Pattern Writing

Pattern Writing for Knowledge Management

Do you want to capture your core competencies as a basis for training new employees and as a hedge against "brain drain"? Pattern languages are a proven way to capture expert knowledge and to socialize it inside a group, department, entire company, or entire design discipline. This course teaches attendees how to write patterns by a two-day immersion in the software pattern culture. Each student will be asked to write a pattern.

A customized version of this course can be used to launch a knowledge management program in your organization.

Participants / Prerequisites

No prior experience or expertise is necessary. This course is especially valuable for knowledge architects charged with capturing core competencies, key domain knowledge, and fundamental design and architecture strategies for a product line or corporation.

Course Objectives

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Write effective Alexandrian patterns;

    • Master the use of the "pattern form";

    • Combine patterns into a pattern language that addresses system problems;

    • Understand and appreciate the value system of the world pattern community

    • Facilitate Writers' Workshops for the review and refinement of patterns and other documents


This is a course that entails complete student involvement and unconventional teaching methods. The course takes two days and is limited to 20 students.

    1. What is a pattern?

    2. What is a good pattern?

    3. The form

    4. Different forms

    5. Pattern Languages

    6. Writing Patterns (this afternoon)

    7. Writers’ Workshops (most of tomorrow)

    8. The Pattern Community

    9. Pattern Ethics

This seminar is based on ideas behind the first pattern book, Pattern Languages of Program Design.