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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 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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on 9 June 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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on 23 June 2013
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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on 13 January 2013
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. Now for a lot of developers this might be un-obvious and new, but for me, the "this is really landing" with me waned greatly. It almost felt as it was being "stretched" to fill the void.

On the other hand, the first half of the book is worth the read and the price of the book.
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on 6 May 2016
Brilliant read, highly recommended and addictive. I've taken my dog for alot more walks after this ! Funny how your grey matter actually works. It's well worth a "night's out" money and spending some free time reading this.
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on 4 October 2014
Another excellent book from the Pragmatic Programmer series. Well worth a read by both computing students and early-career professionals alike. In fact, you don't have to be in computing to benefit from it!
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on 20 May 2013
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. Not only did it make a massive improvement to my effectiveness as a software developer, it also re-kindled my interest in Psychology!
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on 4 September 2012
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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on 7 September 2010
This book is probably a good book on the practical philosophy of programming (and other jobs) for beginners.

But since I have been doing mind-mapping (for example) for more than 20 years and the other techniques were not new to me the book was mainly a reminder of what I *should* be doing.

So I'd recommend the book to new programmers (and not only) or to old programmers who have not changed their working methods in the last 20 years, but there were few surprises for me.

Some of the paragraphs were clunky and clumsy, as if hastily written.

(The author seems to have a great faith in the Myers Briggs personality test, but it is an awful and unscientific test. It seems to be used everywhere except in psychology and psychiatry. As the Skeptoid podcast points out, introversion-extroversion (for example) has a normal distribution and moreover changes with context. So splitting it into a binary (and final) introvert vs extrovert classification is total idiocy.)
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on 20 March 2010
Don't know how to precisely tell this. Let's see: the book is by no means bad. It has a good collection of techniques that could potentially help to improve how effectively you think and learn.

However, I was not thrilled after finished reading it, mostly because I've heard previously about almost all the techniques described. I'm not a self development pro neither I consider myself a master on the subject, but reading the reviews I was expecting more above what you can find yourself on the internet.

So if you've never explored the topics this book is a concise and practical induction on the possible applications on yourself. And as a compilation with some interesting sidelines and as a collection of experiences, it is quite good.
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