Head First Software Development
A Learner's Companion to Software Development
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2007
Pages: 498

Even the best developers have seen well-intentioned software projects fail -- often because the customer kept changing requirements, and end users didn't know how to use the software you developed. Instead of surrendering to these common problems, let Head First Software Development guide you through the best practices of software development. Before you know it, those failed projects will be a thing of the past.

With its unique visually rich format, this book pulls together the hard lessons learned by expert software developers over the years. You'll gain essential information about each step of the software development lifecycle -- requirements, design, coding, testing, implementing, and maintenance -- and understand why and how different development processes work.

This book is for you if you are:

  • Tired of your customers assuming you're psychic. You'll learn not only how to get good requirements, but how to make sure you're always building the software that customers want (even when they're not sure themselves)
  • Wondering when the other 15 programmers you need to get your project done on time are going to show up. You'll learn how some very simple scheduling and prioritizing will revolutionize your success rate in developing software.
  • Confused about being rational, agile, or a tester. You'll learn not only about the various development methodologies out there, but how to choose a solution that's right for your project.
  • Confused because the way you ran your last project worked so well, but failed miserably this time around. You'll learn how to tackle each project individually, combine lessons you've learned on previous projects with cutting-edge development techniques, and end up with great software on every project.
Head First Software Development is here to help you learn in a way that your brain likes... and you'll have a blast along the way. Why pick up hundreds of boring books on the philosophy of this approach or the formal techniques required for that one? Stick with Head First Software Development, and your projects will succeed like never before. Go on, get started... you'll learn and have fun. We promise.
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oreillyHead First Software Development
 
4.1

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (4)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (3)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    3.0

    OK, but too cutesy and disorganized

    By Schriftsteller

    from New York, NY

    About Me Developer

    Pros

    • Accurate

    Cons

    • Disorganized
    • Too Cutesy

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

      Like all "Head First" books, this one has good information but is too cutesy and disorganized for my taste. It seems designed for people who don't like to read books.

      It was a required book for a class, or I wouldn't have bought it.

       
      4.0

      Lacks color

      By Beto Sanro

      from Mexico

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

        Reviewing PDF version.

        The information is great. But it turn me off tha lack of color in the PDF. It was black and white, no that much stimulating for my brain.

        Metacognition ?

         
        4.0

        Not for Tablets

        By Dan

        from Minneapolis, MN

        About Me Developer, Maker

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Small Pictures On Tablet

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

        With the Head First books, the pictures are an integral portion of the content. However, when displaying the pictures on a tablet, their size is reduced to the point where you can't read the text within the picture, which you need to do to understand everything. You should read the pdf on a full size screen or get the paper book.

        On the excellent side, the content is very thorough. The author who wrote this has been there and back, and explains, comprehensively, how you can too!

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great

        By Student

        from Vancouver

        Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

        Great, I used this book for a lecture and it worked out awesome. The only problem I had is I found it difficult to quickly look for certain marks I wanted to use.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        An Invaluable Resource

        By Tom O

        from Baltimore, MD

        About Me Designer, Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

          I have used this book constantly to assist with web development at the office and home. I have used it to get a better understanding of developing my servlets in an organized and professional manner. I also have used this book to better understand how to make my projects more accessible for web developers and inexperienced developers. Additionally I have used this book in preparation for the SCWCD exam, and it is one of the best resources you can have to master this exam.

          There are several very good things about this book. First, it's a Head First book, written by the Head First creators. They know what's important for the exam, they know the material, and they know how to keep the reader engaged. Also, it's well structured, so you can read through it and get a solid understanding of the material. It's also segmented well enough that it makes for an invaluable reference. Third, it's just a fun read. If you don't handle overly technical books, this book has enough personality to keep the reader going.

          I thought a few shortcomings were in the Typos and Final Test Exam inaccuracies. Every book has them, and the O'Reilly errata pages helped bring me back whenever the book confused me, but it did make the final practice exam cumbersome.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Recommended Reading

          By Edmonton Linux Users Group

          from Edmonton

          Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

          This book is presented in the familiar style of other Head First titles,

          which use a variety of techniques, exercises, and tests to appeal to a

          wide audience and reinforce the learning experience. While the book is

          intended for relatively new developers who are familiar with Object

          Oriented development (specifically Java, since the technical aspects of

          the book are geared towards it).

          I do appreciate that the style lets me do a bit of picking and choosing

          for what I may want to learn, essentially passing over something that

          doesn't work for me where I might already know or understand the topic.

          Certainly, working through all of the material, where I am unfamiliar with

          it or need to learn it, is the best course.

          I like that there is an emphasis on some relatively standard

          methodologies, from design requirements through to testing and further

          development. What is interesting to me is how there are so many

          methodologies out there that are actually very similar. I think what's

          important is to be able to adapt to the specific environment you are in. I

          am very happy to be doing most of my development in an environment that

          allows me to do a lot of prototyping, which is mildly different from the

          iterative approach advocated in the book.

          I found some of the tools interesting - the "planning poker" game is a

          somewhat innovating way to estimate how long various tasks will take.

          Obviously, that means a team approach to estimating, compared to an old

          school method I recall whereby the team lead would make a best guess

          based on experience, then double it, and double it again. The object was

          simply to overcome the developer's optimism while taking into account all

          the things that could cut into the team's productivity.

          Because I'm not much into Java, I found some of the tools to be less than

          beneficial. However, it should be noted that the principles are still

          important, and learnable, even if you need to use different tools because

          of your environment. Also note that to cover all the bases would have

          required a volume many times the current ~450.

          I would also state that "Object Oriented" isn't necessarily the best way

          to go. I still do a lot of procedural programming, and even blended

          procedural with object oriented. Use the right tool for the job.

          All in all, a pleasure to read, with (for me) lots of review and plenty of

          new takes on old techniques. Recommended.

          http://elug.ca/reviews/head_first_software_development.shtml (http://elug.ca/reviews/head_first_software_development.shtml)

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          My first Head First book

          By Anonymous

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

          I've been eyeballing the Head First books for a while, specifically the Java and Object-Oriented Analysis & Design. I don't program in Java and I think I understand OOP very well. Because of this, this Head First structure look to offer a bit less structure - so a good "read as you can" book.

          I got this title in a raffle. I'm glad I did. It whetted my appetite for more Head First. Not so much for the content (Which I will review further down) but because it's almost like reading a comic book. Easy, entertaining and something my busy dizzy mind could readily grasp in small chunks. I will probably get another Head First book in the future. Probably more than one.

          As for the content of this book, it was well laid out and for someone new to the concepts of formal software design, it was nice to see all the little pieces come together. I did have a hard time with the Java specific environment, but I guess it would be much larger if they covered other systems. The steps were clear, some of them a smidge corny, but most of them logical.

          After having read this, I was inspired to put it to use. That's when it hit me. I can't see this working unless the entire development group reads the book - or they were all newbies.

          I'm an idealist, so I'll believe this kinda of software development exists. It has to exist. And someday I'll work in a place where it does.

          (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          very good

          By bufubuxing

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Head First Software Development:

          very very good!

          it's very useful for me.

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