Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware

Notes and reevaluation of notes while reading the book. Conclusions I have gathered from reading while over looking some of the things I do well already.

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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware by Mind Map: Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware

1. Take notes

1.1. Chinese proverb is correct

1.1.1. "The palest ink is better than the best memory"

1.2. Start and Maintain an engineer's log of notes

1.2.1. Design Meetings

1.2.2. Coding Questions and Solutions

1.2.3. etc..

1.3. Put a marker next to older entries any time you have to go back and use it

1.3.1. Attempting to use flags Black 1-2 Blue 3-4 Green 5-6 Yellow 7-8 Red 9+

1.3.2. Wonder if there is a common standard/icon ppl would better recognize?

1.4. Store thoughts and notes in a wiki

1.4.1. Free your mind from trying to remember simple ideas

1.4.2. Throwing items on an online wiki keeps them at your finger tips anywhere

1.4.3. Tossing random ideas somewhere will add up You can start to connect ideas together and form relationships You would normally never make these connections with thoughts so spread apart and hard to recall

1.4.4. Spring Pad is a much better solution to this -

1.4.5. Einstein had thousands of books and said he would never try to learn how many feet were in a mile because you can easily look that information up

2. Consider the Context

2.1. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. - John Muir

2.1.1. Everything is interconnected Put the problem/thoughts into the current context You can spin wheels in the wrong direction without context

3. R Brain

3.1. Definition

3.1.1. Your right mind Part of your brain that is running but you are not conscious of Artistic side of your brain Intuition

3.2. Pair programming

3.2.1. R brain for navigator

3.2.2. L brain for driver

3.3. Morning Pages

3.3.1. Will let your sleeping R brain talk to your conscious self 3 pages minimum hand written uncensored pages do first thing BEFORE doing ANYTHING else

3.4. Try different things

3.4.1. Watch a different genre of movie

3.4.2. Read different genre of book

3.4.3. Try new coffee's etc

3.5. Engaging It

3.5.1. Use Metaphors to engage R Brain

3.5.2. Drawing a familiar object with forcefulness of not recognizing the objects engages R brain

3.5.3. Ask yourself a question, clode your eyes, comprehend the pictures that come to mind Try to describe them in words out loud Use present tense Gets your two brains talking to eachother If having difficulty seeing an image Artificially create one

3.5.4. Random Juxtaposition Po Technique Take a word from your subject area and combine it with a completely random, unrelated word Ex: 'Cigarette' and 'Traffic Light.' Concept of using a red band on the cigarette as a stop smoking add

4. Solving Tough Problems

4.1. Focus on a (sub)problem desired to solve

4.1.1. Go take a walk In an area without having to think about the area Labyrinth Simple park path

4.1.2. Try not to focus on anything Clearing your conscious mind may let your R brain talk to your L brain

4.2. Change your viewpoint

4.2.1. Turn the problem on its side/head

4.2.2. Ask the opposite question If your trying to find a bug How would you make this bug appear in a few different ways

4.2.3. Involve more senses Alert other senses like touch and taste to try to trigger your R brain to help out Represent the problem with legos Use analogies with scents

4.3. Define your argument

4.3.1. Can you define the opposite? Forces a different mind set and a better understanding of what your argument is not or is missing that you may have overlooked

4.4. Let thoughts marinate

4.4.1. Rule of threes Think of three solutions Think of three ways a plan could go wrong Let these threes marinate and let your R brain conclude them on its own Let the answer come to you

5. Set SMART Objectives

5.1. Definition

5.1.1. Specific

5.1.2. Measurable

5.1.3. Achievable

5.1.4. Relevant

5.1.5. Time-Boxed

5.2. To Reach Goals

6. Read Deliberately

6.1. Write down initial questions that you expect the book to answer

6.1.1. Write the answers as you discover them

6.2. Reread and recite parts

6.2.1. If you lose context after taking a break Read the previous section again Regain the knowledge that you may have forgot Gain context for the new material

7. Focus

7.1. Practice Meditation to gain focus 24x7

7.1.1. Focus Mediation Find a quiet place and focus on your breathing Be aware of the rythm of your breath, the length and qualities of the inhale, the brief pause at the top of the cycle, the qualities of the exhale, and the brief pause at the bottom. Don't try to change it; just be aware Keep your mind focused on the breath Do no use words Do not verbalize Do not begin a conversation with yourself After staying focused, deliberately take control of you breathing Lower belly/abdomen Chest / rib cage Upper chest/collar bone Pause for a second at each part and exhale normally

7.2. Stay in Context

7.2.1. Real multi-tasking is BAD Proven switching context's can take 20 min to recover Constant interruption can drop IQ by 10 points A join only drops IQ by 4 points

7.2.2. Distraction Management Email Management Set scheduled times to check email daily Hide notifications If you plan on doing email, plan on doing email When getting interrupted Durring the interruption lag

8. First Steps Check List

8.1. Start taking responsibility; don’t be afraid to ask “why?” or “how do you know?” or “how do I know?” or to answer “I don’t know—yet.”

8.2. Pick two things that will help you maintain context and avoid interruption, and start doing them right away.

8.3. Create a Pragmatic Investment Plan, and set up SMART goals.

8.4. Figure out where you are on the novice-to-expert spectrum in your chosen profession and what you might need to progress. Be honest. Do you need more recipes or more context? More rules or more intuition?

8.5. Practice. Having trouble with a piece of code? Write it five different ways

8.6. Plan on making more mistakes—mistakes are good. Learn from them.

8.7. Keep a notebook on you (unlined paper, preferably). Doodle. Mind map. Take notes. Keep your thoughts loose and flowing.

8.8. Open up your mind to aesthetics and additional sensory input. Whether it’s your cubicle, your desktop, or your code, pay attention to how “pleasing” it is.

8.9. Start your personal wiki on things you find interesting.

8.10. Start blogging. Comment on the books you’ve read.

8.11. Read more books, and you’ll have more to write about. Use SQ3R and mind maps.

8.12. Make thoughtful walking a part of your day.

8.13. Get a second monitor, and start using a virtual desktop.

9. Five Dreyfus Model Stages

9.1. Novice

9.1.1. needs rules

9.1.2. Don't want to learn Want to accomplish

9.1.3. Learns by watching and imitating

9.2. Advanced Beginners

9.2.1. Can start doing tasks on their own

9.2.2. Wants information fast but not to be bogged down in theory or the simple basics

9.3. Competent

9.3.1. Can troubleshoot problems on their own

9.3.2. Seek out and solve problems

9.3.3. Can still have trouble identifying which details to focus on

9.4. Proficient

9.4.1. Want to understand larger concepts

9.4.2. Frustrated at over simplification of information

9.4.3. Can reflect on what they have done and revise their approach

9.5. Experts

9.5.1. Vast body of information

9.5.2. Always looking for better methods of doing things

9.5.3. Heavy intuition looks like magic Restricting ability to utilize intuition will damage the effectiveness of an expert

9.5.4. != Teacher Can often be a bad teacher Intuition does not explain how/why they solved the problem a certain way

9.5.5. 10 Years of experience minimum