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Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design [Paperback]

Brett D. McLaughlin , Gary Pollice , Dave West
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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New! Introducing the, a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry. > Shop now

Book Description

December 4, 2006 0596008678 978-0596008673 1
"Head First Object Oriented Analysis and Design is a refreshing look at subject of OOAD. What sets this book apart is its focus on learning. The authors have made the content of OOAD accessible and usable for the practitioner."
--Ivar Jacobson, Ivar Jacobson Consulting

"I just finished reading HF OOA&D and I loved it! The thing I liked most about this book was its focus on why we do OOA&D-to write great software!"
--Kyle Brown, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

"Hidden behind the funny pictures and crazy fonts is a serious, intelligent, extremely well-crafted presentation of OO Analysis and Design. As I read the book, I felt like I was looking over the shoulder of an expert designer who was explaining to me what issues were important at each step, and why."
--Edward Sciore, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Boston College

Tired of reading Object Oriented Analysis and Design books that only makes sense after you're an expert? You've heard OOA&D can help you write great software every time-software that makes your boss happy, your customers satisfied and gives you more time to do what makes you happy. But how?
Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design shows you how to analyze, design, and write serious object-oriented software: software that's easy to reuse, maintain, and extend; software that doesn't hurt your head; software that lets you add new features without breaking the old ones. Inside you will learn how to:
  • Use OO principles like encapsulation and delegation to build applications that are flexible
  • Apply the Open-Closed Principle (OCP) and the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) to promote reuse of your code
  • Leverage the power of design patterns to solve your problems more efficiently
  • Use UML, use cases, and diagrams to ensure that all stakeholders are communicating clearly to help you deliver the right software that meets everyone's needs.

By exploiting how your brain works, Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design compresses the time it takes to learn and retain complex information. Expect to have fun, expect to learn, expect to be writing great software consistently by the time you're finished reading this!

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Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design + Head First Design Patterns + Head First Java, 2nd Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A Brain-Friendly Guide to OOA&D

About the Author

Brett McLaughlin is a bestselling and award-winning non-fiction author. His books on computer programming, home theater, and analysis and design have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. He has been writing, editing, and producing technical books for nearly a decade, and is as comfortable in front of a word processor as he is behind a guitar, chasing his two sons and his daughter around the house, or laughing at reruns of Arrested Development with his wife.

Brett spends most of his time these days on cognitive theory, codifying and expanding on the learning principles that shaped the Head First series into a bestselling phenomenon. He's curious about how humans best learn, why Star Wars was so formulaic and still so successful, and is adamant that a good video game is the most effective learning paradigm we have.

Gary Pollice is a self-labeled curmudgeon (that's a crusty, ill- tempered, usually old man) who spent over 35 years in industry trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up. Even though he hasn't grown up yet, he did make the move in 2003 to the hallowed halls of academia where he has been corrupting the minds of the next generation of software developers with radical ideas like, "develop software for your customer, learn how to work as part of a team, design and code quality and elegance and correctness counts, and it's okay to be a nerd as long as you are a great one." Gary is also a co-author of Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design.Gary is a Professor of Practice (meaning he had a real job before becoming a professor) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He went to WPI because he was so impressed with the WPI graduates that he's worked with over the years. He lives in central Massachusetts with his wife, Vikki, and their two dogs, Aloysius and Ignatius. When not working on geeky things he ... well he's always working on geeky things. You can see what he's up to by visiting his WPI home page at Feel free to drop him a note and complain or cheer about the book.

Dave West would like to describe himself as sheik geek. Unfortunately no one else would describe him in that way. They would say he is a professional Englishman who likes to talk about software development best practices with the passion and energy of an evangelical preacher. Recently Dave has moved to Ivar Jacobson Consulting, where he runs the Americas and can combine his desire to talk about software development and spread the word on rugby and football, and argue that cricket is more exciting that baseball.Before running the Americas for Ivar Jacobson Consulting, Dave worked for a number of years at Rational Software (now a part of IBM). Dave held many positions at Rational and then IBM, including Product Manager for RUP where he introduced the idea of process plug-ins and agility to RUP. Dave still laments the days when he use to sit in a cube and write software in the city of London. This is where he believes he cut his teeth writing big insurance systems with nothing but a green screen and a process flow chart.

