Thinking Like a Programmer

A large goal of this Nanodegree program is to give you practice thinking like a computer programmer. Longtime programmers will often talk about how the programming thought process has helped them in other areas of their life, but what does it mean to "think like a programmer?" In this Nanodegree program we will focus on five specific ways of thinking that all programmers have to use all the time. We will come back to these ideas repeatedly throughout the Nanodegree program.

1. Procedural Thinking
Procedural thinking involves creating perfectly clear and unambiguous instructions for a computer to follow.

It may be easy to tell a person how to sort a deck of cards, but getting a computer to do that requires more thought. But once you've learned to think this way you'll find that computers can do it much faster.

2. Abstract Thinking
Abstract thinking means finding similarity, or as programmers would say, generality amongst seemingly different things.

In this Nanodegree pr…

Book Resume - The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership BY JOHN C. MAXWELL


“Many people view leadership the same way they view success, hoping to go as far as they can, to climb the ladder, to achieve the highest position possible for their talent. But contrary to conventional thinking, I believe the bottom line in leadership isn't how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives.”
The quote above sums up the foundation of the 21 laws and the philosophy behind them. Based on 40 years of leadership and the observations of successful leaders in business, politics, sports, and other industries, these principles are the core elements of being a leader. The laws are based on the premise that leadership is not just about a business or organization, but also about self-development and the development of others.


1.     The Law of the Lid

The ability to lead determines a person’s level of effectiveness.
That level of effectiveness is the “lid” on personal and organizat…

Book Resume - On Becoming a Leader BY WARREN BENNIS


“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It’s precisely that simple, and it’s also that difficult."
Like most good books on leadership, this one makes it clear that developing the skills of a leader is very much about self-development. A leader must know himself and the climate in which he leads. That climate includes circumstances, other people, policies, and a host of other factors. To become a leader, we must understand the rules of the game AND know how to play it.


Mastering the Context

All situations that require leadership have a specific context that impacts decisions. Many leaders allow the situation itself to have too much influence on their decisions. To lead effectively, a leader must make decisions based on the big picture and not on current circumstances.

Bennis uses the story of Norman Lear, a leader in television production, to make his point. Lear created shows that went against the norm of sitcoms in the 60's. He understood th…

Book Resume - The First 90 Days BY MICHAEL D. WATKINS


A lot of professionals are familiar with taking over in a new position or a new company, and the first 90 days can determine success or failure. This book provides proven strategies to make those 90 days count. The framework here applies to start-ups and established businesses and helps anyone successfully take on a new role. To jump-start a new position, there are five focus points for diagnosing the new situation, creating strategies, and taking control quickly.


Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It's critical to self-evaluate strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to the responsibilities of the new role before creating a 90-day plan. By relating current skills to the specifics of the new role, it creates a smoother, faster transition and increases the chances of success.

It's important to remember that what may seem like strengths can sometimes be interpreted as weaknesses in a new role. While having attention to detail may have been a strength …

Book Resume - The Five Dysfunctions of a Team BY PATRICK LENCIONI


This book focuses on how team dynamics can make or break a company. Written as a leadership fable, this story follows a leader and his team as they struggle with the dysfunctional behaviors that will probably be familiar to most professionals. The company has great people with talent but just can't compete because morale is low and the team members just can't agree on common goals.

“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
The team is unable to make important decisions, and the company is losing the battle for market share. By identifying the five dysfunctions that are disabling the team, the leader eventually eliminates the issues holding everyone back and turns a dysfunctional group into an effective, committed team.


Absence of Trust

Trust among a team means all the members can show their weaknesses and be vulnerable without fear tha…



There's really no other way to put it. This book is 'the' handbook for building great teams. There is no fluff, no elaborate theories. Only practical advice proven to work. Managers and leaders already know how important a team can be and they know how hard it is to build a great one. This book has all the tools for building those great teams.

“To succeed, organizations must rely on the knowledge, skills, experience, and perspective of a wide range of people to solve multifaceted problems, make good decisions, and deliver effective solutions. This is where dynamic, productive teams can make the difference.”
Full of useful templates and step-by-step guidelines, this a workbook in the best sense of the word. There's lots of white space for notes and plenty of worksheets to help keep everything together. Each area of team development, team management, and team dynamics is covered in great detail.


To build effective teams, it's important first to deter…

Book Resume - The Art of War BY SUN TZU


The Art of War was written by a Chinese general named Sun Tzu more than 2,500 years ago. Revered for its practical advice on warfare, the lessons here apply to anyone who leads others. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of war, along with practical advice for leading effectively. Three of the more important elements of success in battle, leadership, strategy, and tactics, are critical for victory.



The first chapters focus on leading effectively, not just in regards to strategy and tactics, but in how to instill confidence and purpose in followers. The focus here is on being strong and confident, but also on caring and being responsible for the well-being of others.

There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:

Recklessness, which leads to destruction.
Cowardice, which leads to capture.
A hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults.
A delicacy of honor, which is sensitive to shame.
Over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to wo…