- Series: Head First
- Paperback: 694 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (October 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596007124
- ISBN-13: 978-0596007126
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide 1st Edition
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Gang of Four book laid out the basics. Here is the pattern, here are some examples. The head first book goes a lot further. They show you good and bad examples of the pattern. They give solid reasoning behind the pattern. It's great.
There are times when I would look at a piece of code and have the author explain to me that it was based on one of the GoF patterns. I would come away thinking, if that's the pattern, then that pattern sucks. It's clear that patterns can be misapplied. So understanding the the how design patterns are applied, and how they are commonly applied wrongly, or to an extreme, is just as important as understanding the basic mechanics of the pattern itself.
The example code is in Java, but I think this is an ideal book for anyone passionate about patterns.
Anyway, that aside, the book provides a solid inroduction to selected design patterns- it doesn't cover all the GoF patterns. It contains (in order)
* Adapter and Facade
* Iterator and Composite
* Compound Patterns
* Living better with Patterns
If you have no experience with patterns, I recommend this as a good Intro to the MasterWork by the GoF-> Design Patterns, Elements of reusuable Oject-oriented software IBSN: 0201633612. From personal experience, I found after reading the Head First pattern, I could pick up the GoF book, look at the same pattern and understand it with virtually no problems.
I have no hesitation recommending this book, if you like the Head First way, championed by Kathy Sierra. If you don't like apparent frivolity (I say apparent because there is an ulterior motive to this frivolity-> engagement. Basically, cognitive psychology says the more deeply you engage, the more you learn, retain and understand), then maybe this isn't for you.
Slight criticism-> you may notice this book uses some 'old' java syntax like using iterators for collections like arrayLists, rather than the new for (object j: collection) and no generics in sight in declaring such arrayLists: they use ArrayList name=new ArrayList(), not ArrayList<type>name=new ArrayList<type>(); But these are 'very' minor criticisms. Likewise, it's usefulness as a comprehensive reference like the GoF book may be questionable. But then, if you approach it as a learning tool and a means to mastery rather than a reference, this shouldn't be an issue (you can always resell it when you're done!).
Anyway, in conclusion, two thumbs up. Read it, do the work, enjoy it and you'll be well on the way to the GoF's MasterWork in design patterns. All the 5 star reviews don't lie! This is a five star book.
As an aside I recommend, in addition to this and GoF, reading Streamlined Object Modeling- patterns, rules and implementation- ISBN: 0130668397 for higher level OO system design (OO system architecture). And just so you don't fell excluded from the vernacular (and didn't know this): GoF=Gang of Four (Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides)
I've tested this both on a (high resolution) Samsung Galaxy S2 Tablet (Android Kindle; see screenshots) as well as my old Kindle DXG. Forget about seeing them on the OG Paperwhite.
This issue is not unique to this book, however I do wish the authors would take the time to ensure their content is readable on the Kindle editions.
HFDP is not just about design patterns. It's a great introduction to object-oriented programming. The book does a great job of explaining the benefits of OOP over traditional procedural programming, and it explains OOP very well in terms of the most commonly used design patterns.
Now for the bad news. The examples are rather lightweight. They do a pretty good job of illustrating the concepts presented, but the code is in no way real-world. For example, if you are looking for which pattern to use to organize a UI (the 'Mediator', 'State', and 'Composite' patterns), with sample code, you won't find it here. The patterns are discussed, but they are used to create quacking ducks (really).
While that's by-and-large a shortcoming of the book, the code is so simple that non-Java programmers (like me) should have no problem using the book. The code samples are very basic, and should translate with little difficulty into .NET languages such as C# and VB.
One other item of note--this book contains a pretty good chapter on Model-View-Controller architecture, which seems to bedevil a lot of people. If you can get a handle on MVC, then you can pretty much do OOP.
In short, this is probably the book I would recommend as an intro to OOP. If you are under the age of 30, you will probably like the examples of quacking duck simulators and java-enabled gumball machines. For everybody else--it's worth looking past this book's insufferable cuteness if you are getting started in OOP.