Are Your Lights On?
Are Your Lights On?
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Are Your Lights On?

Last updated on 2014-07-26

About the Book

The fledgling problem solver invariably rushes in with solutions before taking time to define the problem being solved. Even experienced solvers, when subjected to social pressure, yield to this demand for haste. When they do, many solutions are found, but not necessarily to the problem at hand.

Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this powerful little book will make you a more effective problem solver. Anyone involved in product and systems development will appreciate this practical illustrated guide, which was first published in 1982 and has since become a cult classic.

Offering such insights as "A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived," and "In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for," authors Don Gause and Jerry Weinberg provide an entertaining look at ways to improve one's thinking power. The book playfully instructs the reader first to identify the problem, second to determine the problem's owner, third to identify where the problem came from, and fourth to determine whether or not to solve it.

Delightfully illustrated with 55 line drawings by Sally Cox, the book conveys a message that will change the way you think about projects and problems.

About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

Bundles that include this book

Perfect Software
Handbook of Technical Reviews, Fourth Edition
General Systems Thinking
The Aremac Project
Are Your Lights On?
$83.92
Suggested Price
$49.99
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Are Your Lights On?
What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback
Exploring Requirements One
Exploring Requirements Two
Becoming a Change Artist
$66.93
Suggested Price
$49.99
Bundle Price

Table of Contents

  • Are Your Lights On?
    • Preface
    • PART 1: What is the problem?
    • Chapter 1. A Problem
    • Chapter 2. Peter Pigeonhole Prepares a Petition
    • Chapter 3. What’s Your Problem?
    • Chapter 4. Billy Brighteyes bests the bidders.
    • Chapter 5. Billy bites his tongue
    • Chapter 6. Billy Back to the Bidders
    • Chapter 7. The endless chain
    • Chapter 8. Missing the misfit
    • Chapter 9. Landing on the level
    • Chapter 10. Mind your meaning
    • Chapter 11. Smoke gets in your eyes
    • Chapter 12. The campus that was all spaced out
    • Chapter 13. The lights at the end of the tunnel.
    • Chapter 14. Janet Jaworski joggles a jerk.
    • Chapter 15. Mister Matczyszyn mends the matter.
    • Chapter 16. Make-works and take-credits.
    • Chapter 17. Examinations and other puzzles.
    • Chapter 18. Tom Tireless tinkers with toys.
    • Chapter 19. Patience plays politics.
    • Chapter 20. A priority assignment.

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