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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  960 Ratings  ·  110 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, 167 pages
Published July 21st 2012 by O'Reilly Media
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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
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
Sergey Teplyakov
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: management
Неплохая книга, но в ней, все же, достаточно много банальностей.

Ключевая книги заключается в том, что в основе любых отношений должны лежать три принципа - скромности, доверия и уважения, и что их наличие позволит устранить конфликты, сделать дружную команду, получить отличный продукт и удовлетворенных пользователей.

И хотя мысль верная, она, кажется, несколько наивной и идеалистичной. В книге есть советы о том, как бороться со сложными коллегами, о том, каким должен быть "правильный" менеджер, и
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
Roman Pichlík
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
The first chapter of this book is worth a read. The rest is meh.
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.)
Ammar Lakis
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
الكتاب رائع في استعراضه لكيفية التفاعل مع الآخرين ضمن بيئة العمل و اتخاذ القرار المناسب
يجب أن يقرأه كل من لديه اهتمام بتحسين عمله الجماعي .. و مهندسو البرمجيات بالأخص !
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 :-)]
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Full of good advice.
Aarón Delgado
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.
Rod Hilton
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think most software engineers have an ideal day, and it likely involves spending 100% of their workday in their IDE. No opening up e-mail, no chat, no IM, no meetings, no planning, no retros. But as fun as that can be, a huge part of professional software development involves working with other people. Team Geek is all about those moments, and how to be effective during them.

The book is just full of good, solid advice for programmers. It's written by two developers behind Subversion, who went
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
Team Geek is a light and fun read with insightful commentary on how marrying the human “soft skills” with the technical “hard skills” can create the foundation for a great team. While Team Geek is written for software engineers (and their managers) in mind, its takeaways are relevant to anyone — engineer or non-engineer, lone wolf or team player. Though common sense at times with lessons already picked up from experience, what makes this book worth the read is the packaging of these lessons as e ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Regardless of the specifics of a software development project we could point out four areas of each and every project which are:
- software (not only understood as client's specification but also as tools and methodologies used in-house)
- hardware (all those wonderful machines we are working with)
- peopleware (other developers which are (not) as smart as we are)
- sh*tware (all the corporate bullsh*t we have to face in our everyday's work).

Most of the software development books focus on first
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: software, leadership
My idea of leadership was based on my experiences in elementary school. I was the smartest kid in the class so whenever a group project came up I ended up being the group leader. I could do any part of the project so I felt confident figuring out which part of it should be assigned to whom. I learned that basically the smartest person in the room gets to be in charge.

This belief is not very useful in the working world in relative beginning of your career when you are surrounded by a lot of expe
Scott Shepard
“Software is easy. People are hard."

We like to think of our jobs as very logical and straightforward. Define the problem, find the right tool, fix the problem. But in reality almost all software is built by teams. Besides git and latex, all popular tools and every corporation is created by many hands touching different pieces of the machinery. Even if every person on the team has the best intentions, everything can fail if the proper steps to building and maintaining the team structure are not t
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short, to-the-point, and down-to-earth book about working with other people as a software engineer. Certainly much of what they say applies well beyond engineers or work relationships, but that is their focus. They lay the foundation by talking about the myth of the genius programmer and the three pillars of humility, respect, and trust, and then apply the three pillars to a widening circle of your team, your leader (or being a leader), people outside the team, the organization, and users.

As a
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an engaging book about working in a team environment. It is focused on developers, but the suggestions are applicable to most areas of life. I am fully embracing HRT!

(view spoiler)
Dan Dexter
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall this was a pretty good book. I didn't necessarily like the authors writing style (and silliness) at certain points but they did a really good job of addressing different social situations in engineering environments and how to handle them.

I think what really made this book unique compared to most other books on team leadership and social dynamics is that it often gave examples in the context of open source communities. Sure, learning about how to manage social situations in a traditional
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The books isn't waste of time.

You better read this book than scrolling up and down your Twitter feed. The book is about managing people, not manipulating them. "Team Geek" had written by two Google engineers as a, as far as I can tell, handbook for Google itself.

The whole book can be described with the next three words: humble, respect, and trust. In case you are building the company, a team of programmers, or even "the local club of Tom Cruise admirers," you should put those three words as a
Feb 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Basically a collection of "best practices" to work together as a team when in the software development industry. Acutally most of the practices can be generalised to anything work-related human-to-human, not even only in teams. I really liked some analogies (the sourdough one especially, which states that a good team starts with a good culture - the original members - and inoculate your dough - the newcomers - which grow and produce a great piece of loaf - your team). Some sections were very spa ...more
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“Bus factor (noun): the number of people that need to get hit by a bus before your project is completely doomed.” 3 likes
“High-functioning teams are gold and the true key to success.” 0 likes
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