Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Effectiveness Anti-patterns

As defined by, “An anti-pattern is a frequently used, but largely ineffective solution to a problem… Just as a viable pattern describes the way from a problem to a valid solution, an anti-pattern describes the way from a problem to a poor solution.”

An effectiveness anti-pattern is a common pattern of behavior that leads to reduced effectiveness. It’s useful, and fun, to identify these anti-patterns in myself and others and document them so that I can avoid them in the future.

I’ll write follow-up posts with some of the anti-patterns I’ve noticed. Each anti-pattern will contain following sections:

  • Title – A descriptive name for the anti-pattern.
  • Context –A description of the conditions in which this anti-pattern normally occurs.
  • Problem – A description of the resulting problem, what goes wrong when you use this anti-pattern.
  • Forces – A description of what leads people to use this anti-pattern.
  • Solution – A description of how to break the anti-pattern and move to a workable solution.
  • Example – An example of the anti-pattern in practice.

The neat thing about an anti-pattern is that it reduces the problem down to bare bones, making it easier to spot and fix.

If you've noticed any anti-patterns in your work or personal life, leave me a comment - I'd love to hear about them!

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