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Head First Design Patterns
by Elisabeth A. Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra

1 edition
October 2004
676 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, November 2004
  (10 of 10)

Make sure you read the introduction so that you know what you're getting into, and to realize you're getting into something great. Rather than being a group of books with little real point of difference, the Head First principles - outlined in the introduction - are geared towards presenting real problems and real solutions with real learning. But we're supposed to be talking about Head First Design Patterns.

The list of patterns presented is small compared to other books, but this works well since the coverage is more about learning the basic patterns well with a solid understanding. Also of great value is the way each pattern is taught by presenting common problems with the obvious, but wrong, solutions and then leading you out of the hole you dug and highlighting the important steps towards a better and more maintainable solution.

I was particularly impressed how the presentation of each pattern was built on solid Object Oriented concepts. But rather than assuming you know these advanced concepts, they are integrated into the learning exercise and presented as a cohesive bundle. The book is also structured so it refers back to and reinforces both the pattern and OO lessons as you progress.

It's hard to find real fault with the book. At times it jumps between topics, is repetitive and a bit irreverent, but this is all part of the formula and exactly what is promised.

Beginner or experienced, you better be careful or you might learn something.

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