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Head First Design Patterns [Paperback]

Eric Freeman , Elisabeth Robson , Bert Bates , Kathy Sierra
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
RRP: 38.50
Price: 23.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2004 0596007124 978-0596007126 1

You're not alone.

At any given moment, somewhere in the world someone struggles with the same software design problems you have. You know you don't want to reinvent the wheel (or worse, a flat tire), so you look to Design Patterns--the lessons learned by those who've faced the same problems. With Design Patterns, you get to take advantage of the best practices and experience of others, so that you can spend your time on...something else. Something more challenging. Something more complex. Something more fun.

You want to learn about the patterns that matter--why to use them, when to use them, how to use them (and when NOT to use them). But you don't just want to see how patterns look in a book, you want to know how they look "in the wild". In their native environment. In other words, in real world applications. You also want to learn how patterns are used in the Java API, and how to exploit Java's built-in pattern support in your own code.

You want to learn the real OO design principles and why everything your boss told you about inheritance might be wrong (and what to do instead). You want to learn how those principles will help the next time you're up a creek without a design pattern.

Most importantly, you want to learn the "secret language" of Design Patterns so that you can hold your own with your co-worker (and impress cocktail party guests) when he casually mentions his stunningly clever use of Command, Facade, Proxy, and Factory in between sips of a martini. You'll easily counter with your deep understanding of why Singleton isn't as simple as it sounds, how the Factory is so often misunderstood, or on the real relationship between Decorator, Facade and Adapter.

With Head First Design Patterns, you'll avoid the embarrassment of thinking Decorator is something from the "Trading Spaces" show. Best of all, in a way that won't put you to sleep! We think your time is too important (and too short) to spend it struggling with academic texts.

If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, Head First Design Patterns will load patterns into your brain in a way that sticks. In a way that lets you put them to work immediately. In a way that makes you better at solving software design problems, and better at speaking the language of patterns with others on your team.

Frequently Bought Together

Head First Design Patterns + Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software + Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin)
Price For All Three: 83.15

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Product details

  • Paperback: 678 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007126
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 20.1 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


An intelligent and well thought-out discussion of Java design patterns and interesting dicussion of object-orientated design. -- Visual Systems Journal, April 2005

To conclude, I can definitely say that I consider this book a must-have for all.
-- Argyro Kazaki, JHUG/Weekend Geeks, October 2007

From the Publisher

This is a US educational market only edition of Head First Design Patterns. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an easy read 15 Aug 2006
This is an excellent book. I have read other books on design patterns including Design Patterns Explained by Shalloway Trott and whilst it was a good book it was rather a dry read.

By contrast the Head First book although looking a bit like a Design Patterns for Dummies type book by the cover does indeed cover the same material but in a way which is definetely easy to read and hopefully better to remember.

Where the book excels is in it's examples which clearly show you where you may wish to apply a paticular pattern which is really the key to the whole field. There may be more exhaustive books on the market but this one explains the key patterns and more importantly the principles behind them well.

I'm a C# programmer and the fact it's a Java book doesn't really make a difference. The code samples are almost exactly the same as they would be in C#. On a few occasions it does make reference to paticular Java classes to show examples of patterns in use (e.g. Iterator) but it's easy enough to relate these to their .NET equivalent and even if you can't it doesn't really matter.

All in all the most enjoyable computer book I have ever read and thoroughly recommended if you want to start learning about Design patterns and their use.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best software book I've bought 2 Aug 2006
By Nick
ESSENTIAL reading if you develop or test OO software. You can read this book cover to cover (not something I'd recommend for the GoF book, unless you are actually a computer). Use this book to learn the concepts quickly, then use the excellent GoF book for reference. If you're already familiar with and have used a lot of OO patterns this book is not for you, however, if you want to learn how to design and write more robust, elegant and maintainable code, read this book now! It will even show you why some areas of the Java API have been built the way they are.

