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You Choose the Head First Cover--essays

Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1589
Here's where you submit your essays for the contest. For contest details, please see this link:
You Pick The Cover Contest Rules

And to view the picture possibilities, see:
Photos of Cover People possibilities

Good luck!

Co-Author of Head First Design Patterns
Just a Jini girl living in a J2EE world.
Sunder Ganapathy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2003
Posts: 120
L is my choice .
With Design Patterns, your systems are in Pink Of Health .
You and your customers are guaranteed to get Quality Systems
with the result, you can relax . Its Fun to use Design Patterns
and great to get Systems ably supported by the Architecture,
coming straight from the Head .
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
I'll vote for H (Blue shirt, arms crossed) because he looks like someone who can code Java and is enthusiastic about using the Factory Method pattern for absolutely everything. His appearance is casual and not overly rebellious, which I believe will appeal to a larger audience than "extremes".

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
I'd also pick A (flower girl) because her attractiveness next to my first pick would provide the optimal combo to get those geeks on the move
Chengwei Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 02, 2004
Posts: 884
I'll pick P: Biker Couple.

For the past 3 HFs, we're seeing single with friendly faces on the cover. So I thought its about time to see a couple on the cover.

Learning won't be such a bore/chore when you've someone you fancy learning with you (using the HF book)

Kinda cool riding in a bike, going from places to places offering your Java skills to your clients too!

The big guy gives a feeling of strength (from using tested & proven, reliable patterns) while the smaller size gal gives a sense of assurance covering the smaller details (actual implementation).

To be very honest, they all looks cool, but the biker couple adds in a favor of funkiness & rebellious. And I'm sure they probably drink as celebration after the end of a project!

Hope my choice will win in numbers (since we got 2 instead of 1).

SCJP 1.4 * SCWCD 1.4 * SCBCD 1.3 * SCJA 1.0 * TOGAF 8
Pauline McNamara

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
The Plaid Guy. He's *wearing* a pattern after all.

He has that special expression that says, "I know a secret and it is so yummy" and since learning design patterns is like being introduced to the geek world's best kept secret...

Besides, Sally was thinking of him when she did the cafe scene in When Harry Met Sally.
[ September 04, 2004: Message edited by: Pauline McNamara ]
Vishy Karl
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 08, 2003
Posts: 116
A Flower Girl..

She is by far the most attractive and her magnetic smile is enough to draw even the most lethargic person to pick up the book and have a look at it... Needless to say once a person has picked up the book he/she won't leave it without exploring it to the depth(such has been the quality of Head First Series)..

The blooming flowers on her top represent the undoubted popularity of Head First books......... Just as the flowers spread the fragrance throughout the garden similarly the Head First books spread the knowledge throughout the technical and wanna-be technical community .........

So let the fragrance in form of knowledge spread throughout through the medium of FLOWER GIRL...

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." <br />Roger Bannister
Michael Chua

Joined: Apr 21, 2004
Posts: 11
I would certainly pick up D, the girl with the black shirt
look at how happy, and the smile in her face
with design patterns, no more hard to maintain systems
that bothers her

Just take my heart when you go<br />I don't have a need for it anymore<br /> <br />5/9 SCJP 1.4 passed<br />8/15 SCBCD 1.3 passed<br />SCWCD (in progress)
Nick George
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
I say O: Blue Shirt Guy. He looks very... paternal. buh-bum ching.

I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
Suchitra Manepalli

Joined: Sep 04, 2004
Posts: 1
A: Flower Girl is the perfect choice for the book cover because the title will go hand in hand with the image. Also, the attractive and curious attitude of the girl might peek interest for the by-standers to look at the book and see what the book has to offer. I would say she is a good choice! Also, on the added bonus, the design on her t-shirt will indicate the second half of the title.
The second choice would be the biker couple!
Tamer Ibrahim

Joined: Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 4
F : Plaid Guy

I would choose this guy, because he looks like he knows a lot about patterns, he looks like a designer who is well qualified in OOAD and Design Patterns.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33102

F: Plaid guy - I like the plaid/pattern connection mentioned above.

[OCA 8 book] [Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Other Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Ray Muirhead
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2004
Posts: 44
Wow - everyone seems to like Flower Girl!

