We're all familiar with patterns - solutions to common problems that arise again and again.
Anti-patterns are the dark side of patterns - common mistakes we fall into repeatedly. Sometimes they seem to be good solutions that experience has demonstrated don't work in practice. On other occasions, we know that they're not a good idea, but we fall into them anyway.
An example. one of the anti-patterns described Chapter 11 is Firefighting - a mode of behaviour in which, faced with a number of critical problems, we rush from one to another doing just enough to put out the worst fire before moving onto the next.
We’re all prone to it. When customers, managers, or colleagues are screaming at you and critical deadlines are approaching, it can seem as though you have no choice. Rarely, it can be appropriate behaviour - sometimes you really do just have to do whatever it takes to get the immediate problems out of the way.
It’s a big problem, however, if you find yourself falling into firefighting mode regularly or for extended periods.