Monday, April 11, 2005

Design Patterns Study Group

I read a great article over at regarding the new head first book Head First Design Patterns

I have flipped through these books before and was fascinated by the unique approach to learning that they take. I have read other books by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates and am a faithful subscriber to their blog Creating Passionate Users. These guys really have a fantastic writing style and are not afraid to stretch the boundaries of what a technical book should be like.

So after reading this article I finally broke down and ordered this book. I have the classic GoF (Gang of Four) Design Patterns book, but it is really one to be studied more than read, so I am looking forward to a different presentation of the material.

The OnJava article got me thinking about whether I could start a study group like this up at my local university, the University of South Alabama. Well let's break it down on how I would sell it to the CIS department.

What I would need: I would need class space on a weekly or semi-weekly basis for meetings. I would expect the department to publicize to their students.

Other than that they would not have to provide too much. I would send out info to local companies to try and bring out people. I would prepare to present material each week. (I actually see it as a half lecture, half discussion type environment. That way the students and other developers that are not familiar with the material can get up to speed and we can all share ideas).

What is the upside for all involved: Networking opportunities for the students that attend and those employed in the field that attend. Opportunities for the CIS Department to try and convince those working in the field to finish Undergraduate degrees or begin Graduate degrees in CIS. Overall learning of good, reusable design principles that improve the quality of the developers and students (plus sharp students give the department a good rep once they get out).

Well I'm still in the planning stages, and I'm about to take on some big new responsibilities (which I can tell you about after tomorrow), so I'm not sure how this will play out, but it is a thought. Let me know what you think.


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