Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman

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O'Reilly Media, Oct 9, 2009 - Computers - 176 pages
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Are you doing all you can to further your career as a software developer? With today's rapidly changing and ever-expanding technologies, being successful requires more than technical expertise. To grow professionally, you also need soft skills and effective learning techniques. Honing those skills is what this book is all about. Authors Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye have cataloged dozens of behavior patterns to help you perfect essential aspects of your craft.

Compiled from years of research, many interviews, and feedback from O'Reilly's online forum, these patterns address difficult situations that programmers, administrators, and DBAs face every day. And it's not just about financial success. Apprenticeship Patterns also approaches software development as a means to personal fulfillment. Discover how this book can help you make the best of both your life and your career.

Solutions to some common obstacles that this book explores in-depth include:

  • Burned out at work? "Nurture Your Passion" by finding a pet project to rediscover the joy of problem solving.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by new information? Re-explore familiar territory by building something you've built before, then use "Retreat into Competence" to move forward again.
  • Stuck in your learning? Seek a team of experienced and talented developers with whom you can "Be the Worst" for a while.


"Brilliant stuff! Reading this book was like being in a time machine that pulled me back to those key learning moments in my career as a professional software developer and, instead of having to learn best practices the hard way, I had a guru sitting on my shoulder guiding me every step towards master craftsmanship. I'll certainly be recommending this book to clients. I wish I had this book 14 years ago!" -Russ Miles, CEO, OpenCredo

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About the author (2009)

Dave Hoover is the Chief Craftsman at Obtiva where he helps lead Obtiva's Software Studio and apprenticeship program. Dave has been developing software since 2000, when he left a career in child and family therapy. In 2002, Dave read Pete McBreen's "Software Craftsmanship", which re-framed Dave's understanding of software development and how people become great software developers. Dave has become increasingly passionate about learning and has dedicated several years of his career to thinking, writing, and speaking about apprenticeship. Over the last couple years, on most days, you'd find Dave coding Ruby and Rails as the lead developer for Mad Mimi, one of his clients at Obtiva. Dave also enjoys all sorts of endurance sports.

Adewale Oshineye is an engineer at a little-known search engine named Google. This is a consequence of many deeply geeky evenings spent programming 8-bit computers when he was a child. When he grew up Adewale somehow fell into IT consultancy. His career at consultancies such as Thoughtworks gave him the chance to work on projects ranging from point-of-sale systems for electrical retailers to trading systems for investment banks. It also gave him a chance to learn from some of the most interesting software craftspeople in Western Europe. In those rare moments when he's not in front of a computer he can be found behind a digital camera somewhere in London.

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