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Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide Paperback – Nov 4 2004
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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 recently ended nearly a decade as a media company executive, having held the position of CTO of Disney Online & Disney.com at The Walt Disney Company. Eric is now devoting his time to WickedlySmart.com and lives with his wife and young daughter in Austin, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University.
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.
From the Publisher
What you’ll find in Head First Design Patterns, 2014:
The core design principles and design patterns—everything you need to take your programming skills to the next level.
The same great visual explanations and brain-friendly learning style you’re used to from Head First, with exercises and challenges so the design patterns really sink in.
Updated code! The code for all the examples and exercises now compiles and runs with Java 8.
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Top customer reviews
Very good read, and excellent reference for the future.
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.
Even without completing all of the multi-discipline evaluation tests (from crosswords to sketches) I found the retention level of this book to be extremely high. The authors clearly had fun letting their geek humour loose - it really helps with what can sometimes be an inaccessible subject matter.
My only criticism would be aimed at one or two of the examples. I enjoyed the story telling and settings, but whilst I sympathise with the paradox of needing to provide examples, some were verging on bad design (e.g. coffee decorator!). But I think the authors state regularly the real merits of the patterns, so I for one will let this slide.
Great. Well considered and takes the original GoF Design Patterns book forward.
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