Inheriting code, and I don’t mean classes a talk by Flavio Percoco
Friday, 14 June, 15:00 in Ballroom
One of the hardest things to do for developers, especially freelancers, is to inherit someone else’s code. Let alone doing it when the original author is not around anymore. Whether it’s an open source project, an internal project, or some small web page that your best friend asked you to fix. Code that has not been written by us is always ugly, not performant, and broken.
- How does one go about inheriting other people's code?
- How do you wrap your head around the (wrong?) ideas, the (flawed?) logic, and the (lack of?) taste of * other developers(?)?
- How can you take such code, make it yours, make it better, and sprinkle your fairy dust all over it? Also, do you really write better code? ;)
Join me while I share some of my experience on this topic, some strategies to inherit old code without (totally) going mental, and how to rant about it without looking like a douchebag.
Like many of you, I’ve been writing software for quite some time and during this time, I’ve had an opportunity to work for different companies, inherit code from many people, and deal with various open source communities.
In order to be productive during the “change-of-focus” periods, I had to be strategic in the way I approach existing code, if anything to be able to do my job properly (and preserve my mental health). We all have either done this or will do it at some point.