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The Programmer's Brain

What every programmer needs to know about cognition
Felienne Hermans
  • MEAP began December 2020
  • Publication in Fall 2021 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781617298677
  • 275 pages (estimated)
  • printed in black & white

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I am in awe of this book, it is a very good read and has tons of interesting lessons for any engineer.

Tim van Deurzen
Look inside
Your brain responds in a predictable way when it encounters new or difficult tasks. This unique book teaches you concrete techniques rooted in cognitive science that will improve the way you learn and think about code.

In The Programmer’s Brain: What every programmer needs to know about cognition you will learn:

  • Fast and effective ways to master new programming languages
  • Speed reading skills to quickly comprehend new code
  • Techniques to unravel the meaning of complex code
  • Ways to learn new syntax and keep it memorized
  • Writing code that is easy for others to read
  • Picking the right names for your variables
  • Making your codebase more understandable to newcomers
  • Onboarding new developers to your team

Learn how to optimize your brain’s natural cognitive processes to read code more easily, write code faster, and pick up new languages in much less time. This book will help you through the confusion you feel when faced with strange and complex code, and explain a codebase in ways that can make a new team member productive in days!

about the technology

Understanding the cognitive functions that govern the way your brain thinks about coding will help you work smarter, not harder. You’ll improve your productivity, reduce your need for constant rewrites, and say goodbye to spending late nights struggling with new languages.

about the book

The Programmer’s Brain explores the way your brain works when it’s thinking about code. In it, you’ll master practical ways to apply these cognitive principles to your daily programming life. You’ll improve your code comprehension by turning confusion into a learning tool, and pick up awesome techniques for reading code and quickly memorizing syntax. This practical guide includes tips for creating your own flashcards and study resources that can be applied to any new language you want to master. By the time you’re done, you’ll not only be better at teaching yourself—you’ll be an expert at bringing new colleagues and junior programmers up to speed.

about the reader

For programmers who have experience working in more than one language.

about the author

Dr. Felienne Hermans is an associate professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She has spent the last decade researching learning and teaching programming. Felienne is an award-winning educator, the creator of the Hedy programming language for novice programmers, and a host of Software Engineering Radio—one of the world’s largest programming podcasts.

FREE domestic shipping on orders of three or more print books

If you want to understand what goes on in your mind when trying to learn a new programming language/paradigm you have to read this book!

Orlando Méndez Morales

What a wonderful book! Look no further for an accessible exploration of cognitive science and its application to learning and the craft of software engineering.

George Thomas

I've never really stepped back to think about the meta level of how we thinkwhen we program. This book provided some interestingideas and frameworks to do just that.

Adam Kaczmarek

This book sheds the light on why we scratch our heads when reading other people's code and gives us techniques on how to avoid it.

Viktor Bek

The book lets you take a step back and offers a useful framework to think about how code is written.

Adam Kaczmarek

This book is equally valuable and useful for every programmer, whether you're just learning your first programming language, or if you're an experienced polyglot working as a lead programmer.

Kent R. Spillner

Your brain is your most important tool. This book helps you hone that tool, and become more skilled at using it.

Mike Hewitson

This is a must-have book for any programmer looking to advance their thinking as a programmer.

Joseph Perenia

During the couple of months since the previous review round, the knowledge and techniques I learned have already helped me a great deal. Not just me, but I have been able to help my colleagues much more effectively, even before reading the chapter about onboarding!

Jaume López
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