Chapter 7. Evolutionary Architecture Pitfalls and Antipatterns

We’ve spent a lof of time discussing appropriate levels of coupling in architectures. However, we also live in the real world, and see lots of coupling that harms a project’s ability to evolve.

We identify two kinds of bad engineering practices that manifest in software projects—pitfalls and antipatterns. Many developers use the word antipattern as jargon for “bad,” but the real meaning is more subtle. A software antipattern has two parts. First, an antipattern is a practice that initially looks like a good idea, but turns out to be a mistake. Second, better alternatives exist for most antipatterns. Architects notice many antipatterns only in hindsight, so they are hard to avoid. A pitfall looks superficially like a good idea but immediately reveals itself to be a bad path. We cover both pitfalls and antipatterns in this chapter.

Technical Architecture

In this section, we focus on common practices in the industry that specifically harm a team’s ability to evolve the architecture.

Antipattern: Vendor King

Some large enterprises buy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to handle common business tasks like accounting, inventory management, and other common chores. This works if companies are willing to bend their business processes and other decisions to accommodate the tool, and can be used strategically when architects understand limitations as well as benefits.

However, many organizations become overambitious ...

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