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.
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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I suppose it's a decent intro book, but not what I'd want for a more serious study.
I've tried many times to understand many of these patterns but, again, a single well written book trumps reading 1000 articles across the web.
It helps to have a strong understanding of OO basics before diving into patterns though. So in addition to being a well written book I believe I'm also just very ready for this topic.
The book says it's not for people who don't use Java or C#, but I ignored that and I'm glad I did.
I bought this book in October of 2018 and received the 2014 updated version (which I guess just updated some of the Java specific references for Java 8). The code examples are done in Java, but if you know C# (or really any object-oriented language), the meat of the code examples will be easily readable to you. If you have experience with any object-oriented language, then a lot of the concepts will also be very familiar to you. Even when they go into a 1-2 page discussion about a Java specific thing, you can still just view it through a conceptual lens and follow along with the discussion.
There is a good use of humor, pictures, abstract analogies, and concrete examples to help convey the lessons of each chapter and while this is like a 500-600 page book, I burned through it in a single weekend because it was not only insightful and instructive, but it was also a very entertaining read.
If you're trying to learn more about design patterns and incorporate them into your process, definitely add this book to your arsenal. It's great for learning and good for a quick reference guide as well.
Another book I read first is Clean Code, which I would also recommend, but Head First Design Patterns is a nice addition because the detailed code examples really help cement my understanding.
The examples are all in Java, which I don't know well at all, but with just knowing the bare minimum Java I was able to understand nearly all of the examples.
The cover of this book does a major disservice to it – I almost didn't get the book because the cover makes it look like a joke, but it is in fact a great book that does an awesome job of explaining design patterns.
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.
Top international reviews
If you are serious design patterns, I would still recommend reading this book before you jump on to GoF book. This gives you a head start and very good milage in all the important design patterns before you dive in to more detailed GoF patterns.
This book was exactly what I was looking for.
It envolves you from its beginning and keep you reading about design patterns, object oriented principles, rubber ducks, MVC, ... until the end of the book.
An excellent way to learn GoF's design patterns, the quality of the content keeps on really high until the last page, something very difficult in these kind of books. Funny, straight forward, clever...
I've read the original Design Patterns book by Erich Gamma, and honestly, it was very difficult for me to understand it. Now, after getting a clear vision about design patterns thanks to Head First Design Patterns, I'm going to give it a go again..
Looking forward to reading another book from Head First series.
This book is the answer. The GoF style-books, whilst technically outstanding, are incredibly hardgoing. This book, with its focus on teaching and learning makes the whole experience self-rewarding.
If you want to learn about design patterns, my advice would be, get an excellent grounding from this book, and then tackle the GoF tomes.
The relevant knowledge is passed on, but it's passed on via the use of incredibly long and drawn out examples which are supposed to be entertaining - but actually just prove to be irritating. I understand the reasoning behind the examples, and sure - they made reading it more enjoyable (well, for the first 5 minutes) - but they also acted to fill pages with needless dialog!
The book has an underlying storyline which also acts to add bloat, but for some readers this could act as intended; allowing them to 'take more in'.
I think I'm just not suited to the Head First format (that said this isn't the only HF book I have on my shelf) but can see just how this approach could help those that are.
Regardless of this, I still managed to walk away with a firm grasp of various different patterns - more so than I would've if I went straight to the GoF book!
For that reason alone, this book deserves 3/5. Add on another point for the amount of patterns this book covers, as well as the depth it goes into.
This book misses the 5/5 mark simply because it felt bloated with some of the story line and examples.
I had read and kept a copy of the original Gang of Four Design Patterns book and I really liked the idea of design patterns, but the GoF book is a bit dated and very dry and academic. This book is much more readable and it uses very memorable examples. And the use of Java throughout suited me just fine.
I am keeping my copy. It is covered in highlighter and it is very useful when I want to review and use one of the basic design patterns.
I would also recommend watching some youtubes afterwards to get things from another perspective, but if your colleagues are talking about singletons and factories, and your quietly sat thinking what the heck are they on about, this should help you at least understand the concepts.
A great book, one that I recommend to everyone learning OOP principles - I mainly do PHP, and whilst this book is in Java, you will not struggle to follow along.
As usual, the head first series present highly complex topics in the most ELI5 package possible.