The test manager dropped this on my desk, assuming I’d like it and right he was. The subtitle promises a story about computer science and other improbable things – without any actual computer making an appearance in the book! Instead, we follow Laurie’s adventures, who get’s lost in the woods and finds herself emerging into userland. In trying to find her way back home, she encounters a whole myriad of interesting characters along the way – the chameleon-lizard-dinosaur XOR who can change color all /but/ to blend in or the wandering salesman who’s always in a hurry visiting every town only once. Helping the pirate/mailwoman Winsome Losesome building up an alternative network of communication using telescopes, Laurie finds herself visiting all the lighthouses scattered throughout the sea and coastline, and if you thought lighthouses are all tall, white towers, well – think again.
It’s the beauty of the book, it takes basic concepts of thoughts and problem solving (often ones very popular or derived from computer science) and introduces them in a creative and fun way. This makes it a fun read not only for 8+ years old but also a great find for testers; constantly throughout the story, Laurie first learns a concept, than applies it, but she also ends up learning to question it, finding that not every method is right for everybody all the time – it depends on context. Aha!
Image: © Carlos Bueno: Lauren Ipsum: a story about computer science and other improbable things. Illustrations and Cover by Miran Lipovača / Ytaelena Lopez.