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18 Must Avoid Coding Anti-Patterns in Web Development

Alekh Verma | February 7, 2023
Coding anti-patterns

When it comes to coding and web development, sometimes it’s more important to know what not to do. So, a person must be self-critical enough to understand what counterproductive or unproductive patterns to avoid in the development process.

Every developer wants to create code that is easy to read, well-structured, and simply planned. And they often follow certain design patterns to achieve this successfully. However, a design pattern gone wrong can turn into anti-patterns, which a coder must avoid.

In this article, we’re going to thoroughly explore the anti-patterns that one must avoid in the coding process.

What’s an Anti-Pattern?

Anti-patterns are basically design patterns gone wrong. When it comes to coding, developers often have design patterns to solve recurring problems which help greatly in optimizing the code. However, when these design patterns go wrong, they become counterproductive and end up harming the whole process.

In other words, it refers to situations where software engineers come up with fixes that are worse than the problems they are trying to solve. These situations almost always arise when there is a lack of a suitable software development approach.

Must Avoid Coding Anti-Patterns

Here are some of the coding anti-patterns that one must avoid-

1.  Spaghetti Code

Coding in the form of spaghetti is challenging to read and comprehend. Complex logic, numerous nested loops, and conditional expressions are frequently included. It can be difficult to maintain and modify as a result. It is quite doubtful that anything will ever get done if developers are afraid to work on a project, which will cause a lot of issues in the future concerning deadlines and unwanted pressure.

2.  Premature Optimization

The act of optimizing code before it is required is known as premature optimization. It occurs when you devote too much time to minor details like the performance rather than completing the task at hand (writing the actual application). When this occurs, other developers frequently view it as a waste of time since they may not comprehend why you are optimizing something that hardly ever needs it.

In the future, as the project develops, this can frequently result in more serious issues. Even though it could seem like a smart idea in the short run, it frequently results in worse performance and more complex code over time.

3.  Golden Hammer

The Golden Hammer antipattern describes the propensity to use just one method or tool excessively rather than a variety of methods or tools that would be more suitable for the work at hand. Some serious performance and maintenance problems may result from this.

4.  Reinvent the Wheel

A concrete illustration of trying to recreate something that already exists rather than reusing it is the antipattern known as "reinvent the wheel." This may result in several instances of the same kind of program, flawed coding, poor performance, and other issues.

5.  Boat Anchor

When someone attempts to employ an unduly intricate or over engineered solution in place of a straightforward one that would have performed just as well or better in the first place. The term "boat anchor" alludes to spending too much time creating something elaborate when all you needed was a straightforward table anchor for your boat.

This type of solution is frequently made complex by attempting to address too many problems at once or by making it too huge and complex, which results in the solution of a straightforward problem in a complex manner.

6.  Dependency Shell

What might happen when you start dragging around extra luggage is a dependence shell. It alludes to adding extra dependencies that aren't necessary just because another project requires them. This frequently results in larger files, bloated packages, extra testing, etc., which might subsequently make changes challenging or impossible.

7.  Dead Code

Code that no longer serves any use in the current application but was never removed is occasionally left behind by programmers. Dead code describes this situation. Even though there may only be one statement involved, dead code might eventually cause serious performance problems.

8.  Programming by Permutation

When you choose a strategy that succeeds in one situation but fails when applied in another because of shifting variables or circumstances, you have chosen a permutation antipattern. It will work great until someone requests 10 or 12 items instead of 11, for instance, if you constantly use the same HTML element (say, div>) for all 10 of the items to be displayed on a web page rather than specifying different elements based on the content.

You should keep this practice in mind any time something changes and your code-breaking breaks unexpectedly.

9.  God Object and God Class

What happens when individuals create classes or objects that are overly substantial, intricate, or task-intensive? In such scenarios, God class or God object emerges. These extremely complicated items are frequently challenging to comprehend, alter, and work with. They frequently act as a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any moment and cause all kinds of issues.

10. Copy and Paste Programming

When you copy and paste code from one section of your program to another without fully knowing what it accomplishes or even the fundamentals of programming, you are engaging in a kind of coding known as copy-and-paste programming. This increases the difficulty of changing the code and makes errors considerably more likely.

11. Proliferation of Code

The common phrase "too many cooks spoil the broth" accurately describes the Proliferation of Code antipattern. Inconsistency, muddling, and general mayhem results when there are too many people working on the same codebase. This can be a particular issue in larger businesses when various teams may be working independently on various sections of the code.

12. Cargo-Cult Programming

When you follow coding conventions or patterns that don't actually make sense or function well, you commit the programming antipattern known as the Cargo-Cult. It frequently rests on mimicking what others have done without truly comprehending why they did it functions the way it does. As you would anticipate, this can cause a variety of issues in the future.

13. Lava Flow

When there are too many changes occurring in your codebase at once, the Lava Flow antipattern appears. As a result, there may be difficulty identifying the cause of a problem or a breakdown in the cohesive operation of several program components. Cleaning it up might be a huge mess.

14. Hard Coding

In many ways, the Hard coding antipattern is the reverse of soft coding. Hard coding is when you manually enter a value into your codebase as opposed to letting the code figure it out for you. If that value needs to be modified for some reason, this might frequently cause issues in the future.

15. Soft Coding

When you use variables instead of hard-coding certain values into your code, you are engaging in a programming technique known as soft coding. By enabling automatic value determination, the code can be changed more easily if necessary. Additionally, it might make your code easier to read and maintain.

16. Error Hiding and Exception Swallowing

The antipatterns of hiding errors and swallowing exceptions are two related code issues that might lead to major troubles in the future. By presenting a polite message rather than the actual problem code, error concealment aims to hide faults from the user. This is occasionally useful, but it is not a long-term stable solution.

Catching exceptions and doing nothing with them amounts to "swallowing" them and acting as if they never happened. This is known as exception swallowing. Additionally, this may cause a variety of issues in the future.

17. Magic Numbers and Strings

The Magic Numbers and Strings antipattern can often lead to difficulties in the road if you’re not careful about what you put in your code. The difficulty is that when you use a number or string in your code, it doesn’t always make sense for everyone who could look at it later on.

For instance, suppose you have a line of code that reads "Hello world!" and two months later you try to comprehend the remainder of the program but are unable to understand why this one line of code appears to be gibberish (because another developer has since changed things). It can be significantly simpler to read code if constants are declared as opposed to magic numbers or strings.

18. Management by Numbers

When managers rely excessively on quantitative rather than having a thorough understanding of the program, it results in the Management by Numbers antipattern. For instance, if a manager reviewed your code and discovered that it often takes five minutes to execute a request, they would insist that you raise speed by 50% to reduce the amount of time required. This oversimplification of how algorithms operate could result in a variety of future issues.

Conclusion

Having design patterns that end up hurting the whole process negates its purpose entirely. While coding one must be aware of and should actively avoid these anti-patterns if one wants to have a successful development process.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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