Friday, 19 April 2013

Geeks, growing great teams and faith

I've recently finished reading Team Geek and would highly recommend it to any member of a Software Development Team (in fact, any member of any team, but more on that later).

The book's authors (Brian W Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman) do a fantastic job of illustrating how Humility, Respect and Trust are key values within an effective team. The book is a very easy read. Each short, bite-sized chapter includes coal-face stories from the authors' work with Google and the open source community.

Despite being a short book (167 pages), it covers a wide range of topics, whilst maintaining a style and language that is "geek-friendly". Developers often struggle to engage with fluffy concepts such as feelings, emotions and motivation, but this book communicates accessible advice exceptionally well, on all these topics.

The challenge for me now is how to apply it to the teams I lead, thinking specifically of what tweaks I need to make personally, and also encourage others to make. An interesting aspect of the application of this book is that, as the authors state in the Epilogue, it's principles don't just apply to software teams, but to any community.

Whilst reading this book, I was also listening to a podcast series on the Shema, from Mars Hill. These focused on the application of love (to God, and people), via heart, mind and strength. The book and the podcasts had much in common, with each reinforcing the other. Time will tell how well I apply them both.