Book Review – Head First Object Oriented Analysis and Design

Head First: Object Oriented Analysis & Design

This was the first book I’ve read from the Head First collection, and it certainly is quite different than any other technical book I’ve ever read. Head First OOAD is a cross between your typical technical publication, a middle/highschool textbook, and the sundary newspaper funny pages (complete with wordsearch and crossword puzzles… seriously!)

What I Liked

As an introduction to object oriented programming, it’s great. It brings developers who are used to working with objects but not realizing it, into thinking of a completely object oriented based perspective and how and when to create their own custom objects.

I have had experience with developing objects prior to reading this book, however, this helped me to really look at everything as an object working together with other objects. It helped me move away from simply calling functions that were housed in oversized generic classes, and gave better definition to how encapsulation and inheritance properly work.

What I Wasn’t Crazy About

The book intentionally repeats itself over and over again as a learning device to pound it in to the readers memory whatever topic they may be covering. I may be unjustly arrogant about this, but I think it’s unnecessary and fairly annoying at times. Others may appreciate this type of reinforcement, but for me, it was almost distracting.

Additionally, the tone sometimes approaches that of a stereotypical bratty kid, which at times, turned me off. I like to think of coding as being something educated, intelligent, and something generally smart people do (ok, so perhaps I’m glamourizing development – and myself – a bit…), but the characters in Head First OOAD seem kind of, well, uneducated is a good euphemism. This is again, most likely intentional because it comes during sections of the book where develeoper characters are talking back and forth with each other, or playing advocate against one and other, but another thing I’m not a huge fan of.

Finally, for a .NET developer, it’s always great to see examples in your native language, which, you won’t find. All code is written in Java, but it’s not too distracting. Besides, the book is more about conceptuals than code language/syntax.

Would I Recommend the Read?

Definately, especially for developers who are not used to thinking in true object oriented fashion. Additionally, there is a lot of good information regarding software development life cycle, testing, use-case scenarios, and conceptual development that many developers, including myself, would gain a lot from.

However, if you are already senior level, and constantly working with polymorphism, encapsulation, inheritance, and other OO principles regularly, you should probably pickup a more advanced book. I would like to make book reviews a regular part of blog posts, and hopefully I will have some recommendations in future posts. (If anyone would like to leave comments as recommended reading, please do so!)

If you would like to purchase the book, feel free to click the following link (full disclosure: Amazon does pay a percent commission to any sales purchased through this link, helping to support this blog – sort of.)

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