Sunday, August 3, 2008

How do I get better?

I just fielded a question from a programmer who wishes to improve his (Haskell) programming skill, and I responded with a reading list (below) and a referral to the Project Euler problems site. But I also see this as an excellent question for myself. How do you, genteel reader, recommend I improve my skill as a coder? Or, put another way, what book, or books, and which article, or articles, so totally transformed you from J. Random Hacker to J. Über Hacker (hacker being coder, or mathematician, or logician, or rule developer, or ...)?

My list is as follows. Would you kindly tell me what I need to read right now so I can see the light as you have?

Books for learning:

The Art of the Metaobject Protocol, Moon, et al
To Mock a Mockingbird, Smullyan
Reasoned Schemer, Bird, et al
Algorithms, a Functional Approach, Rabhi, LaPalme
Genetic Algorithms, Goldberg
How to Solve it, Modern Heuristics, Michalewicz/Fogel
Godel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid, Hofstadter
Prolog Programming for AI, Bratko
(and, after a year of programming in Prolog), Craft of Prolog, O'Keefe
A Grammatical View of Logic Programming, Deransart/Maluszynski
An Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, Russell

Books for Joy:

Testaments Betrayed, Kundera
Last Samurai, DeWitt
Lord of Light, Zelzany
American Gods, Gaiman
Complete Enchanter, de Camp
Moor's Last Sigh, Rushdie


"To Dissect a Mockingbird" article, Keenan
The lambda papers, Steele/Sussman
Growing a language article, Guy Steele
AI Junkie site blog blog
the Monad.Reader (on
Comonad.Reader blog
"What the Hell are Monads?" article, Winstanley
"Monad Transformers, Step by Step" article, Grabmueller
"Generalising Monads to Arrows", Hughes
"Theseus and the Zipper", on the Haskell Wiki
"Escape from Zurg: Exercise in Logic Programming", Erwig
And for language construction/deconstruction: Lazy K, Jot, Iota and Whirl (well, at least they aren't INTERCAL ...), ... I suppose brainf**k should be mentioned here too ...
"The tale of N-categories" serial, starting with week 73, Baez


Anonymous said...

"Consciousness, a very short introduction", by Susan Blackmore, Oxford Press.

Is sweet, short and it explain all the problems associated with the scientific quest for understanding consciousness. I learn a lot from that book.

the link: rapidshare dot com slash files/82444163/Consc_anatevka.rar

Currently I am reading "Making up the mind, or How the brain creates our mental world", by Chris Frith.

My next target: "Dennett´s philosophy", edited by Don Ross and others.

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