Brian W. Fitzpatrick


Brian Fitzpatrick is Founder and CTO of Tock. Brian started Google’s Chicago engineering office with Ben in 2005 and led several of Google’s global engineering efforts, including the Data Liberation Front, and Transparency Engineering. He also served as internal advisor for Google’s open data efforts, having previously led the Google Code and Google Affiliate Network teams. Prior to joining Google, Brian worked as an engineer at Apple, CollabNet, and a local Chicago development shop.

Brian has written numerous articles and given dozens of presentations, including cowriting Team Geek: A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with Others, Version Control with Subversion (now in its second edition), and chapters for Unix in a Nutshell and Linux in a Nutshell.

Brian has an A.B. in Classics from Loyola University Chicago with a major in Latin, a minor in Greek, and a concentration in Fine Arts and Ceramics. He resides in Chicago.




“This book with its stories from the trenches, excellent cartoons and illustrations and derived wisdom is not just platitudes about collaboration and mutual respect, but a set of well-earned observations about the variety of human efforts where "debugged" participation by team members with a mix of skills must mesh to be successful. Highly recommended for all technical and product oriented Team Efforts.”
— Ira Laefsky,
“There are lots of things to like about this particular book. Its content is practical and full of useful insights, It is the right length (less than 200 pages); it consists of just six chapters; and it has been written in an easy to digest style, thus making it a quick read.”
— Tony Stevenson, Left-Brain Bookstore
“While it may not be a "sexy" read in terms of learning a new coding trick or hardware setting, Team Geek may be the one read that keeps you sane and happy over the life of your career. This is a book that I'd strongly recommended.”
— Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings
Team Geek is a great read, and a practical one at that. It's also an opportunity to help refine your startup's story, pitches to the media, and the brand's voice you are trying to acheive in your collective evolution. Make Team Geek a group read.”
— Alan Weinkrantz,
“I’d recommend this book to any developer, which wants to progress in their career and move up the ladder but know what may come up during your journey. Knowing you’re not alone, and others have the same issues you encounter makes things seem so much better.”
— Big Mad Kev,
“A solid, useful handbook that can help you become a better, more productive team player and, if necessary or if you desire, also help you rise to the challenge of leading a software-development team.”
— Si Dunn, Sagecreek Productions
“Get this book and read it.”
— Lee Damon, Seattle Area System Administrators Guild Seattle
“I've been blogging Ben & Fitz's talks at conferences for years, because so few people address the social side of working with geeks. I'm excited to read the collective wisdom of their talks in one convenient book and not have to chase them around the country anymore.”
— Robert Kaye
“Programming is no longer about code and machines, if it ever was. Increasingly, it's about fitting together existing pieces in new ways -- and each piece comes with people attached. The authors have understood this for years, and their message is as simple as their advice is varied: focus on the people as much as you focus on the code, and you will not only be a happier programmer, you will be the cause of happier programmers. It couldn't come at a better time!”
— Karl Fogel
Team Geek is an insightful exploration of building successful teams and products, taken from years of tackling difficult developer pains and issues that we all experience in our careers. The jovial approach to overcoming both engineering and human issues on a technical team delivers an engaging foundation text that should be a staple of every engineer's library.”
— Jonathan Leblanc
“The skill of writing software will help you stay employed but if you combine that with the ability to work well with others, and you can change the world. This book isn't just about how you can be a better programmer. It's about how to be awesome.”
— Clay Johnson
“This book is a blueprint for building a healthy software development culture. It should be required reading for engineering managers, technical leaders, and even non-technical executives who need to understand how team dynamics affect retention of top engineering talent and the quality of software they produce.”
— Bruce Johnson
Team Geek is How to Win Friends and Influence People for programmers. It's full of clear and actionable advice on how to be more happy, productive and effective on your technical team. Excellent and needed.”
— Adrian Holovaty
“This is a great book about the sociology of software development, with an emphasis on open source software and large corporations. the section on managing up and dealing with politics is essential reading for any new engineer in a corporate environment. I would recommend it to any engineer regardless of where he worked! This is the first book I’ve seen that covers office politics in an easily accessible fashion for engineers.The stories and anecdotes and practical tips on “How do you work with this difficult person?” are gold! You literally cannot buy this anywhere.”
— Piaw Na
“Ben and Fitz come not to praise the myth of the lone programmer, but to bury it. They preside over its wake in a series of essays designed to teach right-brained engineers how to hack the most complex system they'll ever encounter: people in a group. Team Geek shows that the most humane software is made by the best-functioning human teams -- and how to achieve both.”
— John Tolva
“Ben and Fitz say what I've been practicing but could never quite put in words.”
— Guido van Rossum
Team Geek is a gem of a book, in which Ben and Fitz share their very sensible philosophy of how programmers can best contribute to a good team. We are lucky that this important field is finally opened up for discussion with such warmth and humor. I wish that 21-year-old me had both a copy of the book and the good sense to take it to heart.”
— Bryan O'Sullivan
“Software is made of people. A well run team, using the principles outlined in Team Geek, can out-think, out-code, and out-ship any individual hacker. Coder, educate thyself!”
— Johnathan Nightingale
“Fitz and Ben take a simple creed -- Humility Respect and Trust -- and cultivate that foundation with copious examples and stories. The experience and wisdom they share will help software engineers who work in teams -- most of us -- be more effective and productive.”
— Greg J. Badros
“You might have heard the aphorism '10X programmer,' describing the fact that top programmers are an order of magnitude more productive than average programmers. Making a big impact requires experience and powerful technical chops, but also empathy for your co-workers and users. No amount of smarts or knowledge can make up for a lack of the latter, but this book will help you hone your soft skills and leave an even bigger dent in the world.”
— Bob Lee