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The Elements of Computing Style

2014/03/06

I bought The Elements of Computing Style on an impulse, mainly because it is written by dds and I do not own any of his other books. So I did not even pay attention to the subtitle:

190+ Tips for Busy Knowledge Workers

So what I expected was a book with advise on writing code, or on choosing certain algorithms for solutions of certain (small compared to Big Data) sizes. But this is a productivity book of another kind. It offers advise from when to read email in order to make the most of your available worktime to whether your chair should have arms or not and why. It is written in a clear flowing style and if you’ve ever heard dds speak, you almost listen his voice while reading it. It is not heavy stuff and this makes it an excellent companion for the bus.

Given my aversion to certain word processors I particularly enjoyed advise on how to handle documents with them and picked up a few helpful tips along the way. Travelling advise was fun even though it does not affect me and I find chapter 2 (Work Habits) the most important one since it offers ways to deal with interruptions of the flow:

It can take us more than 15 minutes to enter into such a state of focused attention, and only a trivial interruption to exit from it.

Best advise from the book: LOG YOUR CHANGES

The book is available from Lean Publications which makes it an interesting experiment as it has both a minimum and a suggested price and as you decide how much you’re going to pay for it, you are immediately informed how much of your money goes directly to the author.

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