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Episode 215: Gang of Four – 20 Years Later : Software Engineering Radio

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/12/23

If you are into serious software development, then this is a 75 minute PodCast you must listen to: Episode 215: Gang of Four – 20 Years Later : Software Engineering Radio.

Abstract

Johannes Thönes talks with Erich Gamma, Ralph Johnson and Richard Helm from the Gang of Four about the 20th anniversary of their book Design Patterns. They discuss the following topics: the definition of a design pattern and each guest’s favorite design pattern; the origins of the book in architecture workshops; the writing of the book together with the community; the rock-star feeling at the release of the book at OOPSLA conference; the influence of the book on the industry; the evolution of the Observer pattern; and new patterns since the book was released. The interview closes with each guest talking about their current projects.

What I liked

Of course I enjoyed the history of the Gang of Four (and am still sad that John Vlissides passed away).

I even more liked the historic perspective of how the Design Patterns book got established, like having viral marketing in 1994, a community based on an ftp server (there was no WWW back then) and a mailing list, the importance of software conferences, being at the right place at the right time doing the right thing, etc.

The relation to other patterns (wood working, large corporations) was also very enlightening.

Johannes Thönes is an excellent interviewer (great pace, great questions, nice voice, very good way of handling the conversation), and I’m going to make sure I listen to more of his podcasts.

He got the gang to talk about how the Design Patterns book relates to current software development: Dependency Injection, Functional Programming (which should have a pattern book of its own), patterns being part languages (abstract classes to name a simple case), modern, scripted and established languages (not limited to C++, Java, C#, TypeScript and JavaScript).

That’s maybe even the most important part of the podcast: most the book is still very much current, but you need to be aware how the software development world around the book has evolved and place the patterns in that perspective.

–jeroen

via Episode 215: Gang of Four – 20 Years Later : Software Engineering Radio.

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