Warning: this book contains some cheesy jokes and slightly wacky examples, but you will not be worried about that when you get to the last page and realise that virtually all of it is stored securely in your mind.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment 27 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Ok, if you work in a big consultancy your boss/client may not want to see this on your desk.
If you can read the GOF patterns book, then you dont need it. If like me, you know patterns are good, but you quickly lose the will to live when seeing yet another esoteric UML diagram describing a pattern, then get this book.
One important way that this book differs from others I read, is in the examples. These actually look like something you might write and the final example using many of the major patterns was superb.
Oh, and this book is funny.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book - now! 26 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Before reading this book I was not that passionate about programming. I could knock out some code and get things to work which was fine. After reading this book my thinking has been changed forever...this book presents ways in which you can write slick, elegant code....and get more of a buzz out of your work because you know how to do it better. It's easy to read, entertaining and best of all it sinks in without you straining trying to stay awake.
The different patterns are presented in each chapter. The chapter begins with a problem scenario and then proceeds to follow the thoughts of a developer as to how to implement the solution. A solution using basic programming techniques is used first which would work, and then the design pattern is used to show how the problem could be solved in a way that would make the code easier to maintain and extend. In amongst all of this are puzzles and games that allow knowledge to sink in, and detailed explanations of class diagrams and code.
A day after reading a few chapters of this book I was able to look at code in my workplace, and could immediately see how to improve it.
The designers of the book did all the hard work so that we wouldn't have to. Brilliant.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I have been struggling with Design Patterns and trying to remember them and how to use them, but this book seems to unveil all the secrets and really help you remember how to use them.
The book really is unique in it's approach and consequently make the information stick into the grey matter.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for PHP 5 users too 23 Nov 2006
I ordered this book before I read that the examples inside it are written in Java. I do not have any knowledge of Java, the only language I know is PHP.

However this was not a problem as the code in the book is minimal and is very focused on the design pattern being explained at the time. If you have knowledge of object oriented programming then I'm sure this book will be good for you. It is an absolute Gem!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 12 Nov 2005
After reading some of the reviews for this book I had high hopes for its content and I wasn't dissapointed! this is easily the most well written computer book on my shelf.
I never really use Java and mostly use C# however I don't think it matters what language your used to using as this book concentrates more on the design principles of OOP rather than the how to apply it to a particular language, however the syntax between the two are so similar it didn't take long to pick it up.
If you understand the basic's of OOP Abstraction, Encapsulation, Polymorphism, Inheritance... but want to find out how best to apply these to create robust and extensible applications then I definitely recommend this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, comprehensive and easy to understand
If you want to learn about design patterns and how to put them into practice, this is a book for you. I'm a software engineer and this book has made my job a lot easier and fun!
Published 18 days ago by Tomas Z
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential starting point
This is a really good starting point - the examples are good, the pages aren't too wordy, and there's a few learning styles at play to make sure it sticks. Read more
Published 2 months ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
It doesn't have all of the gang of four patterns in it, but it is a great introduction into why you should use them and what they are for. Read more
Published 4 months ago by themoose
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good introduction to the concepts
Really good introduction to the concepts!
I've not taken to Head First series before this was really good topic for this style.
Published 4 months ago by Raptor
5.0 out of 5 stars A life saver for Java newbies
tl;dr if you are new to OO programming then BUY THIS BOOK!

In term 1 of my university degree I scored 37% on a Java exam (passed due to a higher coursework score). Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. M. A. McKay-dirden
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to read
It's easy to read and it offers really good examples, I suggest to mid level java designers to improve your models
Published 7 months ago by David Rubio Matellanes
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
Really good book on design patterns and general OO principles. Not dry, fun. Quite possibly the best technical book I've read for its balance of not being too serious, but still... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gareth
5.0 out of 5 stars Head First' books are great for learning without pain
This book reads like a train, flipping the pages while learning fast. It is no regular school book that just gives definitions and examples, this book follows the logic of a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Stijn Hooft
5.0 out of 5 stars A great gentle introduction to Design Patterns.
This is a good book to start studying design patterns. It's more like a novel than a hardcore technical book and you don't have to exercise a lot of will power to study it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ash
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantstic book
This is a great book, but virtually unreadable on a Kindle Device due to the number of images, which includes most code samples, with text too small to read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Steve
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