Dave can be contacted at, and if he is not with customers or drinking warm beer with his friends in Boston, he will email you back.

Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 636 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008673
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Introduction to OOA&D March 6, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like the Head First series, and even Head Rush, for its innovative and fun approach for introductory software topics. I've had small concerns on all of them but I have never been as ambivalent as I have for this book. I know a big part of this problem was that it was rewritten expeditious (I am still not sure of the reason why) and it shows throughout the book with spelling, logic and code errors.

You can tell that the first chapter was rushed. There are several spelling and programming mistakes. The most egregious is where they ask you to look through some code to find what "FIRST" you change and then they answer that question with a much smaller problem (the main problem was they forgot to add a return statement (pg.5) and they write about the inconsistency of using String based searching). It has also been mentioned by several reviewers of the use of the method name "matches" which only makes sense for regex not for an equals operation. I also did not like the search example (how can you not think of price in a search?). The best part of this chapter is the mantra that should be practiced by many engineers: "Make sure your software does what the customer wants it to do."

The next few chapters are definitely better (though still some spelling mistakes). They are a good read for beginners and intermediate programmers on gathering requirements, change of these requirements and analysis. The ideas are a bit simplistic though it is good to get many programmers used to the idea of UML and use cases and using them to drive requirement gathering and textual analysis.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Am I really the first to write a review on this new installment? Well, let me start with a huge five stars for this new addition to the Head First series!

I had been waiting for this book to hit the shelves a while, since I absolutely loved the innovative approach of the Head First Design patterns book. This one was no different in the way it clearly and creatively presented key principles to good object-oriented design and educated the reader on how to approach designing software for the real world from requirements gathering all the way to anticipating and designing for change.

A few things about this book - in my opinion, there is probably no better way to present the world of software design to a beginner. Instead of talking about abstract concepts, the writers present the material using concrete scenarios, and through-out the book, the reader is encouraged heavily to think through the pitfalls and problems and come up with solutions - there is no better way to learn. There are lots of exercises and even specific places to write ones ideas down.

Some topics covered are of course good object oriented principles like encapsulation and delegation, requirements gathering, use cases, anticipating changes, class diagrams, UML and more. The book only briefly touches (but does not go into too much detail) on state diagrams, sequence diagrams, unit testing and other concepts which are a huge part of software design, in the last chapter. While it does not go into these subjects deeply, it does not leave the reader completely without any knowledge on these topics either.

It does cover more than enough to enable a reader to become very well versed in architectural principles. Best of all, the information is presented in a way where it will stick forever.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Head First title December 12, 2006
First off, I'm already a fan of the Head First series - especially the Head First Design Patterns book. This book follows the same entertaining style and keeps your attention page after page. To me, there are two kinds of Head First books, ones relating to technologies like Java, Servlets & JSPs, EJB, etc and ones that cover a more traditionally academic topics like Design Patterns and this book, OO Analysis and Design. Personally, I like the Head First treatment on the academic topics better than the others. So, if you weren't a fan of Head First Java (for example) you might want to give this book (or the Design Patterns one) a try.

Specifically for this book - I really liked the chapter layout and the progression as each chapter builds upon the next. The chapters explain the basics of OO principles, ease you into Use Cases and how to write good ones, and continues building upon OO Design principles. When the Head First Design Patterns book came out, we purchased a bunch for the office and held a few "lunch and learn" classes on design patterns for the team at work. I can easily see doing the same thing with this book, as the Head First books make it easy to use as instructional manuals as well.