My personal choice is I : Brunette Maroon Shirt Girl - she looks honest, happy, powerful, a little silly, funny, and just very charming and pleasant overall. Flower girl looks pretty manipulative, like she's saying "Look down here, I've got something you need, and I'm the only one who you can get it from" (which is great if that's what you were going for) - I'd be inclined to pick up her book, but I'd stand there and read Brunette Maroon Shirt's book, just to see what it was all about.

If you were looking for a guy, then Plaid Shirt all the way - the expression on his face is great - he looks funny and endearing to your typical "Head First Design Patterns" geek (oops reader).

Still like Brunette Maroon Shirt girl though - she has a depth that just isn't there in the others.
[ September 04, 2004: Message edited by: Ray Muirhead ]
Warren Dew
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
C: Guy saying "Oh"

'Cause he's the only one not smiling! Who wants to look at a sappy smile when they're dealing with a difficult design problem?

If you could get the woman in E to use a thoughtful frown, she'd be perfect, though. Very nice pattern on that sweater.
Ram Mmurthy

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 27
My choice for the person on the cover is ...
"K" - Snowboard Girl.
In my opinion she is a playful and sportive geek. That's what you want when you dive heads first into the *Design Patterns* realm - A COOL covergirl for a COOL book.
[ September 04, 2004: Message edited by: Ram B ]
Atrus Greyor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2004
Posts: 110
K: SnowBoard Girl

Perfect choice for you cover. Standing there she looks calm, cool and collected. She radiates confindence telling everyone that she can do whatever needs to be done. People picking up your book will look at her picture and tell themselves"I CAN do it".It will inspire them with confindence and will help guide them through the vexing problem. You can't go wrong with picking her.
Mishra Anshu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 16, 2003
Posts: 224
M : Supersize Me

As she is offering us with some burgers, Cold drinks, etc (Our Design Patterns), in a typical Kathy & Bert Style.So, depending upon the problem we have a certain (in puicture 3) set of patterns, that can solve the problems.

Hey I hope, it is by far the best explanation
What do you say ???

"Ignorance is bliss"
Gian Franco
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977

P: Biker couple

It's a "Gang of 2" give them an inspiring book,
a glass of wine, candlelight, and when the moment
is right they might try out some 'patterns'
and voil� in no time you will have a "Gang of 4":
mama, papa, baby Proxy , and baby Singleton .

Or more editorially friendly perhaps:

A creational "Gang of 2" with a structural
approach set up a family and now easily cope with
any behavioural perils of the their own "Gang of 2".
This "Gang of 4" family lived happily ever after giving
the example to many parents, ergo patterns, all over the


Gian Franco Casula
[ September 05, 2004: Message edited by: Gian Franco Casula ]

"Eppur si muove!"
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759

I was going to go with the Blue Shirt Guy because he looks like your bana-fide developer, having undergone many Head First transitions and now has it all in his head. His smile says it all and he's wearing the right shoe! That's a very important point to consider.

But, unfortunately for him, who did he have standing next to him ?
Look alikes for one half of the Head First Design Pattern book authoring team. Now anyone who has stumbled across Java will have, at the very least, heard of Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates.

Design Patterns is not a subject for greenies. A front cover showing a wealth of experience will not be misplaced and will appeal right across the board. It would even appeal to those with funny tastes in music and hobbies but are inhibited in expressiveness. That is, just about every IT developer. The Biker Couple's your image for the front cover. It smacks creativity better than any of the others.

Sorry, after considering these points the others impress not one jot.

[Bert running off to find a better looking look-alike. Sorry Bert.]
[ September 05, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
basha khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2002
Posts: 516
J: Black shirt guy.

1)Every other contestants are in closed,toxic gestures,He is open and inviting.
2)Typical explanation posture.Best pose for explaining complex/interesting topics like design patterns.
3)He Radiates Great energy.
4)He is most enthusiastic from all,Maximum charming than all contestants.
5)He can create eager.His pose is good for it,inviting.Important for selling.
6)Moreover he is composed and cool.

He is the best cover for me.

Avi Abrami
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2000
Posts: 1141

Hi Kathy,
My choice is E:Blonde with Stripes, because of the following:
  • She is wearing a shirt with a pattern on it.
  • She is an attractive female. As evidenced by the large number of males who chose "A:Flower Girl" (since she is one of the most attractive), and seeing how there are more male programmers than female, having an attractive woman on the cover will attract the male programmers -- in other words, the majority.
  • The head-first series is (as I understand it) designed for people who have difficulty with the topic. So while "Head-First Design Patterns" may be for experienced programmers (as others have implied), I think it is for experienced programmers who are having difficulty coping with design patterns. Hence people will not be attracted to the book because of the expression on the face of the cover person, but rather because the photo gives some sort of hint as to what design patterns are about. Hence a shirt with a "designed pattern" on it.

