A race condition occurs when a system’s functioning relies on the relative events sequence, for instance, process execution.

When a race condition occurs, multiple processes and threads access shared data simultaneously, causing unpredictable or undesirable results because of insufficient synchronization.

The consequence can be inconsistent outcomes, software failure, or data damage, a challenge for multi-threaded and concurrent programming environments. 

Race Condition Examples

Race Condition vs. Deadlock

They’re both involved in synchronization issues and concurrent programming. Race conditions arise from insufficient synchronization, while deadlocks result from blocking multiple processes or threads. Race conditions lead to unpredictable outcomes, while deadlocks result in a standstill.

How to Prevent Race Conditions