Industrial Experience with Design Patterns

Author(s): Kent Beck, Ron Crocker, Gerard Meszanos, James O. Coplien, Lutz Dominick, Frances Paulish,. John Vlissides
Venue: Proceedings of International Conference on Software Engineering, 18
Date: 1996

Type of Experiement: Other
Sample Size: 7
Class/Experience Level: Professional


Number of Projects: 7
Type of Projects: commercial

This paper talks about the early experiences with using design patterns, when the patterns were just becoming formalized and released into the light. Software professionals from 7 large and influential companies share their experiences with designing software and application of design patterns to aid in the process. Some of the companies practices “patterns” in some way or another before they were fully formalized. The paper also gives a brief history of design patterns

Kent Beck, the developer of Smalltalk language, has also developed a group of design patterns so that users of his language can be more effective. After extensive training of new users of the language by using design patterns, he saw that very eloquent designs were being masterminded by some of the most experienced users.

When working at Motorolla, Ron Crocker, was faced with pressure to bring more new products to market, and to do it faster. To prevent high coupling and to reduce the ammout of development by 10 fold Motorolla turned to design patterns, and created a catalog which the developers could reference.

Perhaps the most interesting experience comes from John Vlissides – the co-creator of the most popular collection of design patterns. The motivation for design patterns came from tons and tons of design review meetings where he was constantly faced with large incomprehensible class diagrams. The worst part was that at each new meeting he had to relearn the whole mess from the beginning. By using design patterns he was able to make review meetings more productive by splitting up large complicated designs into managable understandable design patterns.