An anti-pattern is a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive. The term, coined in 1995 by Andrew Koenig, was inspired by a book, Design Patterns, which highlights a number of design patterns in software development that its authors considered to be highly reliable and effective.

Stovepipe or Silos: An organizational structure of isolated or semi-isolated teams, in which too many communications take place up and down the hierarchy, rather than directly with other teams across the organization

Circular dependency: Introducing unnecessary direct or indirect mutual dependencies between objects or software modules

God object: Concentrating too many functions in a single part of the design (class)

Silver bullet: Assuming that a favorite technical solution can solve a larger process or problem

How to write unmaintainable code

In the interests of creating employment opportunities in the Java programming field, I am passing on these tips from the masters on how to write code that is so difficult to maintain, that the people who come after you will take years to make even the simplest changes. Further, if you follow all these rules religiously, you will even guarantee yourself a lifetime of employment, since no one but you has a hope in hell of maintaining the code. Then again, if you followed all these rules religiously, even you wouldn’t be able to maintain the code!

To foil the maintenance programmer, you have to understand how he thinks. He has your giant program. He has no time to read it all, much less understand it. He wants to rapidly find the place to make his change, make it and get out and have no unexpected side effects from the change.

He views your code through a toilet paper tube. He can only see a tiny piece of your program at a time. You want to make sure he can never get at the big picture from doing that. You want to make it as hard as possible for him to find the code he is looking for. But even more important, you want to make it as awkward as possible for him to safely ignore anything.

Programmers are lulled into complacency by conventions. But every once in a while, by subtly violating convention, you force him to read every line of your code with a magnifying glass.

You might get the idea that every language feature makes code unmaintainable — not so, only if properly misused.

Roedy Green, Canadian Mind Products
@ github