Articles written to explore ways to to master legacy code.

Sadly this Legacy Code Works. How Do I Get Permission to Fix It?

I got a good legacy code question today in the Code by Refactoring Slack channel. We have a code module called the state machine which is poorly written and has no tests. We all (we the engineers) agree that we should rewrite the state machine from scratch. However, the current implementation ‘works’, and we are not adding states or other stuff to that module. Here’s the questions: a) Do we need to add tests (unit & integration tests) at all? If yes, […]

Technical Debt vs Technical Waste

Executive Summary In trying to improve productivity and reduce waste there are 3 important concepts. These often get confused, which makes it difficult to align and fix the problem. The key concepts are: Technical Debt — a way your system has not yet incorporated new information. Technical Waste — technical friction that does one of 3 things: puts existing business at risk, or causes delays and increases costs to respond to new information when it appears (aka, manage technical debt), […]

Naming as a Process (Article 1)

We all know naming is a pain in the ass and you can’t trust the names in your code. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many people try to come up with a great name all at once. This is hard and rarely works well. The problem is that naming is design. Here are the things you are typically trying to do all at once while naming: Deciding the things the code should do Deciding which things go […]

Why Leading Your Way Out of Technical Waste Hasn’t Worked

Is technical waste really a threat? Sure it costs a lot of money, but that is small compared to the revenue from a successful software product. You attained business success by maximizing the odds of revenue. You could afford some technical debt along the way. But now that debt has become waste. Technical waste is not just costing money. It is costing options. Want to take the product to the cloud? You can’t in less than 2 years. Subscription business? […]