- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 3, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471197130
- ISBN-13: 978-0471197133
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 51 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis 1st Edition
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If patterns are good ideas that can be re-applied to new situations, AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis looks at what goes wrong in software development, time and time again. This entertaining and often enlightening text defines what seasoned developers have long suspected: despite advances in software engineering, most software projects still fail to meet expectations--and about a third are cancelled altogether.
The authors of AntiPatterns draw on extensive industry experience, their own and others, to help define what's wrong with software development today. They outline reasons why problem patterns develop (such as sloth, avarice, and greed) and proceed to outline several dozen patterns that can give you headaches or worse.
Their deadliest hit list begins with the Blob, where one object does most of the work in a project, and Continuous Obsolescence, where technology changes so quickly that developers can't keep up. Some of the more entertaining antipatterns include the Poltergeist (where do-nothing classes add unnecessary overhead), the Boat Anchor (a white elephant piece of hardware or software bought at great cost) and the Golden Hammer (a single technology that is used for every conceivable programming problem). The authors then proceed to define antipatterns oriented toward management problems with software (including Death by Planning and Project Mismanagement, along with several miniature antipatterns, that help define why so many software projects are late and overbudget).
The authors use several big vendors' technologies as examples of today's antipatterns. Luckily, they suggest ways to overcome antipatterns and improve software productivity in "refactored solutions" that can overcome some of these obstacles. However, this is a realistic book, a mix of "Dilbert" and software engineering. A clever antidote to getting too optimistic about software development, AntiPatterns should be required reading for any manager facing a large-scale development project. --Richard Dragan
From the Publisher
Patterns are popular in software development and used to identify different types of procedures, designs, or codes that work. AntiPatterns are the exact opposite. They target common mistakes, errors, and people issues that can cause a software project to fail. Despite its negative sounding name, the positive benefits of AntiPatterns are enormous. This book discusses what AntiPatterns are and then provides practical guidelines on how to detect AntiPatterns and the refactored solutions that correct them. The authors discuss over 40 different AntiPatterns in the areas of software development, architecture, and project management.
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The book is the evidence to the existence of very annoying problems, that frecuently are omited and it's consequences are disasterous. I think it's recommended to management and engineering professionals. Possibly applicable to another branches of engineering.
I would characterize this book as "experiences with software engineering" in general. There is a fair amount on architectural principles, design, and even management topics that were worth the read.
While some of the anti-patterns are mildly useful -- particularly the ones specifically related to software development itself -- the ones related to project management are so obvious and general that all but the novice will roll his or her eyes back with disbelief that these could be included in a software engineering book.
For instance, the "Corncob Pattern" is a difficult person who causes problems through destructive behaviors and how to work around him or her. It's true that we all run into people like this, but this is supposed to be a book at least _somewhat_ related to software.
They have three patterns that essentially deal with overplanning ("Analysis Paralysis", "Death by Planning", and "Design by Committee"), and while I suppose these are possible, too little planning is much more likely to cause project debacle than too much. In fairness, they do have a not-enough-planning pattern, "Architecture by Implication", though this deals with architecture and not requirements.
Believe it or not, "Irrational Managment" is a "pattern" in an engineering book that discusses what to do if your boss is the problem. This seems to be a topic best left to Dr. Laura, in "Ten Stupid Things Managers Do To Mess Up Your Project".
I was unfortunate enough to read "Anti-Patterns" before "Design Patterns", and the poor quality of the former nearly kept me from reading the latter. These books are simply not in the same league, and some might say not even in the same industry.
Avoid this book unless you have very little real-world experience in the software business.