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Shotgun Surgery

Shotgun Surgery resembles Divergent Change but is actually the opposite smell. Divergent Change is when many changes are made to a single class. Shotgun Surgery refers to when a single change is made to multiple classes simultaneously.

Signs and Symptoms

Making any modifications requires that you make many small changes to many different classes.

Reasons for the Problem

A single responsibility has been split up among a large number of classes. This can happen after overzealous application of Divergent Change.


  • Use Move Method and Move Field to move existing class behaviors into a single class. If there’s no class appropriate for this, create a new one.

  • If moving code to the same class leaves the original classes almost empty, try to get rid of these now-redundant classes via Inline Class.


  • Better organization.

  • Less code duplication.

  • Easier maintenance.