Anti Patterns in Software Engineering

Learn via video courses
Topics Covered


AntiPatterns, like their design pattern counterparts, establish an industry vocabulary for the typical flawed procedures and implementations within organisations. A higher-level language makes it easier for software developers to communicate with one another and allows for the concise explanation of more complex ideas.

AntiPatterns offers practical expertise in identifying recurrent issues in the software development business and offer a comprehensive solution for the most typical issues. The most prevalent issues affecting the software industry are highlighted by AntiPatterns, which also gives you the tools you need to identify these issues and ascertain their root causes.

What Are Anti-Patterns?

What are anti-patterns

An AntiPattern is a literary style that describes a typical resolution to an issue with undeniably unfavourable effects. The AntiPattern could be the outcome of a manager or developer not knowing any better, not having the necessary expertise or understanding to address a certain problem type, or applying a perfectly good pattern in the wrong situation.

Different Types of Anti-Patterns

Software Development AntiPatterns

The description of practical software reworking techniques is the primary objective of Development Anti-Patterns. Refactoring software is a type of code update that enhances the software's architecture to facilitate future extensions and ongoing maintenance. Usually, the objective is to change the code without affecting functionality.

Software Architecture AntiPatterns

Architecture Anti-Patterns concentrate on how applications and components are organised at the system and enterprise levels. The overarching significance of architecture in software development has been repeatedly established by software research and experience, despite the engineering discipline of software architecture being relatively young.

Software Project Management AntiPatterns

More than half of the work done by engineers nowadays entails dealing with people and communicating with them. The Management Anti-Patterns highlight some of the most critical situations in which a lack of effective communication of requirements harms the software development processes.

Some Common Anti-Patterns

Spaghetti Code

Spaghetti Code

The most well-known anti-pattern is the spaghetti code. There is little to no structure in the code. A programme or system with spaghetti code appears to have very little software structure. Suppose the original developer is away from the product for even a short period of time. In that case, progressive extensions weaken the software structure to the point that it is unclear, even to the original developer. There is no chance to reuse the objects and modules in other systems that are comparable to this one, making maintenance and expansion of the system exceedingly challenging.

Golden Hammer

Golden hammer

Assume that a software development team has attained a high level of proficiency in a specific vendor product or solution, referred to as the "Golden Hammer" in this context. Because of this, every new product or development endeavour is seen as a problem that can be solved most effectively using that product. The Golden Hammer is often the wrong remedy for the issue, but little effort is made to consider other options. This AntiPattern leads to the incorrect use of a favourite tool or idea. As a result, developers and managers are content with an existing strategy and reluctance to learn and use a more effective one.

Boat Anchor

A piece of hardware or software that has no practical utility for the current project is called a boat anchor. The Boat Anchor is frequently an expensive purchase.  The justifications for purchasing a boat anchor were typically strong at the moment of purchase. After spending a lot of time and money developing the product, the technical team decides it is useless in the current situation and switches to a different technical strategy.

Dead Code

Dead code

Dead code is similar to Boat Anchor.  The majority of it is a section of code in a file that was created a few years ago to create some functionality but is no longer required. If you entirely remove this function, your software won't crash anywhere. It can be dangerous to remove all of the dead code at times.

God Object and God Class

A typical god class or god object has a wide range of duties and dependents. Many other classes are controlled by the God class. If a large portion of the code must access a single object, that item may be a god object. The anti-pattern violates the "Single Responsibility" tenet.

Copy and Paste Programming

Because they lack programming experience, junior developers and interns have trouble creating some features or coding some new features. They attempt to copy and paste the code from various blogs, videos, and websites like StackOverflow and Github. Without conducting any effect research or testing, they simply copy and paste these codes into their own file. Your software is affected by an anti-pattern, which behaves like a virus. To resolve the problem, you must update the code everywhere it was duplicated. This occurs as a result of a lack of grasp of fundamental concepts like loop structures, functions, and subroutines.

Avoiding Software Anti-Patterns with Better System Management

Perform Frequent Code Reviews

Perform frequent code reviews

Software engineers require code reviews to detect and resolve syntax errors and flaws, enhance code quality, and find better solutions to common problems, just like authors need editors to proofread their work for typos and grammatical errors. It's usually a good idea to have a second pair of eyes review your work because they'll catch errors you overlooked and help you tighten the code.

Engage in Code Refactoring

By using this procedure, you can increase the strength and structure of your code without altering how people anticipate the software to work. You can streamline the design of your code by refactoring. This will make it simpler for the person who comes after you to understand how the code is constructed and more effectively add new features and functionality to the code.

Make it Visual

Many of us learn and remember knowledge better when it is visually presented to us. Several pre-built templates can assist you in visualising your complete system, making it simpler for you to map workflows, analyse processes, come up with improvement suggestions, and work collaboratively with people in different departments and locations.


  • The antithesis of a design pattern is an anti-pattern. It is also known as "design smell" because it results from poor software design. An anti-pattern in your code might lead to several issues that may require extensive fixes later.
  • Your software development project may incur technical debt as a result of the software anti-patterns. In addition, the project timetable may be jeopardised if your team has to go back and fix the code at any point.
  • Anti-patterns can be classified into software development anti-patterns, software architecture anti-patterns and software project management anti-patterns.
  • They can be avoided by frequent code reviews, code refactoring and using more visual approaches while communicating with the team.