I picked up a copy of Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns by Kent Beck because
it’s generated quite a buzz in the Ruby circles I run in. It’s an excellent
read and not just because Objective-C inherits some traits from Smalltalk.
I can’t say it often enough—the bottlenecks throughout development come
from limitations in human communication. Over and over in the patterns, you
will read “You could do this or you could do that, but this over here
communicates best, so that’s what you should do.” If there’s a radical
thought here, that’s it; that when you program, you have to think about how
someone will read your code, not just how a computer will interpret it.
Indeed, and that is why every Mac or iOS developer should give this book a
chance. Kent goes out of his way to avoid condescention or tell you what must
be done in every circumstance. He’s opinionated, sure, as any master of a trade
should be. But he is so sensitive to context that you will find valuable tips
and tricks even if what he describes doesn’t quite fit your problem domain or
Many of the software engineers I run with are a racous bunch. We’re self made,
self taught, and don’t want to be told how to do things. But there’s a
difference between blindly following the rules and foolishly reinventing the
wheel. Kent knows his stuff. Trust me, get this book.