  • Of-course, the next most important part of the book (after the front cover that grabs your attention) is the back cover, where you whet the potential reader's (and buyer's) appetite to explore the book further. So don't forget the back-cover (after deciding on the front cover).

    Good Luck,
    [ September 05, 2004: Message edited by: Avi Abrami ]
    Barry Andrews
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 05, 2000
    Posts: 523

    It's such an easy decision. It should be A:Flower Girl because she is the purtiest. She is also the sexiest and design patterns are sexy, aren't they?

    If you want any more reasons, just use the process of elimination.
    B: looks dirty
    C: way too surprised
    D: too boring
    E: Looks like her head doesn't fit her body. (Maybe it's just me)
    F: too mischievous
    G: also looks dirty
    H: too cool
    I: actually would be my second choice
    J: hands are distracting
    K: the flip is the worst hairstyle ever!
    L: I can't figure out what she is doing.
    M: Why is this picture here? Is it a book about McDonald's?
    N: no comment
    O: forehead is distracting
    P: guy is too ugly
    Saliya Jinadasa
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003
    Posts: 49
    K : Snowboard Girl.

    Reading Head First Design Patterns is a ride that you will never forget, mixed with fun and excitement like you are riding a snowboard. And She is inviting you to join the fun!

    Mark Spritzler

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17276

    M: Super size me.

    It goes very well with the text within the HF Design Patterns book. "Orderup()"


    Perfect World Programming, LLC - iOS Apps
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way FAQ
    Madison Moose

    Joined: Jul 03, 2004
    Posts: 16
    Dear Ranchers,

    I would like to vote for the �Supersize Me� (M) girl.

    I think the SuperSize me girl�s picture is ideal for a �Design Patterns� book as her look (carrying the tray) gives the idea that the book (represented by the tray) is providing a service for object oriented programmer to design and write reusable object oriented software.

    One could think of the three items on the tray as the three main purposes for design patterns.
    The drink � represents the Creational patters as it provides a sense of relief to the quenched souls thirsty for reusable object-oriented software. It allows the reader to take a sip and get comfortable before they dig into the other delicious stuff. It marks the start of this odyssey of design patterns, which will end as an epic journey!

    The burger � The burger represents the Structural patterns. It�s the core of the meal. It�s the big boss. It�s the reason what made you come here to eat food (a.k.a gain knowledge). Without belittling the fries and drinks, the burger is like the main guy or girl (big, juicy and tasty) with the fries and drink as his/her side kicks. [aside] The wrapped up burger also represents encapsulation, where the wrapper is the public interface or shell to the �real� stuff inside.

    The fries � represent the behavioral patterns. Fries come in different shapes and sizes. They are long and short ones, thin and fat ones, tanned and light ones. Just like design patters which come in different shapes and sizes. Fries also remind us of the problems related to decomposing a system into objects. Different factors come into play which may lead to objects of different shapes and sizes.

    Finally the picture shows a girl offering a tray with food, something that everybody needs to survive. It provides a solution to a problem (here food) that occurs over and over again and the same solution (here a tray with drink, sandwich and a side) always works. You can substitute the actual three items on the tray with whatever you like but eventually it is the proven �combo meal pattern� that comes out as a winner (just like design patterns).

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you �Head First Design Patterns� � The best book to learn about design patterns.

    Madison Moose
    Sania Marsh
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 12, 2004
    Posts: 469
    E: Blonde with stripes.

    If I was to pick one of those people to be in my team, I would go with E girl, she looks very friendly and smart and she has this aggressive haircut, which tells she is not afraid to try something new. She also looks very open, seems she would be happy to answer any question.
    [ September 06, 2004: Message edited by: Rita Moore ]
    Rick Portugal
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 17, 2002
    Posts: 243
    I hope you choose "F: Plaid Guy" because he looks like a Developer. He's even dressed like a Developer. He looks like the Joe Six Pack of Programmers, about to go bowling with Fred and Barney after a long day of coding singletons.

