- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (May 7, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470121688
- ISBN-13: 978-0470121689
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Puzzles for Programmers and Pros 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Puzzles for Programmers and Pros
Solving puzzles demands a mindset that starts with a vulnerable openness followed by a rigorous drive to find a solution. Whether you're preparing for a programming job interview or just like a challenge, this book takes you on a tour of problem-solving techniques so you can dramatically improve your skills. You'll learn how to conquer simple elimination puzzles like Sudoku and how to apply heuristic techniques to far more complex problems.
Dr. Shasha provides you with the tools to solve several classes of puzzles by handand computer. These include scheduling,strategic, geometric, and probabilistic puzzles. You'll also find a mystery involving codes, bank accounts, and geography that you can solve for the chance to win a prize. The approaches and techniques in this book will help you solve the kind of application puzzles the real world may throw at you.
What you will learn from this book
- How to expand your puzzle-solving abilities and tackle new challenges
Proven steps that will help you quickly progress from basic puzzles to a more advanced level
How to prepare for various types of puzzles presented during a programming interview
Techniques for determining the best solution to a puzzle
Methods for solving puzzles using decryption and combinatorics
Who this book is for
This book is for programmers who need to brush up on their puzzle-solving skills as they prepare for the programming job interview. It is also for anyone who love puzzles and challenges.
Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis Shasha is a professor of Mathematical Sciences in the Department of Computer Science at NYU. Along with research and teaching in biological computing, pattern recognition, database tuning , cryptographic file systems, and the like, Dennis is well-known for his mathematical puzzle column for Dr. Dobbs whose readers are very sharp and his Puzzling Adventures Column for the Scientific American. His puzzle writing has given birth to fictional books about a mathematical detective named Dr. Ecco. Dr. Shasha has also co-authored numerous highly technical books. Dennis speaks often at conferences and is a tireless self-promoter in the world of “mensa-like” puzzles.
Top customer reviews
The language of the book is a bit descriptive, not as formal and precise as I expected. This is a personal preference and I know some folks love this type of language. Given the price and content, I would give it 4 stars.
This book is unique. Unlike other puzzle book, it's dedicated for programmers. And I think doing puzzle from time to time may help improve brain function. Some of the problems can be hard. If you want some simple puzzles for interview, you may also try this book "How would you move mount Fuji? - Microsoft's cult of puzzle".
Overall, I really liked the puzzles in this book. The descriptions of the puzzles are generally not too long (usually a page or two) and the warm-up exercises and its solutions really give you a feel of what to expect ahead. You can easily spent 5-10 minutes reading a puzzle, doing the warm-up exercise, see its solutions and tried to solve the real puzzle the rest of the day, maybe even weeks. But beware that some of the problems are pretty hard. They just seem "impossible" to me.
I agree with some of the readers here that sometimes the language can be a bit vague (e.g. the puzzle "Whipping Ice", I really wasn't sure what the problem is asking until I see at least the solutions to warm-up). Since the book is written for programmers alike, I guess they are written more as puzzles as opposed to mathematics problems that some of the readers may have hoped.
I would imagine how difficult it would be if I were to take the author's "Heuristic Problem Solving" class. Can't imagine the amount of work there is but how fun it can be!
1. I'm kind of sensitive to the puzzles like: "I put two bullets in the chambers of a six shot revolver. I point it at your head and pull the trigger. Click. You are still alive." Please calculate the probability that you'll be dead after next try. Really, if somebody asks me this question on the job interview my answer will be that I prefer to work in the other place. In the next puzzle in this book you'll ask to calculate the probability that all population on the earth will die pretty soon.
2. Author much more shows off how he can solve the puzzles, than teach you how to solve it. He is too verbose and has no respect to the reader.