This course seeks to develop, for the experienced Java programmer, a strong, shared vocabulary of design patterns and best practices. The course begins with a discussion of how to recognize and apply design patterns - that is, how to incorporate pattern awareness into one's own analysis, design, and implementation practices. The main body of the course focuses on the Gang of Four design patterns, with a chapter each on creational, behavioral, and structural patterns. Classroom time is about evenly split between discussion, group design exercies, and coding labs to reinforce finer points of important patterns.
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Solid Java programming experience is essential - especially object-oriented use of the language. Language features and techniques that are integral to some lab exercises include interfaces and abstract classes, threading, generics and collections, and recursive methods.
Previous experience with UML (Unified Modeling Language) will be helpful, but is not critical. The course uses UML class diagrams extensively but keeps notation fairly simple, and also includes a quick-reference appendix.