamroller an opinion? If you didn’t get a green for a topic, try to improve on that area tomorrow.

You’ll become more aware of these situations and develop better patterns to deal with them. This is just like learning software design patterns and knowing where and when to apply them to solve a coding problem.

Managers should read it

This book is not just for coders. People who work with coders would gain a huge insight in to a typical developer by taking an hour to look through this book.

We can be difficult to work with at times, but generally we just want to build the best product we can.

Reading Deal With It will help to understand where we’re coming from and work better together.

Take care of yourself

Something that you see less of – or probably ignore – this kind of advice because you think “What? I’m fine!”.

Gav brings up some often discarded points about keeping your body sharp and healthy.

Its not easy to notice if you’re working too hard. Most of us love programming. Sometimes you can code for 14 hours a day and feel great for it – if you’re enjoying what you’re doing and there’s no pressure. If there’s pressure you can quickly burn out after even 4.

Considering you can pay as little as $1.99 for Deal With It, I’d recommend anyone in the software industry to take a look. It was a refreshing read and I genuinely think that the lessons here will make you a great developer to work with.

Cheers Gav!