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Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  432 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
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 hav ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 22nd 2009 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2009)
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The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew HuntClean Code by Robert C. MartinCode Complete by Steve McConnellRefactoring by Martin FowlerWorking Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael C. Feathers
Software Craftsmanship
13th out of 22 books — 73 voters
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Epic CTO Reading List
14th out of 84 books — 45 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,882)
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Dec 04, 2010 jaadhimalli rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: programming practitioners of all experience levels
Few lines from the book :

Phenomenon of golden lock "I'd like to learn something new, but what I already know pays too well"

Do what you love and the money will follow.

Paul Graham went on to say, “Try to keep the sense of wonder about programming that you had at age 14. If you’re worried that your current job is rotting your brain, it probably is.”

The goal is not to stay the weakest, but to start at the bottom
and work your way up.

Humility is one of the foundations of a successful apprenticeship. C
Rod Hilton
Jan 12, 2014 Rod Hilton rated it it was amazing
Think of Apprenticeship Patterns as a bugfixing patch for Pete McBreen's "Software Craftsmanship"

While reading McBreen's book, it becomes clear after a while that what he is describing is an ideal, something of a "this is the way that the software industry ought to work" and while reading it I couldn't help but agree, it ought to. However, the real world is so vastly different from McBreen's utopia that it often feels hopeless, like a lot of the great benefits of the book are out of reach becaus
Veselin Nikolov
Nov 09, 2012 Veselin Nikolov rated it it was amazing
Вдъхновяваща книга, която трябва да ви изпълни с ентусиазъм за промяна и развитие. Успях да извлека няколко поуки, които ще опитам да приложа в практиката си, но ще почакам малко и ще им направя повторно ревю.

Книгата ми казва, че технологиите, с които се занимавам са стари и за да стана по-добър трябва да зарежа старите знания и да уча нови. Книгата ми казва, че трябва да се заоградя с по-добри от мен програмисти и да ги напъвам да ми споделят знания. ОК. Точно така работят нещата при 2 категори
Jul 13, 2014 Tomasz rated it really liked it
I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed after reading this book. Not only it is well written, short and concise but
it also contains many interesting and very useful ideas that we could apply in our work to help our skills grow and our career flourish.

I can only regret that I've read it after almost 7 years of work as a developer. It would be even more useful if I had done it at the early
stage of my career.

As one of other readers wrote "Best development book I've read, has no code in it"
Jul 19, 2014 Doxuanhuy rated it liked it
Just a so so book. It may be my personal opinion, but maybe because I've read a lot of articles and books about software craftmanship, so this book patterns seem quite obvious to me. Moreover, those patterns seem to be scattered to me, i just be able to remember some main patterns like: breakable toys, concrete skills, dig deeper.. But honestly, some points in the book are really helpful to me, it helps me know that the way how i'm currently pursuing to be a better developer is correct, and ther ...more
Salvo Zappalà
Sep 02, 2015 Salvo Zappalà rated it it was amazing
I think every developer should read this book.
A handbook with a lot of good thoughts and best practices about our profession. Very inspiring.
It sometimes describe an utopical world, but that's what you get when you have to push your optimism and your commitment to the limit.
I think that also non-developers could benefit from a lot of the patterns described.
Note: it's not a book just to read, you have to keep it on hand for when you need motivation.
Sep 23, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it
This is truly a great reference book for software craftsmanship.

Initially Dave gives the story about his experience of software craftsmanship. Then the definitions of software craftsmanship, being an apprentice, being a journeyman, being a master are given. Also apprenticeship and apprenticeship pattern are introduced. In following chapters, Dave and Ade use Context-Problem-Solution-Action pattern to address different situations we may encounter in our programming life. Every situation is a sign
Feb 13, 2014 caisah rated it liked it
I read this book because it popped out on HackerNews as "the best development book" with no code in it.

This is nothing more than a collection of blog posts previously written by the authors, and annotated with some interviews and quotes. The first chapters feel like you read a self help book. This was the most frequent critique and I don't beg to differ. But it gets better as you advance. The book can be read in a few hours so the time investing in reading it can be valuable for some.

But if you
Frans Guelinckx
Jan 26, 2015 Frans Guelinckx rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to make you think about the road ahead as an aspiring software craftsman. Must-read!
Ravi Sinha
Jun 09, 2015 Ravi Sinha rated it it was amazing
The material in this book isn't too radically different from what we've already seen in books such as the Passionate Programmer (Chad Fowler), the Productive Programmer (Neal Ford), the Pragmatic Programmer (Hunt and Thomas), the New Programmer's Survival Manual (Josh Carter), etc. But it was a classic, so I had to dig in (especially with the free version available online). I like the tone of the book a lot, and I also like the cross references between the different patterns explained. These ref ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Tiffany rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
Interesting, but much of it seemed like common sense. They completely skipped over work/life balance, which if you followed all the patterns in the book, would have a strong chance of getting completely out of whack.
Dec 10, 2014 Simon rated it really liked it
An interesting read for graduates as well as seasoned professionals. Less experienced software developers should be able to relate to some (if not all) of the patterns in this book. You will not become a better developer just by reading this book, but you should be able to pick up several good approaches for honing your dev skills.

