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How to Think Like a Programmer: Problem Solving for the Bewildered [Paperback]

Paul Vickers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 33.99
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Book Description

21 Feb 2008 1408065827 978-1408065822
How to Think Like a Programmer is a bright, accessible, fun read describing the mindset and mental methods of programmers. Anticipating the problems that students have through the character of Brian the Bewildered Wildebeest, the slower pace required for this approach is made interesting and engaging by hand-drawn sketches, frequent (paper-based) activities and the everyday tasks (e.g. coffee making) used as a basis of worked examples. How to Think Like a Programmer provides a fun and accessible way to learn the mental models needed to approach computational programmable problems. This edition is printed in black and white.

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How to Think Like a Programmer: Problem Solving for the Bewildered + Java in Two Semesters + An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming with Java
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning (21 Feb 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1408065827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408065822
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 29 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a useful and interesting book, trying to explain the basics of algorithm development from the viewpoint of Polya's heuristics. A curious point, however, is how Vickers adds a couple of extra steps to Polya's method without seeming to improve the method. Also, the initial issue about understanding the problem is a bit confusing. There are some excellent examples of how an analysis of the problem may lead to profound insights, but these examples are mathematical problems that have nothing to do with algorithmic solutions. In fact, when it comes to understanding problems that are supposed to lead to algorithmic solutions, the analysis is highly unclear. On the other hand, Vicker's treatment of object oriented algorithms is excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a fantatic book for anyone who actually wants to write code or programs that are useful (rather than cool bits of code the aren't really any use but hey, who thought you could get Java to do that) This book shows you how to take a problem and break it down into smaller solvable problems, it gives you the foundations to write any sysetm you really need to because you are looking at the system in a whole new way. Once you have the funamentals of how to program the language is inmaterial, its the process of what you need to do that is the hard bit and the bit that fails most projects, Paul takes you through all the elements and this book is easy to read and follow with some dry humour added to carry you along.

This book is a must for all those who are serious about looking at producing programs or systems that are intended to solve some business or real-world problem.

go buy it .... now
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal book 6 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helped me enormously with my foundation degree. The book was new when I purchased it but now it is well worn. Lots of examples and each chapter is fun to learn.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It is ok 12 Feb 2011
By Girl85
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was ok, but I wish the author gave more examples regarding algorithms and at the back of the book you dont have many answers for the exercises.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars aspects of being a programmer 23 May 2008
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Programming is not for everyone. Yet Vickers explains that it can be tackled in a systematic fashion. He covers various aspects of what it means to be a programmer. At the deepest level, you need to be able to think in terms of algorithms. And don't let that word scare you. This has several parts. One of which is to be able to decompose a problem into smaller parts, until each can be tackled adequately. Then you have to stitch all these together into a coherent program.

Another aspect is rigour. Unlike some qualitative and subjective fields, like art, you must think precisely. As precisely as possible. To some extent, the ability to decompose a problem into subproblems lets you do some handwaving. But programming is characterised by you eventually having to sit down and code some solution exactly.

En route, the book discusses the use of pseudocode. As formal or informal as your requirements and experience dictate. One need is to be able to write such pseudocode as the first step in doing a problem. The next is to then manually translate that into actual compilable source code.
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