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Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. November 2009

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Synopsis

Software developers face an ever-changing and ever-expanding technology landscape, which can appear as intimidating as Mt. Everest to newcomers. Developing technical skills is vital, but there are dozens of soft skills and learning techniques you need if you're to grow and succeed professionally. Honing those soft skills is a big part of what "Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman" is all about. Authors Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye, both formerly of the global IT consultancy ThoughtWorks, have cataloged dozens of patterns of behavior to help software developers hone their craft. Developed through years of research, a multitude of interviews, and feedback from O'Reilly's online forum, these patterns address difficult situations faced by entry-level programmers, system administrators, and database administrators. Each pattern has a memorable name to help point you in the right direction when you need it most.This title includes examples of common obstacles and their solutions. Burned out at work? Learn how to 'Nurture Your Passion' by finding a pet project to help you rediscover the joy of problem solving.

Feeling overwhelmed by too much new information? Take a step back from your learning to re-explore some familiar territory by building something you've built before, then use 'Retreat Into Competence' to launch yourself forward again. Feeling stuck in your learning? Seek out a team of experienced and talented developers where you can 'Be the Worst' for a while. Like any patterns book, you can read this one front-to-back, jump to specific patterns when you encounter the issues they address, or cherry pick just the ones that are new to you. The purpose of the solutions is to inspire you to stay on the path you intend, rather than wander off into management because it seems like the only option for advancement.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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Format: Taschenbuch
Personally I met Ade at the Software Craftsmanship conference in London earlier this year and participated in his session on Mapping personal practices. After I came back I used the format for Personnel development. Since May I have a video from Ade open in my browser tabs on How to walk the long road, which I still haven't seen, yet. So, just after finishing the book, I decided to describe my personal development as a reflection of the last four years of my life using the pattern language provided in the book. So, here it is.

Introduction

For the sake of brevity I will leave out details about my university years. Though My First Language was C++ by then, nowadays I prefer Java. We did some fancy robotics stuff with face-detection and office-tools detection in university, but after starting work at my current employee I never used these techniques again. During my studies I also came up with the idea of applying Bayesian filtering to online chats like IRC and built an open source project out of it, which became more or less abandoned over time. The interesting times started back in April 2006 right after starting my first job outside the university.

My first year

During the first year we had a relaxed situation. We were mostly doing product development of a product which was not delivered to any customer. It was a new product, which would be sold to a real customer in the next year. The project was already running for one and a half year and I was brought into the test team of one of the major components in it. On the first phase I knew I needed to Sweep The Floor, since I Was The Worst. I started by Unleashing My Enthusiasm and changed the test scripts we had by that time. There were two basic flows in the script functions used.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 20 Rezensionen
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Start your learning on a solid path (or kickstart your learning if you've let it lapse)... 17. Mai 2010
Von Thomas Duff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Being successful in IT means forever being committed to continual learning. But are there better ways to approach that learning? Are there times you get stuck when trying to move beyond what you already know? Do you find yourself somewhat fearful of moving outside your current level of expertise because you'll end up feeling stupid? Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye have written what I consider to be an *excellent* book on learning patterns titled Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman . Though you may think the "aspiring software craftsman" limits this to people starting out, you'd be wrong. There is so much wisdom here that I'll likely be referring back to it for years to come.

Contents:
Software Craftsmanship Manifesto
Introduction
Emptying The Cup
Walking The Long Road
Accurate Self-Assessment
Perpetual Learning
Construct Your Curriculum
Conclusion
Pattern List
A Call For Apprenticeship
A Retrospective On The First Year Of Obtiva's Apprenticeship Program
Online Resources
Bibliography
Index

The authors start by defining exactly what "software craftsmanship" entails. Among many of their thoughts, they define it as a community of practice that encompasses values such as a growth mindset, the need to adapt and change, being pragmatic instead of dogmatic, and the belief that we should share what we know instead of hoarding that knowledge. These values along with the others they talk about point strongly back to the individual's responsibility to control their own path and direction, and that's where the learning patterns come in. Instead of using a "hit or miss" method of gaining new skills, they outline a number of techniques, or patterns, which can help you maintain a level of structure to your learning, while also helping you avoid sticking points that can often derail us.

Each of the chapters focuses on a certain aspect of learning as we move up the levels of our craft. Emptying The Cup talks about how we need to approach new skills as willing beginners instead of struggling with feelings that we should know everything immediately. Learning takes time. Walking The Long Road focuses on how becoming a master in a language or skill is a long-term process. Just when you think you have a handle on something, you will look around and see others who are light-years ahead of you. But that's OK, as they have been traveling the long road just like you. Accurate Self-Assessment guides you back to making sure you measure yourself against the best (such as being the worst in a group of experts) rather than feeling you're an expert in a small pond. Perpetual Learning is just that... the constant quest to pick up new information and incorporate it into your skill base. And finally, Construct Your Curriculum helps to guide you to resources that will give you the most value for the time spent reading and learning.

This book grabbed hold of me early and didn't let go. I'm personally in the process of trying to gain some new technical skills, and I sort of wondered if I was struggling with the feeling of "being stupid" when it came to comparing what I need to know with what I already know in the Notes/Domino world. The answer to that was a resounding "yes!" Patterns such as The White Belt (setting aside my previous knowledge to learn new knowledge) and Confront Your Ignorance (pick a skill and actively fill in the gaps in your knowledge of it) made perfect sense to me as I work through my new learning. Because it's been such as long time since I was a "beginner" with a new technology, it's easy to forget these mindsets and as a result end up struggling. I appreciated being reminded of them in a way that I can actively use them again.

