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Book Review

The Programmer’s Brain – Book Review

The Programmer's Brain, by Felienne Hermans is an uncommon off-shoot of a common book topic – improving your programming and how you learn programming.

The uncommon part is that it looks at the problem in a different way – what happens to the brain, say, when you are learning a new programming language? And how can you optimize that?

The book talks a bit about the different parts of memory – short term memory, working memory, and long term memory, and then looks – based on actual research – on the best way to do a number of tasks, including learning a language, adding a feature, problem solving, onboarding a new team member, and others.

It also has exercises to support it.

The one practice I have used for a while, and it is easy to do, is using a spaced repetition system (or regular flashcards, although to me that seems harder to keep up with) to learn syntax or important details on a language or framework. Personally I like Anki.

I will certainly look into several of the other suggested practices.

Overall, strongly recommended for programmers.

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Book Review

The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Book Review

The Most Important Thing Illuminated, by Howard Marks, covers a few principles for what he calls the superior investor – as if you are not going to be superior, you might as well just invest in index funds and not waste any time.

When I heard about the book, it was the regular version, but I believed the extra blocks of explanations – by famous investors as well as the author of the book – would be worth the extra time, and they were (I really which the font on the comments wasn't so small, though).

Most of the insights seem a little silly in summary form, but the details on how to handle them felt very useful to me – and I am very far from being a pro in the area.

Overall, strongly recommended.

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Book Review

The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Book Review

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money and Stand Out from the Crowd – by Allan Dib, is (obviously enough) a book about marketing.

I just took a MBA course about marketing and had to write a marketing plan as the final paper, so I looked up resources on it. This one came up.

I didn't expect it to be so good. Frankly, in many ways it is as good as a couple of MBA courses on the subject. AND more enjoyable to read, too.

This is chock-full with great advice I've seen elsewhere (or used myself with good results), and a lot more that I had never seen before.

If you have a company, product, service, you really should read this book. It is well worth the time and money.

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Book Review

The Healthy Programmer – Book Review

The Healthy Programmer, by Joel Kutner, is an interesting book that covers health issues as they relate to programmers.

It covers topics such as diet, exercising, preventing back pain, eye strain and more.

I didn't get a chance to apply much of the book, but it seems sound and aligns from what I've learned from medical professionals or elsewhere.

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Book Review

Effective C# – Third Edition – Book Review

I've just finished Effective C#, by Bill Wagner.

There is an interesting mix of tips. Some you should already know if you learned C# from a good book, others are more obscure and very interesting.

Either way, well worth reading. My version was from Safari, as usual.

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Book Review

WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us – Book Review

WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us, by Tim O'Reilly, is a book about how things are today, and how they can be, in several important areas.

It also has a lot of memories of the author in major events in technology, which I felt were quite interesting to read about (not sure how much interest younger people will have in those – being there probably makes a difference!).

There were a lot of important insights, that I wish leaders in all areas would read. I highlight every interesting idea I see, so in the end huge areas of the book were yellow.

I particularly like the reflections on why services like Uber work, and how we could make better regulations.

Overall, strongly recommended.

As usual (and since the author is the owner, not surprising) I read the book on Safari Books.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review

NeuroWisdom – Book Review

I've just read NeuroWisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success, by Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning.

The book covers current neuroscience on how to be happier and more successful, usually with simple techniques you can use every day that were proven to work on actual research.

I can't say I got around to trying most of the ideas yet, but I certainly intend to, and several I have heard from several sources.

Overall, seems well worth the time reading and applying.

Read from Safari Books. Formatting was fine (I just saw a single book that had some formatting problems this year).

Update: It was removed from Safari.

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Book Review

Kotlin in Action – Book Review

Kotlin in Action, by Dmitry Jemerov and Svetlana Isakova covers the language basics of Kotlin.

Kotlin is a wonderful language that borrows from many languages, including Java, C#, and functional languages to make a very interesting, terse and highly productive language. Currently it supports compiling to the JVM, Javascript and native on several systems.

The book is supposed to be for experienced Java developers, but I have very limited Java experience and I was able to follow all of it.

I have to say I really like Kotlin, and how the language is made so that your code can be as short as possible. Even when your IDE can fill in most of the code for you, it is still a problem as you get tons of useless code to check all the time.

Overall, strongly recommended if you are interested in Kotlin.

 

 

 

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Book Review

Visual Studio 2015 Unleashed – Book Review

Visual Studio 2015 Unleashed is a long book (1320 pages) that covers a lot of Visual Studio's capabilities and usage.

As you might expect, anything covering the whole surface of a system as large as VS must be shallow at places. Nevertheless, I feel that is well enough to give an useful overview of many of the technologies involved, such as WinForms, WPF, UWP, Apache Cordova, Xamarin, creating Office add-ins, writing VS extensions and many more.

Obviously it doesn't cover the latest version (2017) but most of the changes are not important enough to matter.

 

 

 

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Book Review

Hidden WPF – Book Review

Hidden WPF: Secrets for Creating Great Applications in WPF by Alessandro Del Sole covers some less know things in WPF.

While there are a few non-obvious items, if you read something like WPF 4.5 Unleashed you are unlikely to learn something now.

Might be worth checking out in Safari, as it is quite short. Most examples are in VB, though.