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In computer programming, a code smell is any characteristic in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem. Determining what is and is not a code smell is subjective, and varies by language, developer, and development methodology.
The term was popularised by Kent Beck on WardsWiki in the late 1990s. Usage of the term increased after it was featured in the 1999 book Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler. It is also a term used by agile programmers.