Apprenticeship Patterns cataloges dozens of behavior patterns to help you perfect essential aspects of your craft. Compiled from years of research, many interviews, and feedback from O'Reilly's online forum, these patterns address difficult situations that programmers, administrators, and DBAs face every day. [ref]As is typical with patterns books, much of the information will have an "I already knew that" feel about it, but it's pattern books aren't about learning new information, they're about unlocking information already in your mind. In this particular case, Apprenticeship Patterns is written as a useful text for new engineers. This comes from the Goals section:
We have written this book in order to share solutions to the dilemmas that are often faced by inexperienced software developers. We’re not referring to technical dilemmas; you’re not going to find any Java design patterns or Ruby on Rails recipes in this book. Rather, the dilemmas that we focus on are more personal, concerning your motivation and morale. This book should help you through the tough decisions that you face as a newcomer to the field of professional software development.I had the honor of reviewing this book and providing feedback to the authors prior to its publication. So, I think their goals are a bit misleading. I'm a very experienced engineer, and I repeatedly found ideas and inspiration from it. It's not a very long book, it's easy to read, and I think it's ideal for professional reflection. I've recommended this book to several people, and those that have read it have had very positive experiences.
So, as I said, the book is now available in an open source format. As Ade wrote in his announcement:
Just like we were one of the first O'Reilly books to experiment with using a wiki to get early feedback during the writing process we're also one of the first O'Reilly books to experiment with publishing our material under a Creative Commons license. Starting from today the book is now available here: http://apprenticeship-patterns.labs.oreilly.com/How exciting! Now this book will become the next one I review in a reading group.
Addendum: Speaking of reading groups, one reading group has been videorecording its Apprenticeship Patterns sessions. Here's Episode 1, and a Search for further episodes.
Attribution: I lazily stole the title of this post from Ade's announcement.