    Ko Ko Naing
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 08, 2002
    Posts: 3178
    I would vote for F: Plain guy. Besides he is wearing a pattern-like shirt, his face and smiling style seems to confirm readers that after reading this book, they will be self-confident on the topic covered in the book. And not like others, his clothing style is simple and smart, which can be seen as the pattern topics are not that conplicated, after reading the book. The cover should not make the readers feel that the topic in the book is complex and difficult to read. The readers should feel that design patterns are easy to learn so that they don't be so serious on learning the topics in the book.
    [ September 05, 2004: Message edited by: Ko Ko Naing ]

    Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
    SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
    michelle Wang
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 65
    I choose D!! because she looks like a Asian girl!

    michelle Wang <br />SCJP 1.4
    Roshan Lal
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Nov 13, 2001
    Posts: 64
    I like "K" - Snowboard Girl. She looks cool. She is the only one taking the the right tool with her.

    Sureshvasan Paramasamy

    Joined: May 25, 2004
    Posts: 24
    dear Kathy
    I choose the M girl reasons are following

    Attractive �Smile�: This causes anyone to pickup this book to see what is this
    Well full causal dress: This express noting missed in this book as symbolically
    Fast food on ray: This express, how our problems are going to solved and doubts are cleared in fast as fast foods are quickly stop the hungry and it don�t take too much of time to eat
    Ko Ko Naing
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 08, 2002
    Posts: 3178
    It seems like most of the guys vote for girls and most of the gals vote for guys as natural... I think the judges are also facing difficulty which vote to select...

    Anyway, at least we can see that many people are in the HF series... The book will boom like the previous three books in HF series...
    kavitha yalamanchili

    Joined: Oct 10, 2002
    Posts: 25
    I like K. Snowboard Girl. She looks like like she would take us for a very smooth ride into design patterns and I would like to follow her.

    Rahul Juneja
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 03, 2002
    Posts: 425

    I'll go with "K: Snowboard girl" as she is really looking cool after creating the design once and now she doesn't care further how all its development will be done because creating right kind of design of the Application is the first step towards achieving the Objectives of building the application and providing the client the right and appropriate solution.
    She even has the designed board in her hands.

    Rahul Juneja

    Rahul Juneja
    ThoughtClicks -
    Rahul Juneja
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 03, 2002
    Posts: 425

    The other option I'll opt for is "P: Biker Couple" as enough of Singles on HF Covers and also now after developing the design of an application Architects are in relaxing mood as they know if the design developed is followed then it is for sure that the outcome ie. the application will be really cool and sovle the problems of users.

    Rahul Juneja
    Vedhas Pitkar
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 27, 2001
    Posts: 445
    I think that EVERYONE should feature on the cover page as the Design Patterns vary as people do.If its a single person the I would like to see someone pretty on my book's cover page such as the Flower Girl.
    So its' A. Flower Girl for me.
    [ September 06, 2004: Message edited by: Vedhas Pitkar ]
    michael yue
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Nov 20, 2003
    Posts: 204

    I will go with M:Supersize me. The way the food are organize on the tray speaks for itself. The main dish is at the center while the others not so important ones are on the sides. This will more or less that our everyday life also includes some sort of patterns and in this example is in the form of the food arrangements on the tray.

    Besides that its a good reminder to all of us to remember to eat our meals. I am sure that there are many programmers out there that do their jobs and rushing to complete it until they forgot about eating. I know cause I did it before.
    Afroz Ahmed
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 18, 2004
    Posts: 64

    I vote for F (Plaid Guy).It seems like, the guy knows a big secret of design patters."Aha i also know the secret".

    The value of an idea lies in the usage of it.
    Prasanna Phatak

    Joined: Sep 06, 2004
    Posts: 7

    Actually this competetion compel me to Register Ranch.
    This is really cool forum I never saw competetion on any forum.

    I used to look into Ranch of SCJP.

    The answer is simple and correct.

    F : Plaid guy is the answer.

    Do you all know dictionary meaning of Plaid?
    a cloth having a crisscross "design"

    That's it.

    It's a design pattern.
    [ September 06, 2004: Message edited by: sampras ]

    Thanks,<br />Prasanna.
    Pawan Ramchandani
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 15, 2003
    Posts: 78
    I will choose H:Blue Shirt Armes Crossed
    Because he is looking more Confident than others as we are using patterns Confidently in java code.

    Pawan Ramchandani<br />*******************************<br />SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD <br />*******************************<br />Everything is okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end.
    I agree. Here's the link:
    subject: You Choose the Head First Cover--essays
    It's not a secret anymore!