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The Imposter's Handbook

(Imposter's Handbook #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Essential Skills and Concepts For The Self-taught Programmer

You've had to learn on the job. New languages, new frameworks, new ways of doing things - a constant struggle just to stay current in the industry. This left no time to learn the foundational concepts and skills that come with a degree in Computer Science.
ebook, 463 pages
Published September 2016 by Big Machine
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Mark Seemann
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: software
Like Rob Conery, I don't have a degree in Computer Science (CS), and despite decades of professional experience with software development, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that which I don't know; in fact, to a degree that I asked my almer mater whether they would accept me as a student on the CS degree. (Unfortunately, since I already have (another) degree, the answer was no.)

While I'm getting fed up with all the talk about impostor syndrome, I can definitely identify with the Dunning-Kruger
Yuri Karabatov
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Turned out to be way less in-depth than expected.
Koen Metsu
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book, it has a bit of everything for everybody, which is also its only drawback.

Because the chapters are nicely isolated, it's really easy to skip/skim through those about topics you already know. On the other hand, the chapters that interested me could've gone deeper on their subjects. It's easy to understand why, given the concept of the book.

Either way, this is a great book for self-taught programmers to tell you about parts of software development you didn't know you were interested
Laura Silvanavičiūtė
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great and easy to read book which with simple examples presents overall Computer Science subject. Topics are not covered in depth but really helps to memorise, get basic understanding or start learning about them.
Despite my Software Engineering degree I still found some new important topics, explanations from different angles and the help to connect already known information.
radhika morabia
DNF. Can't absorb the concepts as well in a book format. Nothing wrong with the book, just not for me.
Fatih Arslan
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't studied CS, but I'm a former EE graduate who moved to work in the Software engineering area. But this book lacks a lot of details and tries to cover to much topics with no followup or good explanation. I don't think this is a good starter book for people who want to learn CS fundamentals.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I deeply respect the courage Rob showed by writing a book on topics he is still learning. This book shows us that even a Rob Conery doesn’t get everything right the first time and that we mere mortal developers are not alone with our struggles to understand complex topics.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t advertised as this ongoing learning experience. Instead, it is marketed as a book to learn the fundamental concepts and skills that come with a degree in Computer Science. That is simply not what
Lindolfo Rodrigues
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2017
Until 70% of the book, I will totally recommend this book to a junior developer that want to know more about development, system administration and database.
What drives me to this book was the "Comp Sci, Baby" chapter It is a good chapter, well writen, but not a life change *for me*.
Before the 70% the book have some chapter about OO Patterns and 0ther patterns and this is the section that I really like, its easy to use for questions like: "How a composite/bridge pattern works?"
I really enjoy
Mattias Brand
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not worth the read for someone fresh out of CS but definitely a must read for developers without CS degree!
Dan Watts
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book gets updated from time-to-time, so some of my review may eventually become outdated.

First the praise: Rob Conery is an entertaining writer, the code samples are simple and short, and the entire book can be read without being in front of a computer. As promised, it covers a wide range of topics, most of which are likely to cover new ground for the reader. Aside from the chapter on Unix, there was nothing in here that was simply an "Introduction to..." write-up that's already been
Bojan Skrchevski
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cs
As someone that has been in the field for over 20 years my expectations about this book were a little bit different, considering how it is advertised("Fill the gaps in your career"?) and the cost. I understand that it is work in progress and to say the task at hand is HUGE is a severe understatement ,but, it's just too superficial and and broad at the current state. No depth at all. It might be a good reference list for a deeper study of our field, but nothing more.

The good stuff:

- There is
Scott Lerch
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: computerscience
I read this book as a refresher and to fill in a few knowledge gaps from my computer science education (e.g. I never took a course on compilers) even though the book really wasn't meant for someone like me.

Overall, it's clearly written with good examples that are easy to understand. My only complaint is I wish it had a bit more detail even though I know it's impossible to have a comprehensive computer science education in one book. So read this book as a jumping off point, I'm pretty sure Rob
Łukasz Godziejewski
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
In general I think this is a good book, especially for people without formal CS education.

Lots of various topics are covered, however usually on a rather high level (which is understandable, as if one would want to deep dive into each topic, one could write a few books about each). I'd say this book is a good way for the reader to identify which areas need more study.

My main issues are:
- the printed edition has some errors, sometimes rather annoying (incorrect code samples - ie. sth is described
Darek Napłoszek
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me, when I was "suffering" from a strong impostor syndrome. I was very excited about this book and finally got my hands on a paper (not digital) copy.

