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Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman Paperback – 25 Oct 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Dave Hoover is the Chief Craftsman at Obtiva where he helps lead Obtiva's Software Studio and apprenticeship program. Dave has been developing software since 2000, when he left a career in child and family therapy. In 2002, Dave read Pete McBreen's "Software Craftsmanship", which re-framed Dave's understanding of software development and how people become great software developers. Dave has become increasingly passionate about learning and has dedicated several years of his career to thinking, writing, and speaking about apprenticeship. Over the last couple years, on most days, you'd find Dave coding Ruby and Rails as the lead developer for Mad Mimi, one of his clients at Obtiva. Dave also enjoys all sorts of endurance sports.

Adewale Oshineye is an engineer at a little-known search engine named Google. This is a consequence of many deeply geeky evenings spent programming 8-bit computers when he was a child. When he grew up Adewale somehow fell into IT consultancy. His career at consultancies such as Thoughtworks gave him the chance to work on projects ranging from point-of-sale systems for electrical retailers to trading systems for investment banks. It also gave him a chance to learn from some of the most interesting software craftspeople in Western Europe. In those rare moments when he's not in front of a computer he can be found behind a digital camera somewhere in London.

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Format: Paperback
To sum up: a book about being a programmer. It presents common problems and situations as patterns - in the design patterns sense - and includes suggestions and advice on what to do in each case. It distills a lot of great advice and experience into about 130 pages, and I found it very interesting and useful indeed. It's positively contributed to my practices as a programmer, so that's got to be a good thing. Definitely recommended! :)

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Format: Paperback
First things first, I used to love technical books ranging in the 800 page count. Now that I have far less time and competing ambitions, I've developed a soft spot for books and authors capable of cramming a dozen headfuls of ideas in less than 200 pages. So one star awarded for brevity here.

Don't be misled by the title. It does not matter that you might have a long career in IT already, as there is always so much more to learn. This book deals a lot with the software craftmanship prism of things, which can sometimes sound wishy-washy and rosy (well, the book has some load of idealism, but what are we, farmers? we need some of that too?), but it holds plenty of ideas, approaches and suggestions you can take to the office, even if you work in a more stifled hard-nosed corporate environment. Very useful if you are a freelance working for different people, and even more so for those out there who have been working 10 years in the same place and know no other worlds.

It explains what is software craftmanship, so no entry barrier here if you dont know what that is. What about the patterns? well expect no GOF patterns here, but patterns of dealing with people, career patterns, learning patterns, etc. All patterns organized as having a context, a problem, a provided solution, and also an action, or actionable advice, then links and related patterns. So, in that way, a classic pattern book. Code excerpts sometimes help show the ideas, but that's it, codewise.

I tend to judge books on the amount of comments that I write on the margins and squeezed in between the paragraphs, and the underlined ideas you need to come back one year on.
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