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Debugging Teams: Better Productivity Through Collaboration

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In the course of their 20+-year engineering careers, authors Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman have picked up a treasure trove of wisdom and anecdotes about how successful teams work together. Their conclusion? Even among people who have spent decades learning the technical side of their jobs, most haven't really focused on the human component. Learning to collabor ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by O'Reilly Media (first published October 25th 2015)
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Erika RS
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
I can highly recommend this book to individual contributors and those early in their leadership journey. It provides a good discussion of what makes a healthy team and how to work well in one. It talks about good leadership and company cultures. It even talks about why marketing (caring about first impressions), customer service (listening to your customers), and company politics (coordinating large groups of people with multiple goals) aren't always as bad as they're made out to be.

That said, i
...more
Ramón García
Great book. Sometimes we just need to be reminded the obvious, in this industry we are just people working with other people. Hopefully this book will make people reflect and change some behavious we assume as correct.
Lance Willett
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The purpose of this book is to help people improve their collaborate with others. The authors introduce it as “social challenges of creative collaboration.”

Cool tech history note. The authors worked on the Subversion open source project; and later at Google on Google Code.

The book reads as a series of essays; it’s easy to pick up a chapter or section without going end to end.

The “core traits to remember” are abbreviated “HRT” and stand for humility, respect, and trust.

Hat tip: Andrés Bastidas. R
...more
Robert
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second edition of Team Geek was renamed to Debugging Teams to reflect a partial rewrite to make the book more accessible to people who aren't on software engineering teams. But, the focus is still very much on debugging a software engineering team. That said, there is a lot of value for non-engineers, but expect to find yourself flipping through several less relevant sections very fast.

If you're on a software engineering team, I highly recommend this great book with very relevant, useful adv
...more
Emre Sevinç
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
First things first: If you read or ever heard about the famous "Peopleware: Productive Projects and TeamsPeopleware: Productive Projects and Teams", you can consider "Debugging Teams" a perfect companion for the issues pertaining to modern information technology teams and their dynamics.

The book's strong point stems from the fact that the authors have experience both in managing and be managed, as well as dealing with complex open source community and the dynamics of their members. They don't su
...more
Brad
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, owned, business
This is a great book to read as a team. It's full of easy to understand and practical advice. This edition of the book is intended for a larger audience than just programmers but all the good examples are from programming teams.

I liked the theme of HRT that's throughout the book -- Humility, Respect, and Trust. Some of the ideas I found worth writing down.

* Fail early, fail fast, fail often -- don't work in isolation or be afraid to share work in progress
* Ask questions to guide other to their s
...more
Szymon
The authors say that "Geniuses still make mistakes and having brilliant ideas and elite programming skills don’t guarantee that your software will be a hit. What’s going to make or break your career is how well you collaborate with others." It shows that crafting the ability to collaborate is equally important as learning new programming languages and mastering the ones we already know. This book explains in just six chapters how to improve collaboration skills, how to build a strong team cultur ...more
Teresa Portela
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really changed me and had me see the value in incorporating a mission statement, regardless of what team you’re on, or level in your company. The principles in the book speak to Humility, Respect, and Trust, and how each of those is integral for building the best team. It’s a very quick read, but I highlighted a lot of quotes from it. Probably the best part speaks to how IT folks get thrust into management, it’s usually not a path we want to go down. How do you traverse that? Get this ...more
Robson Castilho
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
People are the main component of a project. That said, it's extremely important to know how to build a solid team. The authors cover a lot of scenarios of collaboration with people inside your team, how to lead them, how to shield them against poisonous people, how to collaborate with people from another areas of the company and with the users of your product.

Highly recommended (whether you are an individual contributor, a team leader or intend to become one).
Majisha Namath Parambath
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I wish I had read this much earlier, probably when I started my career. This book is not just meant for people managers, but also for individual contributors who have to work together in a team to build great products. The experience of the authors enriches this book with an abundance of relatable examples.
Elias Daler
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Pretty okay book. Lots of advice is just common sense, but there are parts here and there that may be useful in the future, especially if you never encountered situations described in the book.

Definitely a good read for people who never read anything like this before. Maybe if all people followed the advice here, it'd be a better place. :)
Melike Bakır
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unlike ordinary development books, each page was a useful book, full of different best practices. Each page contains suggestions that you can adapt to daily work life. In addition, they embody the points that are tried to be explained with examples from their own lives. In short, I found the book very useful, I recommend it.
David Robillard
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management
How I wish this book existed when I started leading teams several years ago! IMHO, this is one of the very best books on team leading and general corporate life. A must read for anyone working with teams!
Matthew
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech, business
The authors talk about some problems and bad behaviors that can affect teams. I definitely saw myself in some of the "don't do this" examples. Whoops. If I had read this book ten years ago (or even one year ago) my life today would be very different. Live and learn, right?
Tess Huelskamp
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick, entertaining, and surprisingly dense book detailing what components make up successful software engineering - or really any! - teams. I didn't exactly learn anything new reading this book but find incredible value in this book being citable.

Worth the read.
Jacek Tomaszewski
Very good book for matured software engineers who are now stepping into more management-like or leadership-like roles. (Especially the first two parts. The last part focused on the users was IMHO a bit off-topic.)
Yoel Monzón
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, taught me that creating software is not just about writing code and that people is more complicated than software. Also, taught me that we can be better developers/leaders/persons if we apply humility, respect and trust in all our actions and relationships.
Miki
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Says a lot of useful things, particularly for such a small volume, but some of them are a little depressing.
David Dias
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, lots of practical team management and building experience. It was perfect to refresh concepts I had learned from Peopleware and Code Complete 2
Liuyang Li
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is a well-worth quick read if you are an engineer who wants to maximize your impact by picking up soft skills.
Vladimir Kotov
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book, a lot of real-life situations in software development may be useful in the future, patterns, and antipatterns for managing a team of software engineers.
Shyue Ping Ong
This very short book covers a lot of commonsense stuff about how to manage teams and users. It ultimately falls short in practical examples.
Phil Sykes
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Basic stuff (and no big surprises for me personally; much of it is in the curriculum at work), but well written & engaging. ...more
Christian Daniel
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book has good tips and advice to become a better team member and improve the relationships between team
Michał Węgrzyn
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
There is something special in books written by engineers to engineers. I like whatever this is and want more of it.
Jules
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: od
I'm probably not the ideal audience for this, but I'd recommend it to those new to working in the tech industry to need to understand how engineering teams can operate and cooperate effectively.
Helen Mary
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Funny and transparent. A good read for leaders and also individual contributors who could benefit from understanding team dynamics and their own contribution to it
Diego Caxito
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book for engineers that is starting to lead some initiative, squad, team or project. Some important cultural tips shared.
Stephen Grubb
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Worth a selective reread
Jon Mann
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full of useful ideas and observations, without belabouring anything. Mostly specific to software development, but could be of interest outside the field.
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“Traditional managers worry about how to get things done, while leaders worry about what things get done…(and trust their team to figure out how to do it).” 0 likes
“Fitz treated Jerry like an adult, Jerry always got his work done, and Fitz never had to worry about Jerry being at his desk, because Jerry didn’t need a babysitter.” 0 likes
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