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10 years ago at college I had some UML lectures.

From these I remember and use only some basic part of class and sequence diagrams and how our teacher was trying to convince us that in the future, we won't be coding but we will be using (bloated at the time) UML tools to generate software ! What a laugh !

Today I think I can have a better use of UML than only reverse engineering my code to have some nice diagrams to illustrate a documentation. I feel than I can use it to design some part of my code and avoid late problems.

But each time I want to really use UML to design something I get lost: too much diagrams, too much obscure jargon, too much text field and options in UML editor with dark meanings...

So I want to know how do you have learn UML in order to know enough to use it in design phase without being drawn by its complexity.

I already have this book: UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language from M. Fowler. What I miss is more a practical approach with one or many real world examples of how to model a real project using UML.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Schaum's Outlines series has a book on UML which I found really useful. It has loads of examples and exercises. I was confused about UML too but this book really simplified things.


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I can't find it in the website (there are some some books on this topic, but not in the Schaum's Outlines collection... –  Guillaume Dec 3 '10 at 13:37
Hi, here is a link to the book: amazon.co.uk/Schaums-Outlines-UML-Simon-Bennett/dp/0077096738 –  rmx Dec 3 '10 at 13:38

I tend to use pieces of UML to work through difficult designs.

Learning how to think visually about systems is important; UML is as good if not better than other diagramming choices. But in practical reality, boxes and arrows are sufficient.

UML is a nice 'standard' for communicating designs to other programmers. Some end-users can be trained to read use-case diagrams and simple flowcharts. Other than that, it's just a tool in your bag o' tricks to be pulled out when it is useful.

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I know that UML will be just a tool (a secondary one for the moment) in my bag... I just want to find a way to learn it without spending days reading across large books... I need something more practical (good tutorial, good book filled with a real world example). –  Guillaume Dec 3 '10 at 14:17
google it, pick one, and start; for a good overview try wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Modeling_Language –  Steven A. Lowe Dec 3 '10 at 14:36

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