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Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others
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Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,142 ratings  ·  129 reviews
As a software engineer, you're great with computer languages, compilers, debuggers, and algorithms. And in a perfect world, those who produce the best code are the most successful. But in our perfectly messy world, success also depends on how you work with people to get your job done.

In this highly entertaining book, Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman cover basic pa
Paperback, 194 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
People are basically a giant pile of intermittent bugs.

With this simple humorous statement, Fitz and Ben [1] perfectly capture the attitude that leads us to need a book like Team Geek (O'Reilly 2012). It's not the only reason we need a book like this, but it's an important one, considering our target audience: otherwise high-functioning engineers that need a little help figuring out how to navigate the apparently volatile social landscape. And why seek that help? Because those soft-skills are cr
Mark Gibaud
Mar 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was actually very disappointed with this. A lot of the information is pretty much common sense to anybody that has worked with any group of people in their lives, ie. Don't be a dick. The advice is very generic and I expected more insightful stuff from Googlers. Furthermore, the authors are rampantly guilty of using 2000 words when 200 would do. There is a lot of fluff in this book - I started skipping sentences and then paragraphs and then pages! Overall sorely disappointed. Johanna Rothman's ...more
Pedro Almeida
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read book. It's amazing how hard is to see the lack of HTR (humility, trust and respect) we have when working in software development industry.
Recommended to egocentric developers!
Anton Antonov
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Team Geek is a perfect read for every software engineer, no matter whether working in a big or small company.

The book revolves around authors’ careers as a software developers and later as a team leads/managers. As the authors’ careers, the book also progresses from team work to managing people (a lot on that).

People may disagree with this book’s title since it says it’s focused on a software developer’s point of view, but actually focus a lot more on managers, but is that a bad thing?

All employ
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it
The book is ok, though pretty basic, advices can be summed up as "don't be an asshole".
Book concentrates on "strategy", that is quite obvious, without saying almost anything about tactics, which is actually hard part - and very nuanced, so you can't really give an advice for every possible situation.
On the positive side - it's easy to read, and can be read in a day or two, so you won't get bored.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Office politics 101 for geeks
Pawel Dolega
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
As many reviewers already mentioned - this is a fair book for entry level management / team lead role. Actually more for the latter.

Although it's targeted for people working in any kind of organization (big or small) I actually think it's more meaningful for people working in medium / larger organizations (still people working in smaller organizations or involved, say, in open source project should find it useful).

For anyone having at least some experience with working with people (especially a
This would be a good first book on management for developers. After managing for the last 4 years or so, I didn't find the book particularly interesting or new; I often found it a little too proud of itself. I read this part of a manager book club at work; I enjoyed the conversation that came out of having read the book more than the book itself.

The ideas that did resonate with me from the book that were either things I had distinctly thought of, or that were a good reminder:
- ask my reports "wh
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Despite previous comments that the things in this book are pretty much common sense, I think there's a lot of valuable information on communication here - one has to realise that a lot of programmers are socially awkward to begin with, and not everybody reads self-help and communication books. So, more books like this are needed. That being said, the rules in this book could apply to any kind communication, not just the software-related one.
The only downside I found was that some themes were ove
Marco Emmanuel Patiño Acosta
This was a book I needed to read earlier. It was a great book with lots of advises, dos and don'ts for effective communication and collaboration. it has also a lot of examples I could relate to and advises to handle situations that worked in Google, SVN and other teams. Finally the great surprise was the final list with reference books to read more about the subject. I recommend this book a lot. ...more
Ho Vu
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very useful book for software engineers regardless of their positions. In fact the HRT(humility, respect, truth) principal described in the book is applicable to any team. The book is written in very clear simple language backed with many humorous stories that make it a quick and enjoyable read.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
The central theme of this book is HRT (Human, Respect and Trust) principle applied to all areas of geek's life - co-working with people, communication with users, leading people, dealing with boss etc. Geeks are really good in communication with machines but fail in face of communication with other people. This book helps understand it and gives you good tips&thoughts. ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very thoughtful book. From two famous developers who work for google, and also authors from famous open source called SVN. They really know how to work in team, and to build a great team in depth. This book can be summarized into 3 words: humility, respect and trust, which are three virtues you should have to work good in team. Highly recommended for any software developer.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book to any developer or development manager. It provides both high level ideas and detailed examples of communication and behavior in development teams that make a healthy culture. Even if some of these ideas seem like common sense, or you're already aware of them, it's good to remind yourself about them and assess how successful are you in implementing them. ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you work in the software industry, you should read this book. It has clear, concise and actionable tips on working well as a team member or leader of an engineering team and also describes how to fit into the larger puzzle of a software org.
Tomas Janousek
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books-owned
Mandatory reading for everyone in the software industry.

