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Head First Design Patterns [Paperback]

Eric Freeman , Elisabeth Robson , Bert Bates , Kathy Sierra
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 4 2004 Head First

What’s so special about design patterns?

At any given moment, someone struggles with the same software design problems you have. And, chances are, someone else has already solved your problem. This edition of Head First Design Patterns—now updated for Java 8—shows you the tried-and-true, road-tested patterns used by developers to create functional, elegant, reusable, and flexible software. By the time you finish this book, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best design practices and experiences of those who have fought the beast of software design and triumphed.

What’s so special about this book?

We think your time is too valuable to spend struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Design Patterns uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep.

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Head First Design Patterns + Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design: A Brain Friendly Guide to OOA&D + Head First Java
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Product Description


This is a gimmicky book that actually works for once. It is an intelligent and well thought-out discussion of Java design patterns, and if you dont know what a design pattern is then this is an excellent way to find out. It is also an interested discussion of object-oriented design. I found that the authors often anticipated my reaction to their initial explanations and asked the questions that I would have asked had it been a lecture. - Mike James, VSJ, April 2005

About the Author

Eric Freeman is a computer scientist with a passion for media and software architectures and coauthor of Head First Design Patterns. He just wrapped up four years at a dream job-- directing internet broadband and wireless efforts at Disney--and is now back to writing, creating cool software, and hacking Java and Macs.Eric spent a lot of the '90s working on alternatives to the desktop metaphor with David Gelernter (and they're both still asking the question, "Why do I have to give a file a name?"). Based on this work, Eric landed a Ph.D. at Yale University in 1997. He also co-founded Mirror Worlds Technologies (now acquired) to create a commercial version of his thesis work, Lifestreams.

In a previous life, Eric built software for networks and supercomputers. You might know him from such books as JavaSpaces Principles Patterns and Practice. Eric has fond memories of implementing tuple-space systems on Thinking Machine CM-5s and creating some of the first internet information systems for NASA in the late 1980s.

When he's not writing text or code you'll find him spending more time tweaking than watching his home theater and trying to restore a circa 1980s Dragon's Lair video game. He also wouldn't mind moonlighting as an electronica DJ.

Write to him at eric at wickedlysmart dot com or visit him at http://www.ericfreeman.com .

Elisabeth Robson is coauthor of O'Reilly's Head First Design Patterns, Head First HTML and CSS, and Head First JavaScript Programming. She is currently co-founder and principal at WickedlySmart, an education content and technology company.

Bert Bates is a 20-year software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of Sun's upcoming EJB exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer). His background features a long stint in artificial intelligence, with clients like the Weather Channel, A&E Network, Rockwell, and Timken.

Kathy Sierra has been interested in learning theory since her days as a game developer (Virgin, MGM, Amblin'). More recently, she's been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sun's Java instructors how to teach the latest technologies to customers, and a lead developer of several Sun certification exams. Along with her partner Bert Bates, Kathy created the Head First series. She's also the original founder of the Software Development/Jolt Productivity Award-winning javaranch.com, the largest (and friendliest) all-volunteer Java community.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Patterns Book for the Rest of Us June 15 2006
Oh sure, we've all got the Gang-Of-Four Design Patterns books on the shelf, right up there next to Knuth. I'd yank down my dusty copy whenever I needed to look up what a fellow coder meant by Facade or Visitor. (Actually, the short description of the patterns on the inside front cover usually was enough to fake my way through the rest of the conversation.)

In contrast, I charged through Head First Design Patterns in all of about two days. It was my first exposure to the breezy diagram- and photo-laden Head First series. You could consider the non-text portions to be just so much tree-killing fluff, but I found them a pleasant respite from what is, at heart, a pretty dry subject.

There were more than a few times during my reading that I sat back, whistled, and said aloud, "so that's how that works." The book covers the most common patterns from GoF in an incremental order. I was disappointed that some patterns were lumped in the last "Leftover Patterns" chapter because I would've enjoyed the authors' take on them, particularly the Flyweight pattern, a personal fave.

Examples are illustrated using Java. That's definitely an improvement over the templated C++ in GoF, but it does illustrate a failing: the old-school object-oriented languages like C++ and Java needed patterns to solve common problems. The latest batch of OO/functional languages like Python and Ruby have little use for some patterns, and add new patterns all their own. For instance, what use is there for an iterator pattern in Ruby that uses closures to loop? Why bother with factory patterns in languages with first-order functions and class objects?

That opinion aside, patterns are still an everyday matter for the OO practitioner, and Head First Design Patterns is a superb introduction to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great July 14 2014
By Jordan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really great. Highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 5 2014
By Lap Luu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Print copy gets 4 starts. -1 star for the Kindle version due to difficulty viewing diagrams.

Decent book on design patterns, with tons of illustrations and games to help reinforce design patterns. They are repeated in many different ways to help you remember them, though I found its approach childish at times, speaking down to the reader. If you found the Gang of Four book to be dry and academic, this book is precisely the opposite. Tons of pictures. A pi

Get the print copy though. I've gone through this book twice. The first was a print copy that I borrowed from a colleague, but when I participated in a book club, I figured it was time to buy this book for myself. This time I chose the Kindle version because the horrible cover frequently drew comments from my wife and others. The Kindle version does not do well with complex illustrations and class diagrams and requires you to use a computer or colour tablet to get reasonable visibility to the diagrams. Many diagrams on the Kindle are very faint and do not stand out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to dominate OO design patterns Feb. 11 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book to understand OO design patterns and when to use each, this is for you. The stories in the book show how each pattern can be practically used. If you really want to understand various patterns and are not afraid of reading lengthy books, this is a good investment!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Aug. 20 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book the learn design patterns while "having fun".
This book doesn't overwhelm you with scientific terms and what not.

Great book for starters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple July 9 2012
By Andreas
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is absolutely simple. Exercises are fairly helpful. Small asides are good reminders for the concepts.

Overall a great book for programmers that never use design patterns but still get GoF for a much deeper understanding of these patterns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Easy to Understand June 6 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Head First Design Patterns gets you up to speed on this vital topic. Perfect for the beginner and an excellent resource for even the most accomplished OO designer this book provides easy-to-understand examples, and covers a wide range of patterns. If you are looking for a book that you can truly learn from then this book is for you.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Never learned so much so fast
While I think it greatly helps that this book happens to fit my skill level perfectly (I know everything it assumes I know, and I don't know most of what it assumes I don't know),... Read more
Published on May 9 2012 by Sahuagin
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for beginners and experienced alike
Head First Design Patterns is an outstanding book. I first encountered this book when a friend loaned me his copy when I was in a bit of a time crunch. Read more
Published on April 29 2012 by C. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars For begginners and advanced ones
I loved the approach this book presents us: we build the patterns ourselves, facing the challenges proposed, coding together with the authors. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2011 by Petula
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Great book for first steps in Design Patterns. It was recommended by my teacher in my software engineering class.
Published on Feb. 27 2010 by A. Joyal
5.0 out of 5 stars Head First Design Patterns
Great book for beginner to go through design pattern without boring yourself. The diagram and little conversation style is very interesting. Read more
Published on June 19 2009 by Guo Jianhua
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, fun and enjoyable
I have over 4 years of experience with programming and through all this years I've read many books that try to explain Design Patterns; I got to master Design Patterns after I read... Read more
Published on April 29 2009 by Jorge L. Pedret
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