Found in 5 comments on Hacker News
auslegung · 2018-09-16 · Original thread
I was recently given this list of books by some very skilled engineers who I trust

1. [The Pragmatic Programmer](https://pragprog.com) 2. Martin Fowler's [Refactoring Book](https://martinfowler.com/books/refactoring.html) 3. Kent Beck's [Test Driven Development: By Example](https://www.amazon.com/Test-Driven-Development-Kent-Beck/dp/...) 4. [Thinking in Systems: A Primer](https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...) 5. [Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice](https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Mind-Beginners-Informal-Meditatio...) 6. [Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware](https://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor....)

tedmiston · 2016-07-19 · Original thread
> Actually, tenure matters less than perspective and problem-solving approach.

On that token, Pragmatic Thinking and Learning is an awesome book for improving your problem solving approach, better understanding cognitive biases, and learning more effectively.

https://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor-...

lostmypw · 2011-07-24 · Original thread

    Talking about stuff like this is bound to sound esoteric, I think. So
    I want to put this disclaimer upfront that I detest esotericism.

    I can only assume that your problems are similar to mine, so I can
    only suggest what works for me. And that might not completely work out
    for you in the end, but it's worth a try for sure.

    Concentration: The problem of not being able to keep distracting
    thoughts away can be lessened with meditation. I came across this
    suggestion in the book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning [1] and have
    found an excellent CD to listen to called Guided Mindfulness
    Meditation [2] by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

    I tend to try to avoid meditation because for a while I seem to do
    fine and so long as I do fine it just feels like a waste of time for
    me. Time that I could invest reading a book. But eventually I always
    end up having an extreme amount of distracting thoughts to the point
    that I cannot learn anymore. I've now had this problem crop up often
    enough with meditation always helping that I'm now a lot more willing
    to spend the time and meditate. I want to emphasize that for *me* it
    was necessary to get to the dead end and suffer from it to become
    willing to change something. Maybe you can relate.

    Structure: Well well, the way you write it sounds a little bit rigid
    to me. I tightened up imagining all that structure you strive for and
    I'm thinking you should relax a little bit. Or at least I should (and
    do). So maybe we are different in this regard.

    I do think you should lay back a bit and think about what really
    interests you deep down in your heart. I assume you've been working
    too much on hopelessly boring stuff, because with that I can relate
    again. I've been working a little bit on a little server in erlang but
    somehow at some point I couldn't bring myself to working further on
    it. Well I could, but all the time I felt something was wrong.

    As I'm happy to learn interesting programming languages and have heard
    all the hype about lisp for so long (I'm looking at you, pg) I finally
    gave in and started reading Practical Common Lisp [3] and now
    Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming [4] and what can I
    say. I see now that what disappoints me in erlang but also in other
    languages is having forced upon me one paradigm and/or a rigid set of
    rules. In the case of erlang that might be perfectly fine as the
    language can make certain guarantees that way. I've realized though
    that I would much rather enjoy the lisp-ish freedom while molding a
    solution. So this is my story of disappointment and fresh wind.

    One quick addition in the end: In an xkcd comic [5] there is a
    description of a solution (see the alt-text of the image) that delays
    access to certain websites (like reddit, hn for me) but does not block
    them completely. It just delays the access (-- more discussion on the
    xkcd blog [6]). This serves the purpose of destroying the notion of
    instant reward these stupid little bits of new information might give
    you, however irrelevant they may be. I've found this to be helpful for
    me because sometimes in the past I've procrastinated the hell out of
    the day. I got fed up with repeatedly spending hours with unproductive
    stuff and feeling sorry for the time in the end. See the pattern? I
    needed to run into this problem several times before I decided that I
    have to change something. I don't want to make some point here. I just
    find this pattern interesting.

    What I have done is I have taken an existing little chrome extension
    called delaybot which by default only delays for rand(1.5) seconds and
    changed the delay to 30 secs. This has worked wonders in the
    beginning. I say in the beginning because I've now disabled the
    extension as it is getting in my way now. No, this is not the
    procrastinator disabling a helpful little tool. :-) I've found that
    since I've picked up meditation again I didn't run into this problem
    anymore anyways. I also tend to just bookmark away a lot of actually
    interesting discussions to read them later, which of course I never
    do. I do this bookmarking and closing of tabs because I tend to
    accumulate too many tabs easily otherwise.

    Not all is great though, the article made me realise that I'm a little
    bit too hard with myself when I'm excerting will-power. I try to go
    through the mentioned lisp books fast (as there are more to come
    still) and at some point I notice that I can't bring myself to read a
    lot more at that point. To me this looks similar to the cookie
    experiment where a group of people is less productive after excerting
    will power in a previous task.

    So, to conclude: Even if not all is roses I can say with certainty
    that meditation is the single most helpful tool to increase my
    productivity. It changes me from being helpless to being more in
    control of what I'd like to do with my time.

    Regarding your lack of passion: Man, search your feelings. If you find
    something that really interests you, you probably wouldn't think much
    about what other people could do better than you. That AI book [4] I'm
    reading? It features ancient techniques at the point where I am right
    now but it's still a great read and I'm learning a heck of a
    lot. That's what keeps me going. Also, lisp.

    Phew, that was long.
    I would love to hear feedback. :-)
[1] http://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor-P...

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Guided-Mindfulness-Meditation-Jon-Kaba...

[3] http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/

[4] http://www.amazon.com/Paradigms-Artificial-Intelligence-Prog...

[5] http://xkcd.com/862/

[6] http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/02/18/distraction-affliction-corre...

EDIT: I've changed the formatting because it renders with long lines otherwise.

abp · 2010-11-24 · Original thread
Should i say: http://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor-P...

The book: http://pragprog.com/titles/ahptl/pragmatic-thinking-and-lear...

A mindmap that describes the contents pretty well: http://media.pragprog.com/titles/ahptl/MindMapWeb.png

The remainders of "The Greatest Secret in the World" replaced with exercices and pieces about being more aware of many essential skills. Through the exercises and losely coupled chapters, you can learn some core disciplines of the whole human race.

Let me explain.

It's like a manual for the simplest things in live like control about yourself, how the brain works, performance in any situation and so on. It makes a real difference for you, once you have understood and practiced for a while. But it is worth the effort.

Books are like a stream of knowledge, when they are really packed to the smallest possible pieces of text. The first read through is an enjoyment of well written text and assembled graphics, tips and exercises. But when you work while you read it gets even better.

Riding a bycycle is a pretty good metaphor on the whole thing. You need to learn how to ride a bike. So you need a bike.

I assume you already have a brain, since you are reading this.

Then you probably want to know how it works and evolves, in many details and exercises? One chapter. Go for it.

It reads closely to the offense of structure of very well written code, but in human readable text.

This is my opinion and i'd like to hear from others what they think, by all means. :)

dbz · 2009-07-30 · Original thread
Interesting I might get it.

You can read some pretty nice reviews on Amazon ;p

http://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor-P...

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