“Team Geek” by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman; O’Reilly Media

I recently completed reading “Team Geek” by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman. This was a great book that I would highly recommend for anyone involved in a software development team, especially if that team is attempting to adopt agile practices.  My complete review of the book is below.

Summary

In this book, Brian and Ben recognize the importance of teamwork in software development and give advice to readers about effectively working well with others.  There is very little software built by one person today, so building software almost always requires working with others.  However, quite a few developers are naturally introverts and may have even chosen the field specifically because they thought they would be able to avoid a lot of human interaction.  Brian and Ben do a great job offering advice to developers on how to function well in a team.

Reactions

Brian and Ben did a great job in writing this book.  While most of their advice is really based on basic human communication, they have done a wonderful job of framing it specifically towards software developers complete with stories depicting very common scenarios.  Being an agile coach, I definitely appreciate the human side of building software and the importance of team work.  Agile recognizes this and really brings it front and center; taking advantage of good teamwork instead of putting constraints in place to avoid the need for high levels of communication.  Because of this, agile can put even more strain on these “soft skills” than more traditional development organizations.  I really appreciate this book as I feel it can be a great help in getting developers to open up to this idea of teamwork and have some good advice written in a way they will be able to more easily relate to versus the more general communication and teamwork books out there.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone involved in building software.  It is definitely going to be on my list of recommended books for software teams attempting to adopt agile.

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