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Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  832 ratings  ·  120 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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Rod Hilton
Aug 04, 2010 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
Will Semin
The book is awesome. I felt like its repetitive in some areas to help a NOVICE programmer to understand how impotrant is the notion but its a 10/10 book. A must read for being a better coder.
Shahriyar Nasir
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apprenticeship Patterns has been a pivotal book in my software career. Many years ago I heard about one of the patterns in this book called "Read Constantly." It was in a video of a talk by the author of this book, Dave Hoover. The pattern stated that reading a good software book every two months would distinguish anyone in a year from other developers. This stuck with me and inspired me to start reading more. After many years and many books, I'm deeply grateful to have been introduced to Appren ...more
Saf Venture
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I could have benefited from reading this book earlier. It’s not focused on technical but more on personal, concerning your motivation and morale. There are lots of parts that made me pause, think, reflect and write the important keys. But this really struck me most:

After all, there’s no certificate for “Master Software Craftsman.” Being a genius, lucky, rich, or famous doesn’t make you a master. These things aren’t essential to craftsmanship. Skill across all facets of software development and
Nov 13, 2010 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
Olem Diga
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good book recommended for "Aspiring Software Craftsmanship" to make the journey ahead less intimidating and it might serve as an enlightening book to anyone who might be unsure of how to personally develop themselves to meet the daily challenges of the Software Development World. ...more
Duong Tan
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very useful for learners. And, trainers also.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: programming
The subtitle of this book is "Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman," and I really did not know why people railed against software craftsmanship until I read this book.

This book has a lot of approaches for beginning software developers to improve themselves by being humble, staying motivated, accurately assessing their skills, continuously learning, and reading deeper. It is a strange book that throws out a lot of things to assure a reader that the authors are smart without really explai
Jun 18, 2014 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"
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book came as a recommendation to me, as I found this as an appropriate time to read it. One of
The greatest messages that stuck out to me was, as you are starting your journey as a software developer, reading the right book at the right time significantly impacts your personal development. This was definitely the best time to read it, which in turn provides me a list of great books to be read.

I will also conclude that some of the concepts are harder to grasp if you're not already slightly f
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Perpetual Learning can be viewed as a blessing or a curse. Learning something new can be painful, especially when it's done under pressure and with little guidance. Yet, like the athlete that must endure muscle soreness after strenuous workouts, the software developer endures the mental dissonance that comes with learning something new. That dissonance can become a welcome sign of progress. Self-reflection, identifying failure through feedback loops, and learning your weaknesses all appear nega ...more
Manuel Laphroaig
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book for those engineers looking for ways to appraise their current path in a rational way.

Although not my usual favoured style of writing (I tend to dislike books that are amalgamations of smaller points) I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I've been struggling with my work recently and the strategies outlined in this book have provided me with a much needed boost and new perspective to the craft of software.

Practical advice that I will return to frequently.
Gareth Davies
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
An absolute must read for anyone aspiring to be an excellent software craftsman, also for anyone managing developers or technical employees it's a good read so you can spot who's making the right moves and who is taking the long path to excel and not just sitting around and doing their job.

I recognised almost all the patterns in myself having done this for a long time.

Highly recommended.
Arun Sasidharan
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech
A must-read for all developers who have at some point felt:
- they have plateaued and are stuck
- have lost the enthusiasm they once had
- they have become ignorant
- the need to find a mentor
- the need to reach their next level of competence
Og Maciel
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
As it usually happens in real, I only came across this amazing book several years from when I most needed it in my professional career. By the time someone referred me to it in 2014, I had already begun my long journey to become an apprentice and aspiring journeyman. I like to tell people that I learned things the hard way, getting my education from The School of Hard Knocks. To this day I still believe that the Sweep The Floor and Be The Worst patterns were designed with me in mind! Of course I ...more
Jan 13, 2014 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
Salvatore Zappalà
Aug 08, 2015 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.
Dec 07, 2012 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.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Short book full of very "deep" insights like "read constantly", "seek more experienced and learn from them", etc.
Lai Duy Ha
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Learn to love the journey
Frans Guelinckx
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to make you think about the road ahead as an aspiring software craftsman. Must-read!
Erkan Erol
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It would have been good to come across this earlier in my career although that would need time travel since the book was written later. :-D

Useful advice but somewhere along the line I started to get the feeling that there is too much role play going on. I have long bought into the philosophy of considering writing software as your craft and on continuously working to improve it. And I was hoping there would be solid advice towards that here. But it turned out to be good advice wrapped in unneces
J.D. Sandifer
I found this book amazing. Some of the ideas are not new, but all of them seem valuable. They apply to different points along a career path so I can't test them all out now, but it was awesome to see what I'm already doing right, what other strategies I could add to my learning endeavors, and what I can keep in the back of my mind for much further down the road.

I believe this book could be helpful to anyone pursuing a craft skill - I think that's most skills that are not science or art. However,
Asiful Nobel
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a good book with patterns written like the Design Patterns book by Gang of Four. But it starts off very much opinionated about software engineering. The writers tried to pass of software engineering as something sacred. However, as you go further, the view changes and they offer patterns to all types of software engineers. Some are very common, but a few were insights from experienced people that are still applicable in this day & age. Additionally, the writing style is very easy to read.

Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: programmers
Shelves: programming
This is not a typical advice book. It does, however, give you advice on how to improve your skills and how to avoid your self-development go stale. It does so by wrapping their experience and suggestions into a pattern template "context - problem - solution - personal experience (use-case)" and it works rather well.

Highly recommended for young professionals and seasoned programmers alike. It won't go easy, some "patterns" will read like a typical advice book and some will not match your "problem
Alessio Piergiacomi
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(I would have given it 4.5 stars if there was the option.)

I wish I had read this book few years ago, but then I'm not sure I had the right mindset at the time.
Actually, I'm actually not sure how many apprentices are in the right mindset to consume this book as the begin their careers (very few I would imagine).

The book is a good read no matter at what point in your career you are, you don't need much imagination to adapt the recommendations to suit your experience.

There are a lot of interesting
Du Nguyen
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent book that points you toward the road of software apprenticeship or life-long learning. It describes ways to become a better software craftsman and to manage your career.
The book is divided into patterns with a problem for each pattern and solutions. Central to all or most of the patterns is that it is a road of learning and that once you have gained some sort of competency you should pay it forward.

Hugely valuable book if only a bit intimidating as it shows how much there is yet to l
Dan Stewart
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book inspired me to write book reviews as a way of maintaining a "Reading List". It challenged me to start a website so that I can "Share What You Learn". Almost every chapter of the book has inspired or challenged me to do something. Some books you read and nod your head, this book you read and put into action. ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quick snippets of real world experience, problems in your tech career with solutions and actions to take to correct them.

It would be easy to say 'I already know all this'. But really it gave me a simple language to understand a tech career and know that my feelings on it are similar to what others have gone through over the years.

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4 likes · 2 comments
“First, the written pattern is more complete. It has been studied, characterized, classified, and explained.” 1 likes
“I guess it basically means having the attitude that there’s always a better/smarter/faster way to do what you just did and what you’re currently doing.” 0 likes
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