September 22, 2015 · book

Book of the Week - "Team Geek"

Team Geek Book Cover

Team Geek is the kind of book that I wish I had read at the beginning of my career. The book details how to get the job done when working with other people. Team Geek is especially important for new development leads or software managers. It's proved invaluable over the past 12-months in my career.

Here's the book's description:

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 patterns and anti-patterns for working with other people, teams, and users while trying to develop software. It's valuable information from two respected software engineers whose popular video series, "Working with Poisonous People," has attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.

You'll learn how to deal with imperfect people--those irrational and unpredictable beings--in the course of your work. And you'll discover why playing well with others is at least as important as having great technical skills. By internalizing the techniques in this book, you'll get more software written, be more influential, be happier in your career.  

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"What’s going to make or break your career is how well you collaborate with others."

"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)."

"...there are usually a few things that every engineer would like to do in the next five years: get promoted, learn something new, launch something important, and work with smart people."

"We now have a handy rule we live by: a team should never spend more than one-third to one-half of its time and energy on defensive work, no matter how much technical debt there is. Any more time spent is a recipe for political suicide."

In addition to writing this book, Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman have been involved with many Google I/O Tech Talks. They are worth watching!

Pick up a copy at Amazon!

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