This week I encountered a blog regarding Anti-Patterns. As we have learned, design patterns are reusable solutions to common problems and provide a way for us developers to solve problems in a proven way, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every time a problem was to arise. On the other hand, Anti-patterns are unhelpful or ineffective approaches to problem solving that can negatively impact the efficiency and effectiveness of our work.
Some common examples of anti-patterns include:
- The Golden Hammer, which is when a specific tool or approach is overused or applied to every problem. I can personally say that I’ve fallen into this trap as I would always use the same programming language or framework to write code and would come to a standstill not knowing what to do next. Little did I know there were more suitable options that could’ve made my job easier and the end product more efficient.
- The God Class antipattern, occurs when a single class in a software system becomes excessively large and complex, with too many responsibilities. I believe all developers including myself, at one point or another, created a class with too many responsibilities and would wonder why we have issues in our code. This would even violate the Single Responsibility Principle as each class should only have one key responsibility.
- The Big Ball of Mud antipattern, is when a solution lacks a clear and flexible architecture. As a program developer, I’ve encountered the big ball of mud antipattern and it can be a major source of frustration and inefficiency. Working with a system that has become a “big ball of mud” can be extremely difficult, as it can be nearly impossible to understand how the different parts of the system fit together and what each component is responsible for. This can make it difficult to make changes to our code, as it is unclear how those changes will impact other parts of our code.
- The Copy and Paste Programming antipattern, is where code is copied and pasted from other sources without proper understanding or modification. I believe every programmer at one point found code that they believed they could reuse from another program and placed it into their new program. The program may work, but it causes many bugs and becomes difficult to later make changes.
Overall, as important as design patterns are to follow, sometimes we will fall into the trap of an antipattern. In my own experience, I have fallen into the trap of using anti-patterns in my code. Now knowing how to avoid these patterns going forward, I’ll be able to recognize and avoid antipatterns and leverage design patterns that can help to create more effective and efficient code. By doing so, anyone can better achieve their coding goals and improve the quality of their work.