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Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others Paperback – 21 Jul 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (21 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449302440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449302443
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

Secrets of Successful Software Developers

About the Author

Brian Fitzpatrick leads Google's Data Liberation Front and Transparency Engineering teams and has previously led Google's Project Hosting and Google Affiliate Network teams. He cofounded Google's Chicago engineering office and serves as both thought leader and internal advisor for Google's open data efforts.

Ben Collins-Sussman, one of the founding developers of the Subversion version control system, led Google's Project Hosting team, and now manages the engineering team for the Google Affiliate Network. He cofounded Google's engineering office in Chicago and ported Subversion to Google's Bigtable platform.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I say this with tongue in cheek, but I have a serious point to make. The brilliance of the book is inversely proportional to the brilliance of the title.

I don't like the title, because I don't feel an association to the "geek" thing. I'm not attending sci-fi conferences, don't do mathematical calculations in my head and basically don't relate to nerd or geek culture or the stereotypes around it. With this in mind, I can confirm that after reluctantly looking past the title I found this book to be one of the best I have ever read about teams.

Don't be put off by the title if you don't feel you belong to the "geek" movement, this book is ace.
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This is a very good book discussing how to work with other developers in the team from different views: self, team, leader etc.

The book made me to realize that being Humility, Respect and Trust is not so easy. HRT is very critical to lay the foundation of a success development team.

Worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Some weeks ago, I came acrossthis title from O'Reilly Media, Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman. There are quite a lot of books out in the shelves trying to explain how to behave as well as how to improve your life as a professional programmer. However, most of them are either hard to read, difficult to understand or just boring while repeating stereotypes over and over.

Team Geek is quite different, though. It seems the book benefits from the experience of the authors. Both come up with a bunch of experience working at Google and probably dealing with quite a lot of people during their professional life.

The Content

Six chapters, each about 20 pages - some with topics you probably never thought about and others just confirming what you ever thought of but never believed in. And that's basically what you most benefit from. The book shows you are not alone with your thoughts how teams and collaboration should work. It's about you as a developer (as a human thing) but also working in a team of geeks (often not understood as humans at all).

The Truth

Based on my very own experience during my professional life, I have to acknowledge almost everything the two authors write is true. Considering the fact, the book is written based on an US American context, with different culture, people and background, most of the topics are true for European developers as well. It seems the kind of human becoming a developer is the same all over the world. Whatever if it was during my time in UK or Germany, the you can apply many of the patterns provided in the book to your daily job.

The Reader

Professional developers, managers, team leads, architects, open source developers and even designers could benefit from the book.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading Team Geek for a long time now. Not because it isn't easy to read, or interesting, or useful, but because each chapter seems to hold a valuable lesson I can bring to the work place. And in doing this reading followed by action I've ended up taking a little longer to read this book than usual.

It really is a great book. I've recommended it to my peers and we've also ordered a couple of copies for the office. It's maybe a step too far to say it's essential reading for anyone working in a development culture but it should certainly be high on your reading list if you work in a tech department.

It's packed with great hints, tips and stories on how to work better with others, how to respect other people and how to look at the big picture of the workplace. It's written by Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman, both well respected and established members of the development community who bring to this book a really good set of insights around people and how they work together.

There really are too many topics covered to summarise them here but the authors cover such topics as "How tools affect your culture", being a "servant leader", "growing cultures" and dealing with "poisonous" people.

The book is well written also and is super accessible. It's clearly laid out and interspersed with some fun images which make reading this book enjoyable. It's a really enjoyable book and one I think anyone working in tech would benefit from reading.
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If you spend your time writing software or leading a team that creates software then this book is for you. Personally, I don't like the title 'Team Geek' because in my humble opinion, not all geeks are software programmers, and not all software programmers are "geeks" in the colloquial sense. If you ignore that bit, the book is full of practical, contemporary advice on how to work with a team.

Software is, despite appearances, a very human endeavor. From the outside, looking in, it may seem like software is built by typing code at your keyboard all day long. Arguably, typing actual code is a very small part of building and shipping a working product. Building software primarily involves effectively working with people from different domain and expertise. You could be talking to the customers or business analyst to understand the business domain and tease out the requirements. You could be working with architects, user experience team etc to come up with a high level design that underpins the development. You could be coding with or managing a team of coders, or you could be liaising with the test team responsible for QA. The pivot for all these activities is human interaction.

The crucial advice that keeps cropping up in this book in different shapes and form is that if you want to be a better software developer, architect, team leader you need to master the human element of software development. It is not a panacea but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who want to make themselves and their teams more effective.
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