That was the best instruction on software development I've ever had.
...as a noob it's tough to figure out who to believe just in reading. Having you take us through your instruction made you our reference source.
-Barry Schwartz, NetApp
Allen is a software development renaissance man, truly expert at a mind-boggling array of subjects. In the months that he contracted with our company, he employed several methods to seriously improve our capability. He worked with teams on complicated OO models, presented seminars (design patterns, agile development, requirements engineering), mentored key staff, reviewed models and code, and even produced a lot of code himself. And he did everything with a practical focus. He was also fearless in speaking truth to power and identifying the root causes of issues, whether they were technical, political, or just irredeemable employees. The real tribute to his contribution is that since his engagement, we talk about things differently. The conversation has changed--for the better.
- Alan Freedman, pearl.com
...when we determined to move all of Schwab's application development to a single platform, we realized we needed to engage a few thought leaders to help. Allen was one of those. He'd been teaching programming and programming best practices through UCB Extension -recommendation enough. But we found more: a partner willing to map out a learning strategy for our developers; and an educator who truly excelled at rapidly engaging our staff and moving us in our new direction. Later, when I started SVForum's Software Architecture and Modeling SIG, Allen was kind enough to share his insights and experience in design patterns, frameworks, MVC, non-MVC, AJAX and more in three talks over five years. Allen is superb at riding the leading edge of technical trends, embracing understanding and imparting technique and wisdom.
Allen is consummate software professional. I engaged Allen on a contract to build a complex, high throughput transaction processing service. He very effectively worked with the rest of our team, mentored the team members and single-handedly implemented a rock-solid subsystem for us. His tremendous experience in architecting highly reliable software, his TDD approach, wise and careful selection of tools and frameworks for the job and just very careful and extremely well documented code contribute to the quality of the final outcome. Allen possesses a rare combination of advanced theoretical knowledge and hands-on, crank it out experience.
-Thomas Kudrycki, CTO eCurrencyMint
I have had the pleasure of working with Allen and learning from him for more than a year at JustAnswer and PEARL.COM. During that time Engineering team was moving to an Agile process and a lot of process related questions arose daily. Allen showed himself as a true professional consistently suggesting "think outside the box" strategies that really worked. On top of that he is just a very pleasant individual to interact with. I also took his Agile workshop. Four days and total of more than 30 hours. If somebody can make it interesting, keep the group excited and share tons of useful techniques, practices and strategies that can be applied right away, that would be Allen Holub.
-Andrey Boreyko, pearl.com
Allen is one of the best software architects that I have met. I have attended a number of courses offered by Allen from the early days of C++ programming to design patterns to OO-Design and Programming. I also engaged Allen in teaching OOD design and programming to engineering teams in two relatively large capital equipment companies. It was well worth the investment in time and money. His in-depth knowledge and approaches to OO-Design process were insightful and encouraging to most software developers and the community. I highly recommend Allen.
- James Yu
Allen is a leader in the field of object-oriented architecture and design. His opinions are rooted in a rare understanding of how technical realities map into mental models, and this leads to solutions that are vastly higher quality than the cookie-cutter solutions one sees from too many consultants. I last worked with Allen on a project that combined new algorithms, new technologies, and new hardware. That is the type of challenge for which most consultants would produce an infinite sequence of "On the one hand...on the other hand..." discussions, but not Allen. He came up-to-speed very rapidly and was soon shuttling back and forth between whiteboard and keyboard, advocating for particular architectural and design decisions. One thing that I've come to appreciate more in recent years is Allen's integrity. One would like to think that honesty, work-ethic, and opinions rooted in real experience and not trend-chasing were the rule and not the exception, but I now know how rare such qualities are. I am confident that Allen would provide excellent value for any company wise enough to engage his services.
Allen Holub is one of the best educators, consultants and thought leaders that I have had the pleasure to work with. He has a great ability to distill extremely complex and technical topics to understandable, digestable chunks. I'd be very excited to work and interact with Allen again.
I have respected Allen's work for years. He's been around the block more than a few times and clearly brings that practical experience to his writings and his talks.