On a side note... It's not a stretch to look at these patterns and find that you could apply them to *any* sort of new learning. Granted, most of the commentary on each pattern is software-related, but most transcend that narrow niche. Take a skill such as writing... Most (if not all) of these patterns still apply. You don't learn how to write in three months and then stop because you've learned everything. You need to continually practice, seek out advice and mentoring from those better than you, focus on different aspects where you're weak, etc. Following these patterns in any new endeavor will greatly enhance your chances of becoming a craftsman in that area.

While this book won't teach you a new technology, it will most definitely help you learn that new technology in a way that is sustainable over the long haul. Incorporating these mindsets into your life will do wonders to make you feel much more competent, as well as helping you to enjoy the journey along the way. Apprenticeship Patterns is a highly recommended read.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great advise on improvement techniques 22. Februar 2010
Von Bas Vodde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
"Apprenticeship patterns" was not on my Reading List, but dropped in my stack of books my accident. I decided to read the first couple of pages to see if its any good, and ended up finishing the whole book in a short time. I enjoyed reading it, it gave words to practices I've been following.

Apprenticeship patterns are patterns on how to improve your development skills over your career and gradually become a software craftsman. In consists of a bunch of chapters containing patterns. I couldn't find too much logic in grouping the patterns in this way, so myself ignored the chapter titles and just read the patterns.

The patterns have been mined and cataloged over the past 4 years. A lot of them originated from Dave's career move to software development and therefore many patterns are clarified with personal stories from Dave. They start with trivial patterns as Your First Language which gives you a start as a developer and dives into the harder ones asking you to Expose Your Ignorance and Be The Worst so that you can still learn.

My favorite pattern in the book was The Long Road which is an interesting analogy to learning forever. As eternal learners we need to learn to walk the Long (and never ending Road), as apprenticeship learning to walk the Long Road is key to continuously sharpening your skills. At least, I'll continue my journey on the Long Road.

The book is small and its a quick read. Its easy to read it in parts as it consists of patterns of each one-two pages. I was considering a 5 star rating as it is one of these books I finished in a short time because it kept me reading. Though decided to go to 4 as the book does what it does, but (as some other reviewers point out) there are also a bunch of other good software development career books.

Another amazon reviewer pointed out the craftsmanship analogy and attempt to create the new big thing in our industry. This might very well be, but I myself do enjoy the craftsmanship analogy and believe our industry is ready for a better analogy than the professional engineer one. I'd definitively recommend this book, especially for apprentices, but also for the more experienced people to provide them useful terminology for what they have probably already been doing.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun Read 17. April 2012
Von A. ALMALEH - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
It's quite enjoyable to read through this book, especially for someone who got stuck at one point or another in their career and wanted a way out into a job that better fits their need. The book has excellent suggestions on networking with experts in the community, learning outside the box of one's job, and contributing back to the software community. The stories and examples are fun to read too. By the way, skimming through the book at first helps peak interest quite a bit before doing a cover to cover read.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Solid work on improving yourself 28. Januar 2011
Von James Holmes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Short, concise, well-written, highly useful. Other books such as Chad Fowler's The Passionate Programmer cover similar things, but this book sits absolutely well in that company.

This book is a series of very short articles ("patterns") around specific things you can do to guide and improve your career as a software craftsman. The articles all follow the same template: discuss the context of an environment/situation you're in, lay out a problem you need to solve, then offer up a solution for you to apply to that problem. Many of the articles are interwoven, linking common ideas or useful concepts.

This book echoes a number of things in Passionate Programmer like the concepts of being the worst in your group (work with folks that are a LOT better than you so you'll learn more), but it's a very worthwhile read on its own.

Apprenticeship Patterns is particularly nicely done in that the authors don't push a specific path they expect you to follow. They lay out a number of options and encourage you to find the path that works best for you.

I also GREATLY appreciated the authors being pragmatic over dogmatic in their approach to software craftsmanship. Certain zealots in the craftsmanship movement have completely lost site of the primary purpose of our trade: delivering value to customers. In their section "Craft over Art" he authors specifically and emphatically point out that we need to deliver "value to customers over advancing your own self-interests." They don't promote getting sloppy with one's work, but emphasize doing your work well while keeping the folks in mind who are writing the checks.

All in all, this is a solid read.
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great read not only for software developers 23. Oktober 2009
Von Michael Hunger - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
As with every pattern book, SCAP captures the things that we all know are important and working in expanding one's skill and professionality. It draws a wide map of applicable patterns, showing the way to a successful technical career without being cast off to management.

The books authors have harvested the patterns in countless interviews, conversations and discussions with experienced and not so experienced software developers. So the patterns where found, refined and expanded.

What you've got in your hand is a pattern language for becoming a software professional not necessarily an "engineer" but a craftsman. Someone who not only puts technical skill but also people skills, reputation of successfully handled projects (not only development but the whole life of a software) in his pockets.

As I reviewed the book, I may add that it evolved from a loose collection of pattern to a well written intricate network (map) of profound experience.

If you are curious about the content of the book, you can always visit the O'Reilly Wiki for SCAP or Safari and have a first look at the patterns there. If you like the style then buy it.

If you have something to say or discuss, please do so in the Wiki or here.

Michael, aspiring software craftsman
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