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Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design: A Brain Friendly Guide to OOA&D Paperback – 7 Dec 2006
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A Brain-Friendly Guide to OOA&D
"Head First Object Oriented Analysis and Design" is a refreshing look at subject of OOAD. What sets this book apart is its focus on learning. The authors have made the content of OOAD accessible, usable for the practitioner." - Ivar Jacobson, Ivar Jacobson Consulting. "I just finished reading "HF OOA&D" and I loved it! The thing I liked most about this book was its focus on why we do OOA&D - to write great software!" - Kyle Brown, Distinguished Engineer, IBM. "Hidden behind the funny pictures and crazy fonts is a serious, intelligent, extremely well-crafted presentation of OO Analysis and Design. As I read the book, I felt like I was looking over the shoulder of an expert designer who was explaining to me what issues were important at each step, and why." - Edward Sciore, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Boston College. Tired of reading Object Oriented Analysis and Design books that only makes sense after you're an expert? You've heard OOA&D can help you write great software every time-software that makes your boss happy, your customers satisfied and gives you more time to do what makes you happy. But how?"Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design" shows you how to analyze, design, and write serious object-oriented software: software that's easy to reuse, maintain, and extend; software that doesn't hurt your head; software that lets you add new features without breaking the old ones. Inside you will learn how to: use OO principles like encapsulation and delegation to build applications that are flexible; apply the Open-Closed Principle (OCP) and the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) to promote reuse of your code; leverage the power of design patterns to solve your problems more efficiently; and, use UML, use cases, and diagrams to ensure that all stakeholders are communicating clearly to help you deliver the right software that meets everyone's needs. By exploiting how your brain works, "Head First OOA&D" compresses the time it takes to learn and retain complex information. Expect to have fun, expect to learn, expect to be writing great software consistently by the time you're finished reading this! See all Product description
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My first impression was that it was fairly dull, and I actually put it aside about halfway through to read something else. I came back to it last week and finished it off, and ended up very pleased with it.
If you're a programmer (like me), you'll probably be frustrated by the lack of code in the first half of the book. In fairness, this is more a factor of the design process. Much as we love to jump in and start coding, this isn't the best way to do it. This book teaches the way it should be done, so you don't get to write code until some time later.
Once you've got to the end, the whole process seems much clearer and easier to follow than it looked earlier. The book ends with a decent case study of analysis of an application to work out routes on a subway, and working through this clarified what the rest of the book had been explaining.
So, if you're prepared for the fact that "doing it the right way" means not writing code straight away, then this book is excellent.
HOWEVER, there is a big negative against this book, and this is something the Head First people need to think about as it affected the otherwise excellent Head First Design Patterns in the same way...
Amazing as it may seem, there are some people who write applications in languages other than Java. I know the Head First team won't believe this, but Java isn't the only OO language out there. In fact, I'll let you into a secret, design patterns and OO analysis are actually language agnostic. You don't need to tie yourself to ANY language. You can teach all this stuff without tying yourself down to any specific language.
Sure, when you supply code, you have to use a language, and I don't think anyone would have any strong objections to that language being Java. It's a common, fully OO language, whose syntax is so close to C# and C++ that programmers in those languages shouldn't have any problem reading the Java.
The problem is when the text and explanation keep droning on about Java when it's irrelevant, and (worse) when they use Java-specific things in the code. There is no necessity for this, and it makes the book less accessible for non-Java developers. It would be really easy to have written this book in a language-agnostic way, even with code samples in Java. This is something that really needs to be done for both of these books, and would have made both of them five star books.
Much of the text is a double whammy learning experience which allows the reader to participate in topic and simplistic code problems throughout each chapter with answers given at the end of each chapter. Problems are evolutionary meaning just like real world they start off simple and evolve into a more difficult problem requiring re-solutioning (refactoring) of the design and code.
As each problem evolves, the design put in place is tested allowing the reader to see the improvements made when more attention is paid to analysis and design than going straight into code. This leads to less code re-work and a more flexible software design for change.
The code examples are JAVA oriented so you will need a beginners level knowledge of JAVA and a pencil for writing out your answers. No need to access a JAVA compiler or computer to traverse through the book. The order of learning exposure moves away from traditional texts taking you on a journey from object oriented techniques to creating use cases to diagramming your object design rather than starting at use cases.
I would have given 5 stars but there is an issue between the kindle version and the paper text. Because of the continual requirement to write answers to questions in the book this is not achievable with the kindle edition e.g. completing a crossword of technical terms on a kindle screen, or any Amazon electronic version of the book is pointless unless you can print it out.
Also the format of the paper book uses more of an A3 layout (two pages) coupled together rather than an A4 layout to display graphics, points, questions and testers (almost like a sketch book). This does not transfer perfect to the hand held kindle where sometimes you need to flip back and forth between joining pages.
Although the kindle points are a mark down the book is still worth buying in any format.
I did learn something from this book. But, to me, there should be much better books on OOP and wouldn't recommend this book if you are looking for object oriented principles.
Like all other Head First it is funny, irritating and easy to read and you can finish it quickly. I guess this isn't a veryyyy bad book, but it's definitely not good either.
I studied an MSc that was supposed to cover OO design and UML - I wish I had seen this book at the time as it was much clearer and more practical than my uni notes or the suggested textbooks.