You must Avoid These Coding Antipatterns for Web Development


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Guide: You must Avoid These Coding Antipatterns for Web Development

Designing the architecture of a website, an application or setting up an effective coding workflow often ensures that we address recurring problems. We don’t necessarily have to fix these software design problems from scratch solutions at an architectural level can be reused in the same way as code snippets at the micro level

Design patterns are generally reusable solutions this is possible for certain scenarios are useful for solving common problems, and can greatly help us optimize our code.

While design patterns are great tools to improve our development process by using well-tested formulas, we can sometimes go wrong with them. These are called anti-patterns.

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What are anti-cartridges?

The term “antipattern” was coined in a book called AntiPatterns in 1998. It refers to reused solutions that seem useful at first, but it turns out later to do more harm than good.

This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as if we don’t use the patterns in the right context, setting, or time (solutions that were effective in the past may not always work in the present), or in other cases the whole paradigm. was just bad from the start.


Antipatterns are also often mentioned patterns of failureThe good news is that it is possible to recognize and avoid them

In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 common coding antipatterns in web development that can trick us into thinking we have well-optimized code. (Note that the anti-patterns mentioned in this post are not necessarily the same as what you can find in the book mentioned above.)

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1. Premature optimization

Good timing is a critical factor in optimizing code. We can easily reproduce the anti-pattern of “Premature optimization”, if we pay attention to small efficiencies and optimize them too early in the development process, before we know exactly what we want to do.

According to Donald Knuth’s famous quote, “premature optimization is the root of all evil,” which may be an exaggeration, but still shows how serious problems premature optimization can cause later on.

If we optimize for performance before we set up effective architecture, we can lower readability of the code, to make debugging and maintenance more difficult, and add excess parts according to our code.

To avoid premature optimization, it’s a good idea to follow the YAGNI (You Are Not Gonna Need It) programming principle, which advises to “always implement things when you really need them, never when you just provide that you need them. ”

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2. Reinvent the wheel

The anti-pattern “reinventing the wheel” is sometimes referred to “Design in a vacuum”It happens when we want it to do everything yourself and write everything from scratchwithout searching for pre-existing methods, APIs or libraries.

Reinventing the wheel is not only a waste of time, but also custom solutions, especially for basic functionalities, are rarely as good as standard solutions which have already been tested by many developers and users.

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3. Dependency shell

The opposite of the anti-pattern “reinventing the wheel” is another common anti-pattern called “Dependency Hell”

If, instead of writing everything from scratch, we use too many third-party libraries that depend on specific versions of other libraries, we can easily end up in an unmanageable situation when we want to update, as these dependencies are in many cases incompatible with each other

The hell of dependency can be solved by using package managers who can Update interdependent dependencies smartlyIf we are too overwhelmed by the problem, refactoring can also be a good idea.

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4. Spaghetti code

“Spaghetti Code” is probably the most well-known encoding anti-cartridge. It describes an application that is difficult to debug or modify due to the lack of proper architecture

The result of poor software design is a lot of code that is structurally similar to a bowl of spaghetti, ie confused and complicatedThe readability of spaghetti code is very low, and understanding exactly how it works is usually a near-impossible mission.

Spaghetti code usually stems from the combination of various bad coding practicessuch as the code that does not contain the correct conditional blocks, has many goto statements, exceptions and threads, contains parts that belong elsewhere, has minimal relationships between objects, functions or methods that cannot be reused or are not well documented, or not at all.

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5. Programming by permutation

“Programming by Permutation” or “Accidental programming” happens when we try to find a solution to a problem by successively experimenting with small tweaks, testing and assessing them one by one, and finally implementing the one that works initially.

Permutation programming is easy introduce new bugs in our code, worse, they are bugs that we don’t necessarily recognize right away. In many cases it is also impossible to predict whether the solution will work for all possible scenarios or not.

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6. Copy and paste programming

“Copy and paste programming” occurs when we don’t follow the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) coding principle, and instead of creating generic solutions, we insert pre-existing code snippets in different places and edit them later to fit the given context.

This exercise results in code that is very repetitive, since the inserted code parts usually differ only in minor differences.

Copy and paste programming is committed not only by novice developers but also experienced programmers as many of them are prone to use their own pre-written, well-tested code snippets for specific tasks, which can easily lead to accidental repetitions

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7. Cargo-Cult programming

The name of “Cargo cult programming” stems from a specific ethnographic phenomenon called “freight cult”. Cargo cults appeared in the South Pacific after World War II, when forced contact with advanced civilizations led the natives to believe that manufactured products, such as Coca-Cola, TVs, and refrigerators brought to the islands by cargo ships, were made by supernatural methods; and if they perform magical rites similar to the customs of westerners, the cargo filled with goods will return.

Basically, when we commit the anti-cargo cult programming pattern, we’re doing the same. We use frameworks, libraries, solutions, design patterns, etc. that worked well for others, without understanding why we do it, or how the mentioned technologies work exactly.

In many cases, developers are normal ritually doing what is hip at the moment, without real purposeNot only is this practice bad because it makes our application unnecessarily bloated, but it can easily introduce new bugs in our code.

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8. Lava flow

We are talking about the “lava flow” antipattern when needed dealing with code with redundant parts or low quality parts Which appear to be integral to the program, but we don’t quite understand what it does or how it affects the whole application. This makes it risky to delete it.

It usually happens with legacy code, or when the code was written by someone else (usually without proper documentation), or when the project moved too quickly from development to production phase.

The name of the anti-cartridge comes from its resemblance to lava coming out of volcanoes, ie initially it moves quickly and smoothly without taking too many precautions, but later it solidifies and becomes difficult to remove.

In theory we can eliminate lava flows extensive testing and refactoring, but in practice implementation is often difficult or even impossibleSince lava flows usually have a high cost of performance, it is better to prevent them by setting them up a well-designed architecture and a solid workflow from the start.

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9. Hard coding

“Hard encoding” is a well-known anti-pattern that most web development books warn us about in the preface. Hard coding is the unfortunate practice in which we store configuration or input data, such as a file path or an external host name, in the source code instead of getting it from a configuration file, database, user input, or other external source.

The main problem with hard code is that it only works well in a certain environment, and with every time circumstances change we have to adapt the source code, usually in several separate places.

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10. Soft coding

If we try very hard to avoid the trap of hard coding, we can easily encounter another called anti-pattern “Soft coding”, which is the exact opposite.

With soft coding, we put things that should be in the source code in external sourcesfor example, we store business logic in the database. The most common reason we do this is the fear that business rules will change in the future, which is why we will have to rewrite the code.

In extreme cases, it can be a soft-coded program become so abstract and complex that it is almost impossible to comprehend (especially for new team members), and extreme difficult to maintain and debug

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