DEV Community

Amore Fünfter Stock
Amore Fünfter Stock

Posted on


Social and business operations


Analysis paralysis:

A project stalled in the analysis phase, unable to achieve support for any of the potential plans of approach

Bicycle shed:

Giving disproportionate weight to trivial issues

Bleeding edge:

Operating with cutting-edge technologies that are still untested or unstable leading to cost overruns, under-performance or delayed delivery

Bystander apathy:

The phenomenon in which people are less likely to or do not offer help to a person in need when others are present

Cash cow:

A profitable legacy product that often leads to complacency about new products

Design by committee:

The result of having many contributors to a design, but no unifying vision

Escalation of commitment:

Failing to revoke a decision when it proves wrong


A collective state where group members begin to (often unknowingly) think alike and reject differing viewpoints

Management by objectives:

Management by numbers, focus exclusively on quantitative management criteria, when these are non-essential or cost too much to acquire


Ineffectiveness from excessive observation, supervision, or other hands-on involvement from management

Moral hazard:

Insulating a decision-maker from the consequences of their decision

Mushroom management:

Keeping employees "in the dark and fed manure" (also "left to stew and finally canned")

Peter principle:

Continually promoting otherwise well-performing employees up to their level of incompetence, where they remain indefinitely

Seagull management:

Management in which managers only interact with employees when a problem arises, when they "fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, do not solve the problem, then fly out"

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


Locking successful employees into overly safe, narrowly defined, predictable roles based on their past successes rather than their potential

Vendor lock-in:

Making a system excessively dependent on an externally supplied component

Project management

Cart before the horse:

Focusing too many resources on a stage of a project out of its sequence

Death march:

A project whose staff, while expecting it to fail, are compelled to continue, often with much overwork, by management which is in denial

Ninety-ninety rule:

Tendency to underestimate the amount of time to complete a project when it is "nearly done"


Spending resources making a project more robust and complex than is needed

Scope creep:

Uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project's scope, or adding new features to the project after the original requirements have been drafted and accepted (also known as requirement creep and feature creep)

Smoke and mirrors:

Demonstrating unimplemented functions as if they were already implemented

Brooks's law:

Adding more resources to a project to increase velocity, when the project is already slowed down by coordination overhead.

Software engineering

Software design

Abstraction inversion:

Not exposing implemented functionality required by callers of a function/method/constructor, so that the calling code awkwardly re-implements the same functionality in terms of those calls

Ambiguous viewpoint:

Presenting a model (usually Object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD)) without specifying its viewpoint

Big ball of mud:

A system with no recognizable structure


Using a database as the message queue for routine interprocess communication where a much more lightweight mechanism would be suitable

Gold plating:

Continuing to work on a task or project well past the point at which extra effort is not adding value

Inner-platform effect:

A system so customizable as to become a poor replica of the software development platform

Input kludge:

Failing to specify and implement the handling of possibly invalid input

Interface bloat:

Making an interface so powerful that it is extremely difficult to implement

Magic pushbutton:

A form with no dynamic validation or input assistance, such as dropdowns

Race hazard:

Failing to see the consequences of events that can sometimes interfere with each other

Stovepipe system:

A barely maintainable assemblage of ill-related components

Object-oriented programming

Anemic domain model:

The use of the domain model without any business logic. The domain model's objects cannot guarantee their correctness at any moment, because their validation and mutation logic is placed somewhere outside (most likely in multiple places). Martin Fowler considers this to be an anti-pattern, but some disagree that it is always an anti-pattern.

Call super:

Requiring subclasses to call a superclass's overridden method

Circle-ellipse problem:

Subtyping variable-types on the basis of value-subtypes

Circular dependency:

Introducing unnecessary direct or indirect mutual dependencies between objects or software modules

Constant interface:

Using interfaces to define constants

God object:

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

Object cesspool:

Reusing objects whose state does not conform to the (possibly implicit) contract for re-use

Object orgy:

Failing to properly encapsulate objects permitting unrestricted access to their internals


Objects whose sole purpose is to pass information to another object

Sequential coupling:

A class that requires its methods to be called in a particular order

Yo-yo problem:

A structure (e.g., of inheritance) that is hard to understand due to excessive fragmentation

Accidental complexity:

Programming tasks which could be eliminated with better tools (as opposed to essential complexity inherent in the problem being solved)

Action at a distance:

Unexpected interaction between widely separated parts of a system

Boat anchor:

Retaining a part of a system that no longer has any use

Busy waiting:

Consuming CPU while waiting for something to happen, usually by repeated checking instead of messaging

Caching failure:

Forgetting to clear a cache that holds a negative result (error) after the error condition has been corrected

Cargo cult programming:

Using patterns and methods without understanding why

Coding by exception:

Adding new code to handle each special case as it is recognized

Design pattern:

The use of patterns has itself been called an anti-pattern, a sign that a system is not employing enough abstraction

Error hiding:

Catching an error message before it can be shown to the user and either showing nothing or showing a meaningless message. This anti-pattern is also named Diaper Pattern. Also can refer to erasing the Stack trace during exception handling, which can hamper debugging.

Hard code:

Embedding assumptions about the environment of a system in its implementation

Lasagna code:

Programs whose structure consists of too many layers of inheritance

Lava flow:

Retaining undesirable (redundant or low-quality) code because removing it is too expensive or has unpredictable consequences

Loop-switch sequence:

Encoding a set of sequential steps using a switch within a loop statement

Magic numbers:

Including unexplained numbers in algorithms

Magic strings:

Implementing presumably unlikely input scenarios, such as comparisons with very specific strings, to mask functionality.

Repeating yourself:

Writing code which contains repetitive patterns and substrings over again; avoid with once and only once (abstraction principle)

Shooting the messenger:

Throwing exceptions from the scope of a plugin or subscriber in response to legitimate input, especially when this causes the outer scope to fail.

Shotgun surgery:

Developer adds features to an application codebase which span a multiplicity of implementors or implementations in a single change

Soft code:

Storing business logic in configuration files rather than source code

Spaghetti code:

Programs whose structure is barely comprehensible, especially because of misuse of code structures


Copy and paste programming:

Copying (and modifying) existing code rather than creating generic solutions

Every Fool Their Own Tool:

Failing to use proper software development principles when creating tools to facilitate the software development process itself.[original research?]

Golden hammer:Assuming that a favorite solution is universally applicable (See:

Silver bullet)

Improbability factor:

Assuming that it is improbable that a known error will occur

Invented here:

The tendency towards dismissing any innovation or less than trivial solution originating from inside the organization, usually because of lack of confidence in the staff

Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome:

The tendency towards reinventing the wheel (failing to adopt an existing, adequate solution)

Premature optimization:

Coding early-on for perceived efficiency, sacrificing good design, maintainability, and sometimes even real-world efficiency

Programming by permutation (or "programming by accident", or "programming by coincidence"):

Trying to approach a solution by successively modifying the code to see if it works

Reinventing the square wheel:

Failing to adopt an existing solution and instead adopting a custom solution which performs much worse than the existing one

Silver bullet:

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

Tester Driven Development:

Software projects in which new requirements are specified in bug reports

Top comments (0)