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Top 10 Anti-Patterns in Web Development to Stay Away From

August 11th, 2018

The process of creating an architecture of a website or an application, or even establishing an effective workflow, involves facing with recurring difficulties. Naturally, developers do not have to look for a solution to a particular problem every time it arises since most of the well-known solutions can be reused and adjusted for a whole bunch of problems. Generally, design patterns are multi-functional solutions that can be applied to a wide range of scenarios. These patterns help solve the problems that commonly occur and optimize the code. And while design patterns are created to improve the process of development by utilizing specially allotted formulas, in some cases, everything goes wrong despite all the efforts of developers. Then they are called anti-patterns.

For the first time, this term was mentioned in the book of the same name released in 1998. It refers to common solutions that were initially designed to be useful; however, in fact, they do more harm than good.

These patterns can turn out to be harmful for several reasons. For instance, if the developer applies the pattern in the wrong context or time (patterns that were effective previously, may not work today), or the whole paradigm is not efficient at all. Also, anti-patterns are called patterns of failure. However, any developer can recognize and stay away from these patterns of failure. In this article, we present an overview of ten common web development anti-patterns that can mislead you that you have a well-optimized code.

1. Hardcoding

This is the most famous anti-pattern that appears in the first few chapters in the appropriate books. Hardcoding refers to the practices of storing input information, for instance, host name or the file path, in the source code, instead of storing such information in the configuration file or a database or another external source.

The major problem of the hard code is that it only operates in a definite environment, and if the conditions change, the source code has to be modified and, in most cases, many times in a row.

2. Softcoding

When the developers try to stay away from hard-coding, they can find another pitfall – the anti-pattern that we call “softcoding” – which is the opposite to the previously stated one.

This computer coding term refers to storing information in external resources instead of source code, for instance, the business logic finds its storage in databases. Developers often dread that the rules of business are liable to be modified and that they will have to rewrite the code.

On the other hand, the soft code can make the program a bit too abstract to understand, debug, and maintain it.

3. Reinventing the Wheel

This idiomatic metaphor refers to the development anti-pattern that calls for duplicating a basic method that has already been optimized or created by other developers. In other words, it usually takes place when the development team wants to make a fresh start and write the whole functionality from scratch, without taking the existing methods or libraries into consideration.

Reinventing the wheel refers not only to time-wasting procedures but also the solutions, particularly for fundamental functionality, that are hardly ever as good as classic ones that have already been implemented by a lot of developers and tested by many users.

4. Dependency Hell

This is another common anti-pattern that is basically referred to the opposite of the previously stated anti-pattern. If a developer applies too many third-party solutions, APIs, or libraries without thinking of their necessity instead of writing the code independently, it is easy to find yourself in a situation when there are too many elements that are hard to manage. In other words, these abundant dependencies are incompatible with each other in the majority of cases.

This anti-pattern can be avoided by using a smart, thought-out development strategy. Even the tiniest architecture details should be considered and discussed. In addition, it is a good idea to use packaging managers that allow for quick updating of interdependent dependencies.

5. Spaghetti Code

Probably the most well-known development anti-pattern is the “spaghetti code”. It implies the web application that is difficult to maintain, modify, or debug through the absence of accurate architecture.

The inspiration for this idiomatic metaphor comes from a bowl of spaghetti that, like the bunch of bad code, is complicated and tangled. This code is considered to be extremely messed up, and it is impossible to figure out how it exactly works since the readability is awfully low.

Spaghetti code is usually the consequence of the blend of dreadful development practices, for instance, an abundance of exceptions, go-to statements, and threads, the absence of proper conditional blocks, the presence of elements and parts that have minimal or no relationships between each other, or is not well-documented, etc.

6. Premature Optimization

Good timing defines every detail in code optimization. Premature optimization refers to the situation when a developer decided to focus on small performance victories and optimize code too early in the development process before figuring out all the details.

Donald Knuth once made an exhaustive note that premature optimization is the root of all evil. This might be a hyperbole; however, it stresses the bunch of possible problems that premature optimization can cause. For instance, if the developer optimizes for the performance beforehand while the architecture is not ready, he or she might reduce the readability of the code by adding redundant elements, making the maintenance and debugging procedures difficult to perform.

To put an end to premature optimization, you should follow the YAGNI principle. The abbreviation stands for the “You Ain’t Gonna Need It” principle that is based on the doctrine when the developer refuses to add particular elements when there is no immediate need for it. In other words, you should apply some functionality only when you actually need it, instead of when you think you need it.

7. Copy-and-paste Programming

This coding principle refers to the situation when a developer creates something that contradicts the “Don’t Repeat Yourself” coding principle, and instead of establishing a common solution, he imbeds already-existing code snippets to various places and then edits them to make it suitable for a certain context.

It can result in the appearance of code that is extremely repetitious since the code parts a developer inserted have only minor differences.

Copy-and-paste type of programming is a common practice not only for beginners but also experienced developers. However, to achieve the best results, programmers should apply their personal pre-written and well-tested code snippets for a specific problem that can prevent them from unpredictable recurrences.

8. Programming by Permutation

Programming by permutation that is sometimes called “programming by accident” or “by-try programming” is an anti-pattern in software development that refers to a situation when the problem is solved by making small modifications and testing them one by one. If they behave the way it satisfies the developer, this modification will be implemented.