The book also contains chapters inviting the reader reflect on their career, the current state of their knowledge base and what they intend to achieve in the long term
Johnny Graber
Jul 24, 2014 Johnny Graber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apprenticeship Patterns is a great starting point to learn some basic patterns about learning. Like every pattern they are context sensitive and give a name to something you may call “common sense” after spending years doing it. This book however is for people starting in the field of software development and wants to improve their skills.
If you like this book you may continue after a while with The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master that is for journeymen aspiring to master the cr
Jan 16, 2014 Mateusz rated it did not like it
Short book full of very "deep" insights like "read constantly", "seek more experienced and learn from them", etc.
Jan 31, 2016 Uri rated it it was amazing
I wish I could receive the book 10 years ago.

Though, not all the patterns are novel, reading them in one source helps to draw a bigger picture of a Software Craftsmanship and the road one should take in order to enhance his skills.

You should read the book "actively": summarizing the patterns, extracting To Do lists or creating a Mind Map with patterns' highlights and relations.
Such a reading will ensure better reflections and actions on the patterns.

I highly recommend the book to those who are s
Lai Duy Ha
Jul 15, 2014 Lai Duy Ha rated it really liked it
Learn to love the journey
Zachary Marsden
May 11, 2015 Zachary Marsden rated it liked it
While there are some great nuggets of wisdom (a la The Pragmatic Programmer, which this book could be considered the predecessor to or knock off of depending on how you look at it), overall it's of more of a feel good tech book.

If you're needing motivation, this isn't a bad read by any means, but if you're already motivated and out there studying/working, this is ultimately a waste of time.

The best thing about this book is that it's currently free online via O'Reillys Atlas (Chimera) program.
Sep 18, 2015 Hamdanil rated it really liked it
Shelves: programming
Pretty neat book in general. This book introduced me to the "software craftmanship" concept, which try to draw parallels between today's software developers with an idealized version of medieval craftsmen. The book refers to this concept throughout the book, sometimes passionately. This book deals with "apprenticeship" where a newbie programmer learns his crafts by adopting certain attitude and exposing himself to better programmers. The "patterns" in the title refers to these attitudes that the ...more
Eric Hogue
This is a book that every programmers who wants to improve should read. The book is targeted at beginner, but experienced developers can also profit from it.

If you are already working on improving your skills, you should already be following most of the patterns. It is still a good read. It allows to put names on some of your practice, and it can also give you new tricks to become a better developer.
Nov 22, 2010 Himanshu rated it really liked it
The comparison of software with craft and the software builder with the craftsman is a debatable analogy. "Apprenticeship Patterns" for me is a book that you should not only read once but return back multiple times to self-examine your approach to software development. The "patterns" are useful rules that you can use for tasks like finding mentors, learning relevant things, creating a feedback loop for self-improvement etc. Regardless of whether you are a programmer looking to improve or someone ...more
Brian Heumann
Jun 24, 2014 Brian Heumann rated it it was amazing
Right now I am at some crossroads in my career and are going to change jobs and career directions. I will definitely will come back to this book and check out some patterns, when I get settled in my new job.

While it was deliberately aimed at software developers, any kind of knowledge workers can easily modify and adapt the patterns.
Anton Antonov
Mar 15, 2015 Anton Antonov rated it it was amazing
Apprenticeship Patterns is pretty much a guide how to make the most of your programmer's life.

First of all the format is extremely readable. No hard to dissect walls of text, just a simple - Context, Problem, Solution, Action, See Also format. If you

I can't say even one thing out of the book that isn't applicable.
I can write about everything, but I'll focus on what resonated with me.

As a software developer, focusing mostly in open-source and believing in skill-sharing, those were the chapters '
Luka Rajčević
Jan 25, 2015 Luka Rajčević rated it really liked it
An interesting read, and also a fine concept of putting the advice in the form of "patterns". Most of the patterns are well known and could be considered a "common sense", but nevertheless there are many quality advice to pick up and new ideas to try out.
May 24, 2014 Jules rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, career, 2014, tech
Recommended reading by my instructor at coding bootcamp. A guidebook of sorts for continuously learning and self-development as you go through your career as a programmer (or any other career path that requires development of craftsmanship).
A nice read on common problems and solutions for learning. The patterns concept is interesting in itself and if more people know about it the more valuable it gets as it's easier to communicate naming patterns than describing them. As I handled some personal development initiatives in the office this was a great complement, but I read it too late (since I've moved on) so I recommend anyone that want's to get into teaching people to read this early. That's why I bought a copy of it and gave to th ...more
May 22, 2014 Francesco rated it it was amazing
I read this book one month before graduating and it gave me a huge motivation for starting my career ("The long road" as the authors call it) as an apprentice in software development.
Mathieu Lalonde
Feb 07, 2015 Mathieu Lalonde rated it liked it
It's a book a like to refer to when I feel my progression is stalling. It's a useful way to organize ideas on the subject even, though a lot of these feel like common sense.
Travis Pence
Oct 27, 2014 Travis Pence rated it it was amazing
It has given me new insight in to what it means to be a Software Engineer. I highly recommend it to any Junior developer that wishes to further their craft.
Sep 23, 2014 Mylene rated it it was amazing
Absolutely great book - a big help on your way to become a craftsman - and if you don't want to become a craftsman, just read it for the good advice :)
Jun 02, 2015 Davuth rated it liked it
not really my favorite book but the concept is good... it's good as a reference when you are lost in a programming world...
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