Sandy sent me a link listing anti-patterns as applied to management practices. For those not up on the jargon, an anit-pattern is a bad practice that is repeated frequently. I first heard this term in terms of programming patterns and anti-patterns, but I’ve since heard it used in non-programming contexts. I can honestly say I’ve run into the Hard Code anti-pattern, code-momentum, cargo cult programming, and bug maganets, to name a few. I’ve also commited Accidental complexity, magic numbers, monkey work, and parallel protectionism as I’ve learned to be a better programmer.
The management ones would be funnier if they weren’t so true. The ones that hit close to home for me are Hostile Testing, Napkin specification, Seagull Management, Leader not Manager, Scope Creep, and Design by Committee.
Often pejoratively named with clever oxymoronic neologisms, many anti-pattern ideas amount to little more than mistakes, rants, unsolvable problems, or bad practices to be avoided if possible. Sometimes called pitfalls or dark patterns, this informal use of the term has come to refer to classes of commonly reinvented bad solutions to problems. Thus, many candidate anti-patterns under debate would not be formally considered anti-patterns.