The patterns & practices summit in Redmond is finishing up today. I did a talk yesterday for the first time which was titled "Evolving to Patterns". In the past I have found Design Patterns talks less than inspiring. They tend to be just a presentation of a catalog. The approach that I took this time with a lot of help from Brian Button and Keith Pleas is to talk about specific code related problems and then show how applying a design pattern helps the situation. I use refactoring once I have identified the pattern that I want to use to evolve the code. There are 2 great books on this topic. The first is Refactoring to Patterns by Joshua Kerievsky and Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers.
The talk seemed to work better than the catalog presentations that I have seen and unfortunately done in the past. I'll check out the overall feedback to see how to improve it.
I will be doing the same talk updated based on the feedback for the patterns & practices Summit in Sydney, Australia on February 21-23, 2006. You can get more information here.