Understanding Design Patterns in Java


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Imagine you are in a dense woods and you don’t know whether you are going north or south. You think you’re lost! But the greenery parts and voila! There is a sign carved in a tree for you! It tells you to take a left and it is followed by another sign and yet another, which you follow. And at last you are out of the woods! Because you had the signs made by a good samaritan who had once gotten lost in the woods just like you. But tried to make it easier for the next person who followed. These signs are the Design patterns in  Java forest. Well…more or less.

Design patterns are elaborately explained solutions modified by experienced software developers. They resolve very specific tasks and can be a great help when used as they are supposed to. They point out the problem, what the solutions should be for that particular problem, when to use that solution and what the outcome will be once the solution is applied. So to put it in lay-man’s terms, it acts like  a cheat sheet or a formula sheet for the problem at hand.


What are the benefits of Design patterns :

  • They help you write quickly. As the oncoming obstacles are highlighted and you are well-aware of the solution to apply, your productivity is higher.
  • They inspire you to write more legible and maintainable code as you follow well-understood paths.
  • They lay the foundation of a common jargon for programmers.
  • They help you analyse the more abstract areas of a program as they provide well-tested and definite solutions.
  • They have the a large influence on the designing phase.
  • They are reusable and can be used in more than one project.


When to use Design patterns :

As the name suggests, they should be used during the designing phase of programming. They used during the analysis and requirement phase of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) They are used during this phase as they give you a clear path and prior experience of previous developers.

Types of Design patterns :

Broadly, there are three types of Design patterns. They are bifurcated on the basis of their function and are further divided into small components.

  • Creational Design Patterns : Their main function is to provide a very specific solution in the best possible manner. They can be further divided into below categories.
  • Structural Design Patterns : They help you create class structures, example creating large objects from small ones. They use inheritance and composition to achieve this feat. They can be further divided into below categories.
  • Behavioural Design Patterns : They provide solutions for enhanced interaction between objects and provides solutions for loose coupling and flexibility with ease. They can be further divided into below categories.

The Design patterns are more of a tool, an indicator towards the right path. They can guide you but cannot take the journey itself for you. You need to choose the apt design pattern which will enable you to complete the journey and write with ease with the help of the wisdom of foregone programmers.


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