Category Archives: pragmatic

Essential Bookshelf : Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

Last time I explained how the Pragmatic Programmer book changed the way I thought about software. This time I’ll explain how another book challenged me to look at how I learn and process information. What I learned in this book can be applied to pretty much any facet of life.

The second book I advocate a lot these days is Pragmatic Thinking and Learning – Refactor Your Wetware by Andy Hunt. Yes, the same Andy Hunt who co-wrote Pragmatic Programmer.

Here are a few subjects that were covered :

  • The Dreyfus Model – the journey from novice to expert, how people gain skill in a particular
  • How to develop your intuition and why it is important for programmers
  • Cognitive Biases and how they might affect your judgment and thoughts
  • Generational differences – how different generations view the workplace and what are their values
  • The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator – a personality test, but what mostly interested me is interactions between different personality types
  • Mind maps
  • Tips and tricks to improve your creativity

There is a lot more to the book – many of the subjects are only briefly covered but they allowed me to get acquainted with a wide range of models and techniques. It is up to you as the reader to learn a specific area of knowledge in more depth.

What did I get from the book? So far I got interested in the Meyers-Briggs personality test and in creative thinking techniques. I also added quite a few books in my TODO list from the bibliography. These days I always have a new book waiting to be read…

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning is aimed primarily to programmers and has a few analogies such as “debug your mind” and “refactor your wetware”. However the principles in the book can be applied to any skills you want to learn, from blogging to cooking. I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes to use their brain from time to time. Hopefully you’ll be interested.