Book Review: Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye

If, on your holiday to Mexico, you find yourself on the beach reading programming books, you are probably officially a geek. Having accepted that, I read a couple of programming books on the beach on holiday in Mexico recently, and figured I'd review them both. This is the first.

Apprenticeship Patterns isn't so much a progamming book, it's a book about being a programmer. It presents common problems and situations as patterns - in the design pattern sense - and includes suggestions and advice on what to do in each case. For example, the Breakable Toys pattern advises that you work on personal projects in order to try new things and practice techniques without the usual problems that would arise if you tried that at work and screwed it up. The Record What You Learn pattern advises you to write down things you discover and find interesting so you can look back over them and help provide a reference for others.

Apprenticeship Patterns distills a lot of great advice and experience into about 130 pages, and I found it very interesting and useful indeed. I'm trying out several of the patterns at the moment - ping-pong programming Breakable Toys with Kindred Spirits (basically other geeks), Reading Constantly (that pattern's self-explanatory), Studying the Classics (I've finally got around to reading Refactoring), and I intend to make a Reading List (a public list of books read, being read and intended to be read for others to contribute to).

I genuinely feel that reading Apprenticeship Patterns has positively contributed to my practices as a programmer, so that's got to be a good thing. Definitely recommended! :)

Print | posted @ Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:10 PM

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