This approach can simply initiate the presence of new bugs in the code that would not necessarily be recognized at once. Moreover, it is sometimes impossible to recognize whatever a particular solution is a perfect option for every scenario or not.

9. Cargo Cult Programming

This odd name comes from a well-known aboriginal phenomenon named “cargo cult.” These were cults that originated in the South Pacific region after the second World War due to the fact that contact with a civilized nation made the Aborigines think that manufactured products brought on merchant or cargo ships were created by supernatural powers. They believed that magical rites performed by high shamans will bring the cargo ships again.

When it comes to computer programming, cargo cult anti-pattern introduces the application of code parts, libraries, frameworks, design patterns, and another program structures that work for others, but in your particular situation have no purpose. For the most part, developers do not even understand how they work or why do they even apply them. This is a bad practice for two reasons. First, because they make the app too redundant, second because new bugs can be easily introduced to the code.

10. Lava Flow

This anti-pattern was named after the lava flow that comes from the crater of a volcano. First, lava moves too quickly to stop and later, after solidification it becomes hard to extract.

In a programming jargon, the term “lava flow” refers to the situation that a developer has to deal with a low-quality code that contains redundant or/and inferior parts that appear to be integrated into the app; however, it remains unclear how it affects the program or if it does affect it at all. This brings with it a great risk of removing such parts.

It is a usual situation when it comes to the inherited or legacy code, the code that as been written by another developer carelessly and without complying with the documentation, and then forwarded to another developer. Another common situation is when the development stage has occurred too briefly.

Lava flows can be discarded by comprehensive testing and refactoring, but that is only in theory. The practice shows that the realization of such actions is quite hard or impossible. The most workable scenario is to set up a thought-out architecture and well-designed workflow.

Why Web Development Is Important For Your Business

August 9th, 2018

Designing and development are not the same thing. Both are perhaps important in their own unique ways but are like chalk and cheese. While the former is all about the visual part of a website, the latter is more about its technical merit. So, when you hire designers, it means you want to boost aesthetic charms of the site. But when you hire developers, it means you want to get a website which is rich in features and which is technically adept on all fronts. Although designing and development have some marked differences they still overlap at various junctures.

You should know that, web development is about giving shape to designing ideas through the use of right platform, codes and programing languages. It’s about making a website capable of reaching the internet and catching the attention of the target audience there. Developers are expert at adding features and functionalities to a website and boosting its capabilities. They have a deep knowledge of different programs and languages; they do write codes so that websites can get a variety of different features and functionalities to meet specific business requirements. From websites to portals to apps to customized solutions, developers can develop all and help businesses realize their goals in an effortless manner.

Hiring developers is the first step for any business towards going online and gaining benefits there. Going online is easy as anyone with a website can do the same; what however is not that easy is to have a right kind of website to help meet all the goals in the desired manner. A business website has to have all those standard features and functionalities that help users or customers on the internet. It has to look and feel simple, and it should never trouble users when they access it. Navigation should be easy and product or service listing should be neat and clean.

More so, a good business website is one that gives browsing convenience where it should look and feel consistent across all browsers. It also has to be mobile-friendly so that users can access every element while on-the-go and meet their purpose with ease. It should not have broken links neither should it take more than 2 or 3 seconds to load. All its elements, be it images, videos, infographics, links, products or services, must be optimized so that users on the internet can find them in an easy manner. Above all, it should have all the contact information and business details published at right places.

More so, its products and services should be categorized in a proper manner so that buyers can access them easily. Likewise, your website should give extra focus to security to win the trust of the target audience as a lot of sensitive data of buyers will be involved. That’s why having an SSL certificate, encrypted communications and a short transaction process becomes important. Given so much sensitivity attached with a website, it makes a great sense to hire only an expert development company to let your business grow in the desired manner.

A Brief Overview of Web Development

August 9th, 2018

Web development involves design, launch as well as publishing of a website. Developing a website is both exciting as well as tiresome. Those who want to design a website often seek help and advice from the experts. The simplest piece of advice is for you to know your business well before starting the design work of your website.

It is also equally important for you to learn to work with an honest and professional web development team. This team must work within a certain timeframe and they should be trustworthy. After the designing work of your website is complete you will then need to run a series of tests to make sure that the website is functioning according to plan and expectations. The tests will also show whether all the features are present.

It makes sense to promote your website by advertising it. This will help to make your website known among those who plan on buying your products and services. Advertising campaigns usually involve asking those websites that are already quite popular to also feature your site banner. The other websites should do this at an affordable price. This helps you because when people view other websites they will then get to know about your website.

Sharing data is another important web development concept. In the modern world there are tons of websites out there that allow visitors to view their data for free. You should also offer this but make sure that your site has basic as well as core features. Once your website becomes more popular you can then update your site with all the new applications and software as well as features that are in demand. It makes sense to flow with the tide and not against it.

When you launch your website you will find that there are thousands who have already done everything that you can think of. The right way of going about this phase of web development is by thinking unconventionally. You should concentrate on offering things that have yet to be offered by others. You should also make sure that what you offer is priced at an affordable level. If the price is too high it will only end up hurting your business.

When you launch your website for the first time you have to make yourself both available as well as affordable to all your prospective visitors. Only after people who visit your website become satisfied with what you have to offer can you think about raising the prices ever so slightly.

Finally, to make the most of your web development efforts you must publish search engine optimization (SEO) content as this will help to make your website more popular among the major search engines.