Are you interested in personal development?

_patrickgod profile image Patrick God ・1 min read

I’d say I’m kind of an introverted person. And I think since we’re in a software development community here, many of you are, too (sorry for stereotyping).

Through the years in my career as a software developer, I have often stumbled over the subject of “personal development”. I tried different things and I figured, that going on stage at Gamescom, practicing social skills, working out, publishing my thoughts through writing, approaching girls (and finding my fiancée!) or in essence just pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone really did benefit my life.

I just love this topic and I always try to find any new piece of advice on how to improve my life and how to care for myself - not only career-wise.

Now I’m very curious, are you also interested in personal development? By now, being an introvert, for example, is more of a strength than a weakness for me because now I know how to use this trait to my advantage.

If you are interested in this topic, what do you do? Do you read certain books? Do you follow specific people on YouTube, Twitter, etc.? Do you have certain habits that will improve your life, such as a morning routine that you follow every day, even on weekends? Anything else?

I’d love to hear and read from you. Thank you very much.

Posted on Apr 13 by:

_patrickgod profile

Patrick God


Into code as long as I can remember. First games, then web, now both. Located in the sweet Taunus-region in Germany. Always eager to learn, create and teach something new.


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Hey !

I used to be a very introverted person, but then I started to build my "public image".

I started to do some science and tech popularization, being volunteer, teaching others what I know (about dev and stuff). I also did some conferences and interviews.

All those experiences helped me to be more comfortable with people and, surprisingly, with me.

(I never tried books tho)


Hi Pierre. Thanks for sharing. :)

May I ask, what do you mean by conferences and interviews? Did you go on stage and gave a talk? And how did you teach others about dev and other things? In person or through the web?

It's interesting to see that you got into action which in my opinion has led to much more results than just reading any theories. Although the theory can give you the pushes you need. Thanks again!

Take care,


Yes of course !

I mean that I applied for many different things (jobs, volunteer) and tried to "recruit" members for some of my project. Which leads me to have a job interview (from both sides) and exchange a lot with them.

For conferences, I did some presentation about different subjects (Privacy, Free Software, etc.) and shared ideas with the "audience".

To teach people about developement, I like to talk to them, especially through internet but I also teach some basics to a few interested people around me, in person.

Sounds great! It seems that interacting with other people is key. :)


Hi! I'm an introvert person. And still afraid of public speaking. I really want to improve my social skills. And that's why I'm here, trying to publish my thoughts, share my opinions and interact with other developers.

Do you have any suggestions to improve my social skills or any recommendations that i could do everyday? (except for approaching girls 'cause i already have one :D)


Hey Mervin,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

For personal development in general I think everything from Steve Pavlina and Tony Robbins is a good start.
Concerning personal development for programmers in particular, I recommend the books by John Sonmez, "Soft Skills" and the "Complete Career Guide". He provides amazing tips on how to grow your personality and how to succeed in your career. Gotta love his stuff.

Hope this helps!

Take care,


Tony Robbins is such a great motivational speaker. Thank you :D I'll try to read these books.

You're welcome!

Tell me what you think of these, when you finished them. ;)


I'm in it for the long haul. By it I mean life.

I was about 18 years old when I first realised that people thought about the meaning of life. I was confused, what meaning? Then I did some superficial research and felt inferiour. It felt as though I was the only one, that stupidly took the idea that there's no meaning as a given.

Then with more research I was convinced that there's no meaning to life. Yes, yes, we all have a meaning to our life (though even that I highly doubt) but there isn't a concrete meaning to life. As for example there's a concrete meaning to success.

That's amazingly liberating. If you read various internet forums, youtube video comments or even the newspapers, it looks like there's a definate meaning to life and we're all running like headless chickens to grab hold of it. It's usually some form of power and fame. But if you stop, take a breath, you'll know that life is a playground where you have the gift of playing in.

I read this thread few days a go and I dismissed it, my answer to "Are you interested in personal development?" was "aren't we all?" In fact whether we are or not, we all "develope".

Out of everything, reading philosophy books and novels have helped me the most. Mainly to constantly reinforce the above, that there's no meaning, there's no right and wrong and that you are absolutely in your right to go for what you want, what ever it is.

I have never read a self help book that didn't tell me what I already know. I have never seen a youtuber that didn't disapoint down the road.

Whilst I do not meditate - I wouldn't even know where to start - from what I have read about it, I improve similar to how I think people improve through meditation. By thinking long and hard about what I really want and need.

And, to go back to the top, since I'm in it for the long haul, I can afford to listen to myself rather than get told by others what I need to do.

Finally, I want to share this story with you:

I didn't want to read "How to win friends and influence people" so I went on internet to find out why! P). I came across this story.

A woman get's on the train and sits next to a younger woman. The young woman is reading "How to win friends and influence people" so the slightly older and more confident woman tries to strike a conversation with the young woman. Seeing how the young woman is so interested in making friends and influencing people, did she really have to read it in a book "when someone says hi, that's your opportunity to say high back"?

As for what I do. As I already said, I read lot's of novels, and non fiction. I read few self-help books. Mainly those that kind of sound like they aren't self help and I take stories from them. Just last night I finished "The subtle art of not giving a f*ck" (that's a genuine book title). I didn't learn anything, but, as I expected, there were few nice stories that I'll keep with me.

Finally, last night also, I read this quote "It is not the success we’re after, but the being" by Ellen Vrana (amazing woman) which in my head, describes everything that I really wish to accomplish in life.

Just in case it helps. Here are some books that I loved reading

  • Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman
  • Don't sweat the small stuff by Richard Carlson
  • Big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Les miserables by Victor Hugo
  • The artist's way by Julia Cameron
  • Bird by bird by Anne Lamott
  • A hanging by George Orwell (nothing to do with this topic but a dam good story - in fact read Orwell and you'll develop into a great human)
  • Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • A writer's diary by Virgini Woolf
  • Joy by osho

introverts should read Quiet by Susan Cain which, again, reenforces the fact that what makes you you is only a problem if you listen to other people that - for some reason - want you to be like them

It might not be what you were looking for but this thread has been in my head since I read it few days a go so by writing this, I'm sure it will go away. Sorry for it being so long


Hi Aurel,

Wow, thanks for the long post. There's absolutely no need to apologize. Love your contribution. Very interesting points. I'll definitely think about these.

And besides, great book recommendations. I have already read some of them and especially enjoyed "Don't sweat the small stuff". :)

Thanks again and happy holidays!


I’ve been reading “How to win friends and influence people “ by Dale Carnegie and it has been extremely insightful.


Thanks Anthony, that's indeed a great read.

My problem is, that I tend to read these kind of books once, apply their content to my life for a while but eventually forget about it. That's the moment where I should read the book again, I think.

Have you read “How to win friends and influence people“ more than once to really internalize the content?

Take care,