Head First Design Patterns Review (Last Edit: May 31 2005 11:07:02)
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My previous experience in studying design patterns has been met with failure. I have tried getting through the Gang of Four book on design patterns, but reading it for me was about the same as reading the dictionary. Reading this book made the experience of learning design patterns an enjoyable experience instead of a literary root canal. Head First Design Patterns takes the most useful (and understandable) design patterns and makes them accessible to the everyday programmer.

Each chapter tackles one or sometime two related design patterns and creates a rich example to explain it with. Some examples are a little contrived, but they do the job to explain the patterns with real code. Along with this are lots of discussions and other interesting exercises to hold your attention. These help to further explain the pattern, some of the pattern's pitfalls, and where and when it is appropriate to use the pattern.

Along with introducing design pattern, this book reinforces object-oriented design principles and best practices. This proved to be a useful addition to the design patterns and helps root them in the larger picture of object-oriented design. I found myself immediately applying these principles and design patterns in my coding and reviewing older code where I "thought" I was using design patterns correctly.
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