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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware (Pragmatic Programmers) [Kindle Edition]

Andy Hunt
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £23.50
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Book Description

Programmers have to learn constantly; not just the stereotypical new technologies, but also the problem domain of the application, the whims of the user community, the quirks of your teammates, the shifting sands of the industry, and the evolving characteristics of the project itself as it is built.

We’ll journey together through bits of cognitive and neuroscience, learning and behavioral theory. You’ll see some surprising aspects of how our brains work, and how you can take advantage of the system to improve your own learning and thinking skills.

In this book you’ll learn how to:

  • Use the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition to become more expert

  • Leverage the architecture of the brain to strengthen different thinking modes

  • Avoid common “known bugs” in your mind

  • Learn more deliberately and more effectively

  • Manage knowledge more efficiently

Product Description


""I've recommended it to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen to me. I was familiar with some of the ideas and techniques from my various readings on the science of learning, but its invaluable to have them gathered in one concise book, especially one geared towards developers.""--Dr. Paul V. Gestwicki, Professor & Director of Undergraduate Programs, Ball State University""I've always been looking for something to help me improve my learning skills, but i've never found anything as effective as this book.""--Oscar Del Ben, Software Developer""Absolutely terrific! I'm only beginning the 3rd chapter and I've already found the book VERY, VERY useful. It makes me look at what I am doing and how I do it in a different light.""--Carol Saah, Java Software Developer

About the Author

Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher. He co-authored the best-selling book "The Pragmatic Programmer," was one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically acclaimed books for software developers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1852 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (5 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A32NYYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,459 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic in the making 18 May 2009
I had this book on my Wish List for a long time before I decided to buy it. Why? I figured that yet another book on mind mapping and other brain train techniques would not add an awful lot what I already knew. Boy was I wrong. Yes, brain training is a good part of this book but it offers far more than that. The Dreyfus model does not only help you to place yourself on your own journey to being an expert (if that is what you want) but it also provides invaluable insights into how to work with others, keeping their strengths and weaknesses in clear sight. Next, getting in the right 'brain mode' will help you to apply those brain train methods far more effectively than you'll have done until now. At least it did for me. Andy explains just how to tune your mind to the right frequency to pick up all those little nuggets of gold that would normally get lost in the static.

I could go on like this for a while, mentioning 'brain debugging', personal investment plans or how I actually started applying the deliberate learning techniques outlined in this book while reading it and came out with a far more ready recollection of its content, even weeks later. But in short, you should get this book. Personally I think it has been incorrectly categorized as being a computer science book. The information in this book will apply to you whether you are a computer scientist, work in sales or manage your local cooking club as a hobby.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very practical book 9 Jun. 2009
An easy read brimming with usefull methods and techniques that will help you increase your learning and retention pace whatever skill you wish to acquire/develop even if the primary audience is programmers. Amongst many insightful tips the author suggests to "Plan your investment in learning deliberately" I believe this book to be a very good first step in that direction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Opened my Eyes 4 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For the last twenty years, I have been very much a classic data driven engineer. I made a decision six month's ago to change my career and try to harness the creativity, I know that I have deep down within me.

Well, this book opened my eyes to a completely different style of thinking...
I now begin to understand, where the creative power within Google, Apple and the like comes from.
Up until now, I could not see the connection between a bean bag or table tennis table in the office and the creative process.

The book explains:
- the process from moving from Novice to Expert
- How to begin to harness the power of the creative side of the brain
- How to 'really' read and learn from books
- Along with numerous exercises and tips

I am busy starting out, trying to find out how I can build "morning pages" and other exercises into my hectic morning routine.

Don't be put off by "Pragmatic Programmers", there is an awful lot of useful stuff for anyone seeking to "refactor", upgrade, re-configure or even CHANGE the way go about things through enhancing their creative side.

An excellent, useful and most of all readable book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 23 Jun. 2013
By DInglis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I initially had to choose between paper and Kindle Edition and am glad I went for paper! The mindmap at the beginning would definitely not have looked as good or been as readable in Kindle Edition.

The book is very well laid out and walks through the ideas in quite a logical manner. Some of the techniques I had read about previously, although many new techniques that I was not previously aware of! Mainly that your brain needs some time off!

I would recommend this to any new programmer or young professional starting out in their chosen field.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing tour through the brain 28 Jun. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, Andy shows you how the human mind works when it comes to learning new stuff or to being creative and getting bright ideas. Andy is a software developer, and he naturally bases the book on this, but the book is really for anybody who wants to become more creative and better at learning new things. Besides elaborating on how the mind works, Andy gives you lots of practical and pragmatic tools and excercises, that will help you come up with brighter ideas more often, and that will make you remember new learnings better. Really an excellent book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good review of learning techniques 11 Nov. 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pragmatic Thinking and Learning. Having studied the Cognitive Sciences many years ago I was pleasantly surprised to see that the basic practices and strategies for active learning haven't changed that much over the years.

More importantly though it inspired me to start applying the techniques and strategies I long since forgotten about. Yep, I've even bought myself a moleskin note book.

It's a pretty easy read so there's no real reason not to read it yourself if you're interested in learning.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading! 12 Aug. 2009
This is a wonderful book!

I would definitely recommend this book to all of you that are responsible for coaching others. You'll learn how people learn, how your brain works, what reasoning traps you might fall into and lot more...

As someone said "with awareness comes responsability" and this book was indeed the source of many "Aha!" moments that helped me become aware.

Once again, great book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by martin knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from the Pragmatic Programmer series
Another excellent book from the Pragmatic Programmer series. Well worth a read by both computing students and early-career professionals alike. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Catherine Tryfona
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book about many aspects of learning
This book gave me an enormous insight into learning and thinking. Even more it consist of so many great books recommendations that the author was inspired by.
Published 8 months ago by akmar
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
The best book I ever read! If you really interseted in the process of learning this is something for you.

Read it! Reflect it! Discuss it!
Published 9 months ago by Pierre Rasmussen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book worth it
A good book to read even better to apply in real life a valuable lesson for us all on how our brain is wired
Published 15 months ago by Julian Guppy
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Interesting book that will help you to change the way you approach problems and difficult situations. Easy to read with exercises and practical examples, I really enjoyed it.
Published 16 months ago by Guillermo
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book.
Engagingly written, covers a good range of topics to help improve learning and retaining skills, references provided where necessary and presented in a coherent and easy-to-read... Read more
Published 20 months ago by A. Wenham
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
I describe this book as life changing and I do not do so lightly. This is the book I wish I had read before any others. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sohnee
3.0 out of 5 stars First Half is Great, Second Half is left Wanting
The first half of the book was very insightful and I took a lot away from it. The second half of the book was mostly a re-hash of the standard sort of management training. Read more
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by Kitson Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This is a really good book on how your brain works and how to optimize your learning skills. It is well written and interesting with a lot of good metaphors - where a lot of those... Read more
Published on 31 Dec. 2012 by Søren Kirkegård
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