-Scott W. Ambler
I've followed Allen's work in software design for many years. I felt privileged to get to know him personally at Software Architect and interact with him as a co-equal. His depth of insight and practical craftsmanship is unparalleled. I felt humbled in the presence of such intellect, yet gratified by Allen's openness and keenness to engage in all areas of mutual interest, from business to technical to hobby and the world in general. If you ever have the chance to engage Allen, I couldn't be more enthusiastic about recommending that you use that opportunity.
-Howard Deiner, Owner, Deinersoft, Inc.
- Pete Gowdy, Sr. Software Engineer, Pearl.com
-George Gerard, Associate Product Manager, Pearl.com
Allen and I have spoken at conferences (most notably SDWest), and I have always considered it a privilege to be considered in the same class as he--his insights into technology have always fallen into the category of "leading-edge", and things he's said end up becoming "widespread knowledge" within five years. Were I a company looking for somebody to help me navigate down the path of new technology, I can't imagine a better person to have as a guide than Allen.
-Ted Neward, Principal, Neward & Associates
Allen and I regularly give advice on the various Agile forums [on LinkedIn]. Allen is one of a select few among those who give advice who I would consider a true peer, an equal. Sometimes we disagree, and I think we both find those occasions provide an opportunity to learn. In such matters, his advice is about as good as you will get.
-Paul Oldfield, Process Engineer, Capgemini
I've worked with Allen off and on over the course of many years. I know him to stand out from the crowd as a thorough professional with a deep knowledge of a range of programming languages and software design generally. He not only knows it, he communicates it effectively. Allen can explicate complicated ideas with remarkable clarity and without dumbing it down. He is understandably in demand as a writer, lecturer, and consultant, because he is good at all three.
-Michael Swaine, Editor-in-chief/Associate Publisher, Dr. Dobb's Journal
I had the pleasure attending Allen's UCB courses on Java and OO design, and more recently a custom, corporate training program that Allen delivered on how to enhance our adoption of Agile methodology. A smart customer can derive incredible value by tapping Allen's broad spectrum of expertise and deep insight into the organizational culture and technical architecture."
-David Golden, was Allen's client
I learn something deep every time I talk to Allen or watch him present. Hire him to consult for you and let him work with your experienced grey-beards or your energetic new hires. Your company, your most important projects, and your people will be better for it."
-Daniel Steinberg, Author, Podcaster, Trainer, Coder, Dim Sum Thinking
I saw Allen's packed presentations at Java One on Concurrency (among the best there) and contacted him about doing an audit of our codebase, which had a lot of threading. He tore through the source, made a list of issues, and we constructed an agenda. He presented to the developers, explained a lot of things, fielded questions. Great. Since then, I have had many occasions to discuss software with Allen (and to see him present at conferences) and have always found him to be one of the best people out there. He's a rare blend of highly abstract and deftly comfortable with details, however piddling. One minute you can be talking about the reason for design patterns like Bridge, and the next, comparing notes on how difficult or easy it is to configure Hibernate. His patterns book is great, btw."
Over the years, Allen has consistently given our company's software development team excellent advice about ways to go about our work. In each case that he served as an Expert Advisor to us, his advice stood out for its clarity and turned out to put us on exactly the right development path. This was true both when Allen advised us about specific structures within our software and when Allen helped us choose broad strategies of how to move forward. All that and a really pleasant guy!
-Andy Robin, CEO, Ascenium Corp.
- Robert Mykland, CTO, Ascenium Corp.
Allen Holub has taught a generation (or more) of programmers how to program in C, C++, and how to best apply object oriented techniques. His projects in Dr. Dobb's Journal and other written venues are legendary and models of great coding by any measure you care to apply. What sets Allen apart from many other people that have similar technical backgrounds? Two things, at least. First, Allen isn't just a coder and designer. He's a writer. That ability to communicate his ideas makes his ideas more valuable. Second, while he became very well known for C programming, he didn't rest on his laurels and has stayed current with the latest technology. He's worked in and written about C, C++, Java, Patterns, AJAX, Web Services, and probably a half a dozen other things I've forgotten about. It is always an honor to write for magazines like Dr. Dobb's Journal. it is even more of an honor to write for them for 30 years! There's a reason publishers like Dr. Dobb's want to publish Allen's work. It's topical, its insightful, and readers enjoy learning from it. I might add, I was one of that generation that benefited from Allen's sharing of his knowledge. Thanks Allen!
