This week I finished reading Head First Design Patterns – a book that covers classic ways of structuring software code to solve real-world problems. It’s a great book, so much so it has made it on to the Univex Software list of Required Reading, alongside others. Not surprisingly, like the other two books, HFDP teaches you things that they just don’t teach at programming school. Few Australian software engineering students would cover design patterns in lectures. Even less would consciously employ them in some way. Yet they make for easier to understand and maintain code. The world, especially Open Source projects, would be better off if more programmers learnt these patterns and shared them with peers.
The problem of course is we do not know, what we don’t know. How are you supposed to know about design patterns if you have never heard the term before?
That’s where self study comes in to play. It doesn’t matter if you are a software developer, a business director or a support technician. You need to actively engage in self-development, getting out there seeing new things and meeting people, participating in groups of various kinds or simply keeping up to date with developments in your industry via news feeds and blog posts. If you claim you have no time then you must make time. You never know what gems you might find!