SUCH A GREAT BOOK!
"I really recommend Rob Conery's "The Imposter's Handbook" as a great way to reinforce those fundamentals and core concepts. Rob has been programming for years but without a CS degree. This book is about all the things he learned and all the gaps that got filled in while he was overwhelmed."
Staying silent when the conversation goes over your head sucks. You've got this.
DON’T HAVE A CS DEGREE? NEITHER DO I! That’s why I wrote these books: to fill the gaps in my career. The result? Two volumes and 700+ pages of essentials skills and ideas every developer should know.
I'm a self-taught developer, and for most of my career, I've learned what was required to get the job done. When conversations veered toward core concepts, I disengaged.
I decided to change all of this in 2014. I looked up all of the topics that a typical CS degree covers and then I dove in. Halfway through, I decided to write a book about what I was learning.
What You'll Learn from Season 1
In 2014 I spent a year studying the fundamentals I never learned as a self-taught programmer. I began writing down what I was learning in December, 2015 and at first I figured it could be a series of blog posts, but then decided to go deeper and write a book. In August of 2016 I released the first version and it took off. Here's what I wrote about:
In Season 2, we covered the things that fascinated us
From binary to crypto, Information Theory to prefix-free codes, Scott and I dug into the topics that we've been asked (and have asked) in interviews and that have come up in routine conversation.
- 1Logic, Binary and Logical Circuits
We start simply, looking at Aristotle's "Laws of Thought" and then George Boole's translation of those laws into mathematics (Boolean Algebra). We then meet Claude Shannon, who took things a step further by implementing boolean logic with electrical circuits.
- 2Compression and Encoding
We'll get to know Claude Shannon, who kicked off the Information Age with his masterpiece: A Mathematical Theory of Communication. We'll see how this paper laid the foundation for data compression, error correction, and digital networks as we know them.
- 3Encryption and Cryptanalysis
Now that we can transmit information, we need to protect it. We dive into simple enciphering schemes, from Bacon's biliteral encryption all the way through to SHA-1, MD5 and beyond. We also deviate for a bit and look at how cracking software works, such as THC-Hydra and Brutus.
- 4Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
A controversial topic, but one that you should understand. I didn't know anything about Bitcoin, Blockchain etc. except for the constant snark coming from the hype-averse. Is it worth understanding? Does Blockchain have something to offer? Let's learn the details and decide for ourselves.
I LOVE THESE BOOKS!
"The Imposter's Handbook is a great resource for *any* programmer, self-taught or otherwise."
Written By a Human for Other Humans
Reading about Computer Science concepts can be a bit challenging. Academics construct sentences like an engineer might build a bridge and casual bloggers don't typically take more than 30 minutes to write a post and even then they forget the most crucial details.
My goal with this book was to make it a nice, long conversation where you and I wander through computer science history and get to know the concepts in our own time. I wrote, then rewrote, then rewrote AGAIN with the goal of making each chapter as straightforward and human as possible.
I also busted out my iPad Pro and doodled my heart out as drawing things helps me understand and helps me use fewer words
"The problem you're facing is classic O(n^2)..."
I was at a conference in Las Vegas in 2009, at a social event with other speakers. Two of them started talking animatedly about a routine that was O(n^2) vs. O(n). I had no idea what they were talking about and wanted to hide.
Turns out: Big-O is actually pretty simple! We step through multiple examples, including the dreaded Fibonacci, to see how many different ways we can code the same routine, all with a different Big-O.
"Traverse this family tree and tell me which heir..."
I was interviewing for a job at a giant tech company and was asked a question about the most efficient way to find out which heir of a royal family was next in line to the throne. There were rules to follow etc but I had no idea ... none... zero.
I started to sweat and I felt really dumb. I didn't get the job.
Turns out this is binary tree traversal and it's not that hard! Hopefully you'll think so too and you'll end up better than I did in your next interview.
YOU GUYS, THIS WAS SO WORTH IT! IT'S OFF DA CHAIN!
"I am being schooled right now and it feels like good! I cannot recommend this too much for people like myself who never went to college for compsci but wishing for proper understanding of significant concepts.."
A Quick Video with More Information
I like making videos so if you're a visual person like I am, kick back and I'll do my best to explain what's in The Imposter's Handbook, both seasons 1 and 2.