An Engineering Manager's Guide to Design Patterns

A Brain-Friendly Report

An Engineering Manager's Guide to Design Patterns

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While off-the-shelf libraries and frameworks have greatly simplified the development process, they can’t help you structure applications that are maintainable, flexible, and easy to understand. In this O'Reilly report, authors Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson show you how object-oriented design patterns are ideal for solving specific problems in application design.

Instead of algorithms or code, design patterns are all about reusing the experience of developers who have devised well thought-out, time-tested solutions to object-oriented programming problems. Using O'Reilly's unique Head First methodology, this report details how a particular design pattern can solve a non-obvious design problem. You also get a Patterns Cheat Sheet that briefly describes several design patterns and provides tips for using patterns in general.

This report explains why:

  • Design patterns tell you how to structure classes and objects to solve certain problems
  • They allow you to create flexible designs that are maintainable and cope with change
  • It’s your job to adapt a pattern to fit your particular application
  • All design patterns provide a way to let some part of a system vary independently from all other parts
  • Patterns provide a shared vocabulary that lets your team think at the pattern level, rather than at the nitty-gritty object level

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Eric Freeman

Eric Freeman

Eric is described by Head First series co-creator Kathy Sierra as "one of those rare individuals fluent in the language, practice, and culture of multiple domains from hipster hacker, corporate VP, engineer, think tank." Professionally, Eric recently ended nearly a decade as a media company executive-having held the position of CTO of Disney Online at The Walt Disney Company. Eric is now devoting his time to WickedlySmart, a startup he co-created with Elisabeth Robson.

By training, Eric is a computer scientist, having studied with industry luminary David Gelernter during his Ph.D. work at Yale University. His dissertation is credited as the seminal work in alternatives to the desktop metaphor, and also as the first implementation of activity streams, a concept he and Dr. Gelernter developed. In his spare time, Eric is deeply involved with music; you'll find Eric's latest project, a collaboration with ambient music pioneer Steve Roach, available on the iPhone app store under the name Immersion Station.

Eric lives with his wife and young daughter in Austin. His daughter is a frequent vistor to Eric's studio, where she loves to turn the knobs of his synths and audio effects. Eric's also passionate about kids education and nutrition, and looking for ways to improve them.

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Elisabeth Robson

Elisabeth Robson

Elisabeth first got hooked on computers when she wrote a BASIC program to fill up her Commodore 64's monitor screen full of hearts. She's loved getting computers to do fun things ever since. She's tinkered with everything from super computers to her iPhone, and she's been programming the Web since the early days, when she built one of the first online resources for women in technology. Along with her many years of programming experience, Elisabeth has produced online training, and written four best-selling books and an online video course for O'Reilly Media (Head First Design Patterns, Head First HTML and CSS, Head First JavaScript Programming, Head First HTML5 Programming, and Learn to Build iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript). She is currently co-founder and principal at WickedlySmart, an education content and technology company.