Found 4 comments on HN
itamarst · 2018-04-11 · Original thread
Learning is a skill you can get better at, so it's just a dependency. Learning is not an unchangeable talent. Some books that will help you learn better:

* Power of Intuition, about naturalistic decision making -

* How Learning Works - (my review:

No doubt others can recommend more books.

itamarst · 2018-01-24 · Original thread
Gary Klein wrote a great book about how to learn from experience, based on research in naturalistic decision making, kinda stuff firefighters and NICU nurses do, but also e.g. design engineers for many decisions (

His advice for learning from mistakes is basically to look for the cues or patterns you missed that caused your mistake. That way you find the hints that would've helped you catch it in time.

I've been doing this myself, and writing up results in a weekly email ( and it really improves how much I learn from mistakes. As in, I go from "well that was stupid of me" to "ohhhhh, I should've noticed that."

Example: early in career I submitted code with bad variable names (foo, bar) to customer who requested I write a library. She pointed that out as bad practice, I was super embarrassed over my bad code. My takeaway in one of initial emails was obvious one of "write readable code."

But later I revisited using the cues/patterns approach, and realized deeper mistake was not listening to what she wanted—in this case, source code. If deliverable wasn't source code then variable names wouldn't have mattered and it would've been fine.

itamarst · 2017-11-20 · Original thread
A lot of the way experts think is actually very domain-specific. So if you want to be good at thinking about a specific domain, might be worth reading one of Gary Klein's books about naturalistic decision making. is the most practical of the ones I've read.

More generically: learn how to write. Most hard problems won't fit in your head. Most of the ways we think are too vague and fuzzy. Writing things down and working through something in writing can help find the limits of your thinking process, and help you find solutions. I review a book that explains this very well here:

(You could alternatively take a good academic writing class at your local university.)

itamarst · 2017-04-15 · Original thread
I'd suggest learning more about how to learn better, so that you can learn more on the job. Then you can spend your weekend doing something other than coding. Some useful books:

"How Learning Works" (I review it here:


Gar Klein's books, in particular "The Power of Intuition"

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