If you have found other books (lectures, articles, etc) on OO Analysis and Design a bit intimidating or conceptually difficult to grasp, this is the book for you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun take on object orientation January 4, 2007
HFOOA&D is designed to introduce the reader to the process of designing software. It doesn't push a formal methodology, but covers the basic building blocks that are common to most approaches, including requirements gathering, use cases and iterative design. Additionally, there is heavy emphasis on design principles such as the Open-Closed Principle, and the Single Responsibility Principle and more general concepts such as encapsulation and cohesion. UML class diagrams are used, but no more than the basics. Design patterns are mentioned in places, but you don't need any knowledge of them to understand what's going on. This book is more about the principles that underlie design patterns. Indeed, for those wondering where this book fits in with Head First Java and Head First Design Patterns, you should read HFJ first, then this one, and then HFDP.

Java is used as the language throughout - while Java 5.0 features are avoided (apart from enums), you still need to know the syntax and be comfortable with the mechanisms by which Java implements objects, such as interfaces. You can't jump into this book with just knowledge of VB, for example.

The material is treated in the usual Head First style: off-the-wall scenarios, conversational writing, lots of dialogue delivered in a pseudo-comic book style by using photos of real people, anthropomorphism of computer terms. A lot of effort is put into making the experience seem as much like social interaction as possible. It's a winning formula, and it works again here.

But Head First Java and Head First Design Patterns were two really stellar books. So, by comparison with those two, I must admit to being a little disappointed with this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm not in kindergarten anymore!
Worthless book. Feels like I'm in kindergarten again. The information density is exremely low and what is provided is hard to find between all the graphics, the assignments, the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cor Meenderinck
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressions after a week.
Having written several very large systems long before OO anything was codified and the OO-Nazis started insisting that 3 classes were needed to implement "Hello World" what really... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ROI
4.0 out of 5 stars Head first into Head first
This is a very good introduction to object oriented design. It goes over some topics that even my object oriented computer science classes didn't cover. Read more
Published 1 month ago by The i3akaa
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend highly!
Very good read, clear and detailed examples, really opened my mind. My designs are better now and I am paying more attention to them thanks to this book.
Published 1 month ago by Krzysztof Gurniak
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Beginners Book
This is a great book for people that are just getting exposed to OOD and want a broad overview and understand some of the principles from a high level approach. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dave Newman
1.0 out of 5 stars Not kindle ready
Book might be good if hard copy but for it's surely not Kindle ready (example code) and it sucks. I am not against the book but the kindle version is waste of money.
Published 3 months ago by Anand S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Master OOAD with this book
Excellent resource for beginners to advanced java developers. Simple explanations with examples for OO basics moving. A must read for every java developer.
Published 5 months ago by Nikhil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great OOP Resource for beginners and pros
The Head First series in general is a great resource for beginners, but for the seasoned expert as well. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Raiford Brookshire
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book on object oriented methodology
I m done with head first series....complete crap with useless and obscure details without introducing the basic concepts and fundamentals.
Published 15 months ago by Mr. I. Bhattacharjee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I love the teaching style in this series. The beginning goes into more general project design that I really wanted, but overall the book is still great!
Published 16 months ago by D. Collier
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this any different then Head First Design Patterns?
Hi - This is David West one of the authors of HFOOAD. Both books compliment each other. Head First Design Patterns takes the ideas behind many great design patterns and presents them in a easy to use and easy to learn manner. HFOOAD focuses instead on the process of building great software. ... Read More
Dec 11, 2006 by David West |  See all 2 posts
Why is this book Late??
Although it says that this book should be released nov 1 2006, oreilly usually releases a month's book at the end of the month not the begining. Not sure why amazon say's nov 1, but it will probably come at the end of the month. Same thing happened with head rush ajax. (which was a great book... Read More
Nov 13, 2006 by Glenn J. Timchishen |  See all 4 posts
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