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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware


Cover image for Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

Refactor Your Wetware


Software development happens in your head. Not in an editor, IDE, or design
tool. You’re well educated on how to work with software and hardware, but what about wetware—our own brains? Learning new skills and new technology is critical to your career, and it’s all in your head.

In this book by Andy Hunt, you’ll learn how our brains are wired, and how to take advantage of your brain’s architecture. You’ll learn new tricks and tips
to learn more, faster, and retain more of what you learn.

You need a pragmatic approach to thinking and learning. You need to Refactor Your Wetware.

Printed in full color.

Customer Reviews

I can say without any hesitation it has joined my short-list of ‘must read’ programmer books. If you are a programmer and you haven’t read this book stop. Now. Yes, now. Go get the book here and start reading. What are you doing? Why are you still reading this? I said now!

- Gregory Long

, Los Techies review

I’ve recommended it to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen to me. I was familiar with some of the ideas and techniques from my various readings on the science of learning, but its invaluable to have them gathered in one concise book, especially one geared towards developers.

- Dr. Paul V. Gestwicki

Professor & Director of Undergraduate Programs, Ball State University

A delight to read…it could be a perfect gift for your favorite geek this holiday season.

- Joyce Carpenter

, ComputerWorld

…[this book] will be the catalyst of your future as a software engineer.

- patrick elder

Filled with quite interesting statements and useful tips that will probably keep lingering on in your brain for quite a while. The insights into the human brain that the book provides seem to make a lot of sense, and explain a lot of real-life experiences.

- Remko Tronçon

This has been fun and I’ve learned a lot—can’t ask for more than that!

- Linda Rising

Patterns and Object-Oriented Expert

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning is a FANTASTIC BOOK! It’s in there with 7 Habits and the Dale Carnegie(s) and Think and Grow Rich and On Intelligence, all at the top of the heap.

- Bruce Langenbach

IT Consultant

I’ve always been looking for something to help me improve my learning skills, but i’ve never found anything as effective as this book.

- Oscar Del Ben

Software Developer

Absolutely terrific! I’m only beginning the 3rd chapter and I’ve already found the book VERY, VERY useful. It makes me look at what I am doing and how I do it in a different light.

- Carol Saah

Java Software Developer

Loved the beta book. Can’t wait for the last few chapters to come out.

- Michael Doornbos

, Imapenguin

Finished reading the beta last night. I loved this talk at NFJS (and the herding racehorses one), and to have it in book form—spectacular.
All of this material has really changed my life! Mostly for the better :-)

- Matt McKnight

See All Reviews

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Contents & Extracts

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Full Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Journey From Novice to Expert: Use the Dreyfus Model on the road to expertise
  • This is Your Brain: Linear-mode and Rich-mode cognitive processing
  • Get in your Right Mind: Cultivating Rich-mode processes
  • Debug Your Mind: Recognizing and avoiding cognitive biases
  • Learn Deliberately: Practical techniques to learn more, faster, and more effectively
  • Gain Experience: See how to maximize learning from your experience
  • Manage Focus: Better manage attention, knowledge, and context
  • Beyond Expertise: What to do tomorrow

(Click on the mind map image for a larger version)


Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher. He
co-authored the best-selling book “The Pragmatic Programmer”, was
one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded the
Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically acclaimed
books for software developers.