Now I have a mixed feeling about it. It made me more confident, as most of the stuff was familiar to me, thus my impostor syndrome has lessened. It made me more keen to have some fun with unix shell of all things. I have found some more people to follow on github and youtube. And that was good.

However paper version
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
If I had read it when I started my career as self-taught programmer I would have give it five stars. It is a good introduction to several topics that most professional programmers must know about IMHO. But the cover says it is a computer science primer for self-taught programmers and the problem is there are four chapters have nothing about computer science. Moreover the functional programming chapter is really shallow. I would prefer on shallow chapter on programming paradigms or an overview of ...more
Ieva Gr
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical
+ Very easy to read - was looking forward to continue reading as if this was some fictional book;
+ Inspirational - you get to see how excited a person can be about learning new things and technologies and how it is even possible to incorporate those into time with your family;
+ Has some nice practical advice - will definitely get back to the chapter about learning new language when I will finally start doing it;
- Not detail enough to actually learn something directly from it. On the other hand I
Deane Barker
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good look at all the skills you should know but don't if you're developing without a CS degree. My degree was in Political Science (I was going to go to law school), and I'm a self-taught programmer. This book covered a lot of things I sort of knew but had never really studied (especially data structures).

The book is a little uneven at times -- it takes a weirdly detailed detour into how to write a Makefile script at the end, for example -- but is really a great resource for "imposters" who
Jamund Ferguson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic. 10/10. It helped me grasp a lot of concepts that I had missed as a self-taught programmer. Certainly, there is a lot more for me to learn, but this book helped me fill a lot of gaps. I liked the sections on BigO, graph theory, lambda calculus, algorithms, etc. The more I study these algorithms the quicker I can recognize them in the code that I'm writing at work everyday. I would recommend this to anyone that doesn't have a formal background in computer science.

Harish Babu
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is filled with less than introductory mentions of topics that require further research or studying from the reader; which is the intended purpose of the book. I was annoyed with the repeated plug to buy the video tutorials from the author's website. Felt like that didn't need to be repeated with every chapter.

The chapter dedicated to Software Design Principals were out of place and few of the principals were not accurate in my opinion.

The author's enthusiasm and excitement came
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: computer-science
I really wanted to like this book and the premise is awesome. Unfortunately the delivery is poor - very often more confusing (or even inaccurate) than many online resources on the same subject. Indeed if the author had spent more time attempting to source and copy (or link to) the best explanations this would have come out far better. Imposter Syndrome is very real (even with a CS degree) but I'd suggest spending your time on free resources like KhanAcademy, Stanford SEE, or MIT OCW.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I did not understand the purpose of the book. It might be because I'm not the target audience so I'm giving a star more, assuming that it's better for those it was intended for. Still, the weighting of the chapters seems weird. Some code examples were hard to read. Some things seemed really basic, some very little explained (this again could be my non-experience speaking and the author clearly states in his introduction that this book is for experienced programmers).
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Offers a good introduction to the topics of computer science that make up the foundations of computers and coding, but I have to say that I finished some chapters still feeling rather confused over what it is I was supposed to know. Perhaps it's just me, but I had to do lots of side Googling to follow along.
Tiago Taveira
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a nice book with a good round-up of computer science main theories. However, I sense some amateurism because it has a fair deal of spelling mistakes and placeholders in the text. There are also some passages that are repeated... I guess you should wait for new versions before spending 30$ on it.
Alexander Karmes
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
It has a rather good start, but author doesn't go deep into any topics, just giving some basics and / or random details per topic. Second part of the book is very subjective in selection of topics to discuss.
Matt Hartzell
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not as good as I was hoping. The writing is a bit all over the place, and no topic is covered conclusively. There are a lot of "look here for more info" kinds of statements, so I guess if you want to learn more you can do further research.

I certainly do not feel less like of an imposter.
Jason Giles
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you are a self taught developer this book is a must. This puts so many conversations and tutorials I have gone through into context.
Brian Wisti
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Got several pages of notes and a rather long list of other things I want to learn about, which is exactly what I want from an instructional book.
Gary Boland
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A worthy effort that explains some of the fundamentals covered in CS degrees to the audience of the people working in the IT sector without a CS background. Whether you are a systems adminstrator hoping to become a junior-developer or a grizzled IT veteran that would benefit in the theory behind the practice this book provides a good introduction.
Fernando Almeida
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good reading. It introduces computer science concepts using a didactic approach, I expected more depth about some topics (data structures and algorithms, for example), but I am satisfied by the excelent writing style and the quantity and quality of references linked in the book (papers, talks, blog posts, etc).
A fun read! From theoretical to applied
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