O’Reilly news

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design:The Brain-Friendly Guide to Writing Great Software, Every Time

December 6, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--If writing great prose were purely a matter of putting sentences together, then we'd all be writing great blogs. Software development is the same: creating software is more than simply producing code. "Code is just a language that the computer understands," says author Brett McLaughlin, "Software satisfies the customer, communicates to managers and co-workers, does what it's supposed to do, is maintainable and well-tested...it's much more than just a program."

Together with coauthors Gary Pollice and David West, McLaughlin provides a brain-friendly guide to help developers produce great software every time. Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design (O'Reilly, US $49.99) uses the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory to take developers from thinking about code to thinking about software.

"There are tons of programmers writing code today that have been given little more than an intro book and good wishes," says McLaughlin. "That's actually how I came up through programmer, learning as I went, and never really being taught anything beyond very basic concepts (encapsulation and abstraction were the high-end in my training). I had plenty of computer science classes in college, but they focused on theory rather than on application."

McLaughlin says he jumped at the chance to take formal OOA&D methodology and wed it to actual practice. "I got to pepper my coauthors at every turn with questions like, 'But how do people actually do this stuff in the real world?' It was exciting to see that some of the things that I had figured out in my own career--things that worked really, really well--were actually OOA&D concepts. In many cases, learning the ideas behind what I was already doing really took my programming to another level."

"OOA&D is seen by many people as a set of academic principles that are only applied by programmers who cannot code," adds Dave West. "I wanted to write a book that showed why doing a little bit of OOA&D is really good and helps you build great software. I wanted to provide a practical set of principles and approach to OOA&D that enables practitioners to pick them up and start using them from day one."

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design does just that. It shows readers how to analyze, design, and write serious object-oriented software: software that's easy to reuse, maintain, and extend; software that lets developers add new features without breaking the old ones.

"With the increased number of university courses that emphasize the object-oriented paradigm, it seemed like a good time to produce a book that goes into depth rather than breadth," observes Gary Pollice. "Many books provide a survey of the material, which leaves the instructor the very difficult task of showing students how to wade through the material in order to apply what they hopefully learn to real systems. Instead, we used a small number of running examples throughout the book, providing in-depth exposition of key principles and practices, so our readers would come away with knowledge they can use immediately."

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design presents serious information in a entertaining, exciting, visual approach to learning. It combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and a friendly, conversational style to engage readers in many different ways. It's fast, fun, and effective:

  • Learn how to use OO principles like encapsulation and delegation to build applications that are flexible.
  • Apply the Open-Closed Principle (OCP) and the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) to promote reuse of your code.
  • Learn how OO principles, design patterns, and different development approaches all fit into the OOA&D project lifecycle.
  • Use UML, use cases, and diagrams to ensure that all stakeholders are communicating clearly to help you deliver the right software that meets everyone's needs.

In the award-winning Head First fashion, Head First OOA&D compresses the time it takes to learn and retain complex information. Readers can expect to have fun, to learn, and to be writing great software consistently by the time they're finished with this book.

Early Praise for Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design:

"Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design is a refreshing look at the subject of OOA&D. What sets this book apart is its focus on learning. The authors have made the content of OOA&D accessible, usable for the practitioner."--Ivar Jacobson, Ivar Jacobson Consulting

"Hidden behind the funny pictures and crazy fonts is a serious, intelligent, extremely well-crafted presentation of OO Analysis and Design. As I read the book, I felt like I was looking over the shoulder of an expert designer who was explaining to me what issues were important at each step and why."--Edward Sciore, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Boston College

"I just finished reading HF OOA&D and I loved it! The thing I liked most about this book was its focus on why we do OOA&D--to write great software!"--Kyle Brown, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

Background and Market Information:

Additional Resources:

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design
Brett D. McLaughlin, Gary Pollice, and David West
ISBN: 0-596-00867-8, 600 pages, $49.99 US, $64.99 CA

About O’Reilly

O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

Email a link to this press release