Timothy M. O'Brien

Timothy M. O'Brien

Java, Ruby, Groovy with a Focus on Development Infrastructure

  • @tobrien
  • + Timothy M. O'Brien

Evanston, Illinois

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hybrid Architecture
  • Developer Communications
  • Java
  • Open Source
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • programming
  • training
Timothy M. O'Brien consults and writes from Evanston, IL, about thirteen miles North of the center of Chicago. He maintains a personal blog at www.discursive.com, and he frequently contributes to the OnJava blog.

His current focus is on helping to increase the audience for Gradle. You can find out more about Gradle at http://www.gradle.org. Years ago wrote Maven: The Definitive Guide, a free, green book which is going to be published by O'Reilly in Q3 of 2008. Before that, he had the pleasure to work with Ryan Fowler and James Elliott on the Second Edition of Harnessing Hibernate. A few years ago, Vincent Massol and Tim collaborated on the first Maven book: Maven: A Developer's Notebook, and prior to that he wrote the Jakarta Commons Cookbook in 2003 and 2004.

Tim is committed to the idea that open source documentation is as important to the success of a project as the source code itself - documentation is a primary artifact. This is a lesson most programmers tend to forget after having it hammered into them by Computer Science professors and teaching assistants at The University. In the real world, as in the academy, your coding efforts do suffer that "automatic 30 point reduction in final grading" if you fail to supply the required user documentation. Even in the most well-respected open source efforts, documentation remains a governor on adoption and progress. Tim wants to help convince other developers to take the time to get involved in open source documentation. Who said DocBook isn't fun?

GitHub GitHub
by Timothy M. O'Brien
June 2015 (est.)
Print: $39.99

Harnessing Hibernate Harnessing Hibernate
by James Elliott, Timothy M. O'Brien, Ryan Fowler
April 2008
Print: $39.99
Ebook: $31.99

Maven: A Developer's Notebook Maven: A Developer's Notebook
by Vincent Massol, Timothy M. O'Brien
June 2005
Print: $29.95
Ebook: $23.99

Jakarta Commons Cookbook Jakarta Commons Cookbook
by Timothy M. O'Brien
November 2004
Print: $44.95

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Timothy M. blogs at:

Gruber's Fictional App Store Censor

May 29 2009

John Gruber's "Excerpts From the Diary of an App Store Reviewer" is cutting satire of the arbitrary decision making and capricious censorship that is generated by Apple's opaque App Store approval process. Read more about this brilliant commentary on the absurdity of the relationships between the Censor, the Censored, and… read more

NiN's Rob Sheridan on iPhone Application Rejection

May 05 2009

In this interview with Rob Sheridan (@rob_sheridan), Nine Inch Nails' Artistic Director, Rob discusses the experience of getting the rejection letter from Apple, and what effect it has on the band's plans to build community applications on the iPhone platform. You'll hear Sheridan express an uneasiness that Apple can act… read more

What the Sun/Oracle Combination Means for Java and Open Source

April 22 2009

What does the Oracle/Sun merger mean for Java? There's been a lot of speculation and a fair amount of apocalyptic, "sky is falling" Twitter activity, but does anyone really know what Ellison has in store for Java? read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

"This book is truly amazing...If you're an impatient developer this is the book for you. I think it offers just enough in-depth theory and it keeps you awake with frequent easy to understand code. "
--Will Lehman, Harnessing Hibernate

"This book is by far one of the best books on Hibernate. The main reason is the example code that go hand in hand with the book, and illustrates why Hibernate is so powerful. A decent clear example which simply solves the problem presented in each chapter is what every hard working developer needs from a book. Harnessing Hibernate delivers on this in spades."