- Al Williams, Contributing Editor, Dr. Dobb's Journal,
I was a student of Allen Holub's on more than one occasion as I sought to increase my skills and understanding of Object Oriented Programming in Java. I found both Allen's books and classroom approach to be effective and useful resources. He explained topics clearly, showed patience when there were challenges to understanding, and he demonstrated a deep and comprehensive command of the subject.
- Robert Dunlop, Advanced Systems Engineer, Electronic Data Systems,
Allen is a most excellent combination of smart and articulate. He understands, deeply understands, a wide variety of technologies. Just read his books to understand how deeply he gets technology. But more importantly, Allen can communicate his deep understanding of technology both in writing and verbally. Just read his books. Or hire him to train (kinda like a try-before-you-buy). Or just bring him in to give constructive suggestions about how you can improve your systems. But once you get to know Allen, you will understand just how good he is and you'll want more of his time and more of his knowledge.
- David Pollak, Founder & Distinguished Committer, Lift
There is a LOT of buzz these days about "Agile" and "Devops" guru's and technologies. There appears to be a bit of high-powered blend between old-school and new-school in the technology universe! Allan has and can scan the entire spectrum of the current software and architecture comos. I have been graced with the great fortune to have taken classwork and direction from Allan relating to the java and agile software development for over a decade. Allan is truly a "Seal Team Six" instructor, when it comes to getting your "troups" up-to-speed and effectively deployed to build great products! In summary, Allan is a world-class expert that can greatly enhance your companies bottom line!"
I had the good fortune of taking one of your C++ classes at Berkeley Extension in the mid-80's. That class provided me a solid footstep onto the path of my nearly 30-year career in software.
John Fleishhauer (in 2013)
[The OO Workshop] was a humbling experience even for our most senior OO programmer. I believe I [now] understand OO's fundamental principals and how they're applied. I believe our team now understands that as well. However, I do anticipate bringing Allen back in at various points in our analysis and design phase to offer his critique and help us in our application. Do we do everything right? No! But we do it far better now than we did before.
Looking at our code now, I feel much better about how it's organized, about how it performs, and about how easy it is to maintain.
... would I do it again? Absolutely!
-Bill Hamilton, MTS Techchnologies.
(Bill's complete 6-page letter, which has some good advice about the OO-adoption process as well as a review of Allen's class, is at /company/recommendation.html.
In short, [the Agile/OO Workshop] is a tremendous learning experience for any object oriented developer who is serious about their craft.
(Eric's complete comments are on his blog: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=24085).
Allen's depth of knowledge is awesome. I have never heard a presenter talk about the Java language with such understanding and background, with the exception of some of the Java architects from Sun (e.g. Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter).
Allen had extensive course materials--from his web site I printed out more than two inches of documentation. He started the course talking about object oriented design and included analysis of a case study (the "Bank of Allen"). We then did our own object oriented design case study as homework. We also covered basic UML and topics such as interfacing with managers and other people involved with projects. As we got into language specifics we started with a brief overview of Java essentials so as to highlight some of the "corner cases" in the language. We emphasized such topics as threading where coding is more complicated, then concluded with AWT and Swing.
My personal experience prior to taking Allen's class was as a Java programmer for about two years with a total industry experience of ten years. I also have a bachelor's in math-education and a master's in math.
- Kristen Kuhns, Executive Director, www.ebig.org
- Clay Bennet
- Scott Gould
- Tarak Fekih, Logitech
- Chris Breazeal: Sr. Product Developer, BMC
- Todd Thal: Web developer, doubletwist.com
Allen understands this material very well, and present it in a way that keeps the student's interest high.
-John Beltran, Autodesk
-Rebecca Jones, Innovative Interfaces, inc.
-Eddie Dickie, Innovative Interfaces, inc.
- Craig Kapfer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Jo Stockley
- David Vinson, Best.com