Introduction: First Principles Thinking

Let's cover what first principles thinking is and how it helps you to dispel myths.

What is first principle thinking?

First Principles Thinking (FPT) starts from unequivocal base facts and builds up toward some vision or explanation of reality. It involves reasoning by deduction rather than by analogy or appeal to authority. It’s been called the "dumbest thing smart people do.

Big O Notation and FPT

Big O Notation is many developers’ first brush with FPT. As a developer, learning to reason from first principles makes you see the bigger picture behind all the engineering work you do, from project estimation to technology evaluation. As you get comfortable with your tools, you should start to look beyond them toward their underlying patterns and limitations. This is one of the key transitions you will make in the transition from junior to senior.

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