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What are Design Patterns and why you should know them?

Written by Cavin Macwan
Published01 September 2023
Software Architecture
Dev
I started working with Flutter in 2019. I started my Flutter journey in the office with VMJ software limited. After that, I started working at 7Span as a Flutter Developer. I like to learn new things and attend events and hackathons.

You might be thinking that what are those patterns and how we are supposed to know them? We already know about OOPS concepts such as Abstraction, Encapsulation, Polymorphism, and Inheritance then what is the use of Design Patterns?

Let’s answer all these questions one by one.

1. What are design patterns?

You might be thinking, “I am working on so many projects for these many years and I have integrated all of those perfectly fine.” The truth is yes you did, but think of the below statements first.

Before understanding what are design patterns, I first want to ask some questions

  • After you have implemented a specific functionality in your project, did you ever have to refactor so many things in order to only add one functionality?
  • Have you ever worked on a team and spent a huge time only merging the code together and less time in feature development?
  • After you finish your project and after 2 to 3 weeks, your project manager asks you to add functionality and you spend lots of hours only to understand the code you have previously written.
  • Do you feel your code is coupled too much with each other and a small change in one class might end up refactoring all the other classes which do not even implement or use those methods?
  • Did you refactor the code of your teammate in order to understand it first?

If any of the above was you then it’s perfectly fine, I was there once too. But now that we know this, design patterns are nothing but the solution to most of the repeating problems which occur in our day-to-day life as a programmer.

Design patterns are like a toolkit of tried and tested solutions to common problems in software design. Even if you never encounter these problems, knowing patterns is still useful because it teaches you how to solve all sorts of problems using principles of object-oriented design. They are like pre-made blueprints that you can customize to solve a recurring design problem in your code.

Now that you know what on earth a design pattern is, let’s see why you need design patterns in the first place.

2. Benefits of learning design patterns

  • Patterns allow you to say more with less. When you use a pattern in a description, other developers quickly know precisely the design you have in mind.
  • You will have more robust and loosely coupled code, therefore if you want to add more functionality to it then you can pretty much add those without dealing with old code and refactoring those again and again.
  • Your code will become more testable and maintainable because all your classes and abstractions will be having unique roles and responsibilities.
  • After you learn those patterns, it will be like this:

I would suggest that you should read the SOLID design principle so that you can use design patterns correctly.

So by now, we should have a clear understanding of what design pattern really is and what are the benefits of it. So in general, you won’t be able to copy the whole pattern code the way you copy code from StackOverflow because a design pattern is a general concept, The pattern is not a specific piece of code, but a general concept for solving a particular problem. You can follow the pattern details and implement a solution that suits the realities of your own program.

Patterns can be categorized by their intent or purpose. There are main 3 types of design patterns in general :

  • Creational design pattern: It deals with how objects are created. They provide various object creation mechanisms, which relate to flexibility and reuse of code.
  • Structural design pattern: It deals with how objects relate to each other. These patterns explain how to group objects and classes into larger structures while keeping these structures flexible and efficient.
  • Behavioral design pattern: It deals with how objects communicate with each other. These patterns are concerned with algorithms and the assignment of responsibilities between objects.

Below is the list of design patterns:

Design Patterns Table
Various Design patterns
  • I am gonna start to cover all these patterns in my upcoming articles. I am gonna write and implement these patterns in dart but these patterns can be applied to basically any language.

Till then, stay creative! 😃

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If you face any issues with implementing any of these tips, you can reach out to me, I’ll be happy to help you! Also, you can share your thoughts on this article with me in the Comments / LinkedIn

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