(I would've given it 5 stars had the authors not mentioned the Linux kernel community as a bad example.)
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
The first chapter of this book is worth a read. The rest is meh.
Anton Onyshchenko
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is short (which is good), but full with some good advices which are applicable in any kind of human relationship.
Stephen Mullins
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech, nonfiction
This is a short but impactful book describing effective software engineering people skills. Most of this aligns to the culture at my current company (Signal) which is awesome. I wish I had read this much earlier in my career as it would have helped me better understand what kind of culture to establish within a team.

While the book is filled with software engineering anecdotes, there is a certain universal message and appeal for the contents in this book. You'll also find a breadcrumb trail of ot
Andrew Montalenti
Good book for senior engineers reflecting on management

- Good book for senior engineers who need to better understand the human factor of software.
- Well-described in the book itself as “Peopleware, but for individual contributors”.
- Not particularly intellectual or rigorous, so it’s a light read, and practical.
- Managers won’t learn much about the blocking and tackling of management practice here. That’s covered in other books, like “An Elegant Puzzle” and “Making Things Happen”. Instead, “Team
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Management in a nutshell for all geeks everywhere. Really.

Do you feel like management/leadership are buzzwords associated with someone stealing time for The Art of [insert what makes you happy, here] with endless meetings?

Do you get a cramp in the glutes when someone speaks about “team culture”?

Here’s a compact version of management know-how for science types everywhere. It’s just a different type of programming language. Really. Ignore the C++ chapter and geeks can finally understand what this
Cliff Chew
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a short book, and the messaging from within is yet so crucial. This book should be for anyone who wants to work in a team, as it provides very useful suggestions on how to approach the role of organising people's efforts towards achieving a reasonably large objective.

The hard part I would say, is to practice what the book has advocated, because dealing with humans are the harder aspects of software development.
Paula Tan
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
- the language was simple and the tone used was friendly, so it was easy to read and understand
- the scenarios for the points presented were sufficient and relatable
- relating to the examples made me think of my own work experiences

No cons, this is my first non technical software development book and it made me remember that I should always interact with HRT — humility, respect, and trust.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: software
This book is a good guide on the dynamics of a high functioning software development team - how individuals are supposed to work together to make great software. What works, what does not and so on. The chapters follow an ordering of stuff to be applied at the level of individual->team->organization->users. [Kinda like those books on networking where they deal with each layer of the stack :-)]
Dmytro Chasovskyi
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book as an amazing resource of inspiration and new ideas. HRT principle is the key in figuring out in-depth problem into company, team and human-to-human relationship. I recommend this book to everyone who either considering moving to leading position and to anyone who want to advance their career or rethink current state of being inside an organisation, life, etc.
Jing Liu
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Software Engineering is a team sports! HRT -- Humble, Respect, Trust.. Let's Quote Hamming -" It was that little extra work that later paid off for me. By realizing you have to use the system and studying how to get the system to do your work, you learn how to adapt the systems to your desires.". research is a team sports, too. (maybe?) ...more
Farid Bekran
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I think the Humility, Respect, and Trust principle introduced in the book are the cornerstones of an effective team.
The book contains examples of the real-world which makes it easier to absorb the principles.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Full of good advice.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a simple but useful guide of how to deal with a programmer's team work. Also it show author's anecdotes of the big tech companies. If you are in a startup or a company you should read this book. ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Advice is trivial and common-sense, details are absent.
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