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37 Dungeons and Patterns!

Tuesday, 28 October – 13:30-17:00 Afternoon

Steve Metsker, Reader, Thinker, and Writer, Steve.Metsker@acm.org
William Wake, Independent Consultant, William.Wake@acm.org

"Dungeons and Patterns!" is a hands-on tutorial for exploring and learning about design patterns. You can become a more powerful object-oriented developer by learning about these things called "design patterns." The "Design Patterns" book (by Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides) explains what patterns are and introduces many of the most useful patterns, but many people find it difficult to learn by reading, and almost everyone improves through practice. The "Dungeons and Patterns!" tutorial lets you research, discover, learn, and explain patterns all at once, in a playful setting that is energizing and motivating while at the same time relaxed and fun.

In "Dungeons and Patterns!" you will encounter dungeon devices, creatures, and settings that serve as metaphors for design patterns. Your mission with your table-mates is to discover these metaphors, determine which pattern is at play, and explain the pattern to an Ahobbit that will accompany your party. The amazing thing about Ahobbits is that whenever they gain enlightenment about patterns (and utter "Ah Ha!"), their epiphanies magically cause further doorways and passages to open, letting you delve deeper and deeper into the patterns dungeon.

In a few hours of play you will become familiar with many patterns -- familiar enough to explain them to someone else!

Attendee background

Prerequisites: Attendees should have at least a little knowledge of design patterns, specifically those in the book "Design Patterns." Experience with role-playing games is a plus, but not necessary.


Role-playing game


Steve Metsker is a researcher and author who explores and writes about ways to expand the abilities of developers. Steve is the author of "Building Parsers in Java," the "Design Patterns Java Workbook," and the forthcoming "Design Patterns C# Workbook."

William Wake is an independent consultant and coach. He's the inventor of the XP Programmer's Cube, and the author of "Extreme Programming Explored" and the "Refactoring Workbook."