The Tao of FizzBuzz
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The Tao of FizzBuzz

An introduction to real-world programming and problem solving for the rest of us

About the Book


The main goal of the book is to provide an entry point to real-world problem solving. Do you not know where to start or how to keep going if you encounter issues? This is where you can get the help you need to get unstuck. Or, more accurately, how you can help yourself.

Learn how to build solutions from scratch, do and evaluate self-guided research online, and so much more. The GRIT approach guides the way. These are the four milestones that get featured time and time again: goal, research, implementation, test. GRIT is exemplified throughout the book to instill the problem solving mindset, allowing you to be ready for anything that gets thrown your way.

A secondary goal is to provide the basis for teaching or coaching others how to do what you have mastered, learning even more in the process.

The book is divided in two parts, the first has you working through the basics on your own, the second involves the use of AI Chatbots like ChatGPT or Bing Chat to speed up everything and to let computers take care of the boring stuff.

Notes and updates

Currently: adding content to chapter 6 and beyond.

April 2024 update: changed scope to include AI Chatbots

Known issues:

* Formatting needs more fixes (like multi-line code comments)

The lessons of the book are being applied to the writing, which will lead to further iteration on the content, both in quality and quantity. You may want to hold off on reading if you enjoy the finished product.

The first version of the book dates back to 2018, so I definitely have not been making the progress I wanted to make. I will be adding a section on procrastination, burnout, and other non-technical barriers.

About the Author

Bjorn Millecam
Bjorn Millecam

Bjorn lives in Belgium and is currently a DevOps engineer. He likes to explore fictional universes. Of particular interest is immersion and flow in games.

On a more technical note: Bjorn prefers gradual change, like fixing bugs and updating documentation, over starting from scratch. The non-capitalized agile approach, if you will. He derives great pleasure from speeding up applications, especially if the end users share his appreciation for the improvements.

After graduating from university, he worked for companies of various sizes, both in the private sector and in government. He developed device management software for networked video walls and custom tools for end-to-end processing of large amounts of geographical data. Such experiences fueled his desire to shrink the gaps between tech and business, and the one between formal education and the real world.

When forced to choose, he'd pick chocolate over beer. Or waffles. Everyone likes waffles. Right?

Table of Contents

  • Solve problems with code
    • The first chapter
    • The goal
    • The assumptions
    • Related work
    • Intermezzo
    • The reader
    • Context
    • The Tao of FizzBuzz
    • AppliedGRIT Exemplified
    • On experience
    • About the notes
    • The next chapter
  • Apply GRIT
    • The second chapter
    • Introduction
    • On research
    • Sources of knowledge
    • A high-level approach
    • The next chapter
  • Hello World
    • The third chapter
    • Diving in quickly
    • Talk to the machine
    • A paradigm shift
    • From code to executable
    • The next chapter
  • D-actions
    • The fourth chapter
    • Do
    • Define
    • Divide (and conquer)
    • Defer
    • Delegate
    • Delete
    • Specific supporting actions
    • Debugging
    • Automated testing
    • The next chapter
  • FizzBuzz
    • The fifth chapter
    • A mildly realistic goal
    • On research and where to look
    • A wild implementation appeared
    • Let’s talk numbers
    • The next chapter
  • AI Chatbots and GRIT
    • The sixth chapter
    • Getting started with AI Chatbots
    • Reapplied GRIT
  • A new Hello World
    • The seventh chapter
    • Baseline example
    • Specific programming language and documentation
    • Programming language versions
    • Inline documentation
    • Iterative improvement and expansion
  • AI Chatbots and D-actions
    • The eighth chapter
    • D-actions revisited
    • Developer tasks
  • FizzBuzz Squared
    • The ninth chapter
    • Interactivity
    • Persistence
    • Other ideas
  • The future
    • The tenth chapter
    • Working with others
    • Architectural considerations
    • Abstraction
  • Notes

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