Get an incremental solution to a gnarly technical problem every month.

Most technical debt problems in Legacy code are too big to solve. After all, you’ve already solved all the ones that were small enough to solve, given your organization, code, tooling, and techniques.

Every month, the Code by Refactoring newsletter picks one gnarly problem. Our gnarly problems in 2021 will be focused on getting your code ready for DevOps.

Each newsletter:

  1. Frames a DevOps blocker so that everyone can understand the underlying problem.
  2. Provides a step-by-step solution that you can start without permission and continue with the full team.
  3. Describes the results you can expect at the business level, to support your conversations with leadership.
  4. Show how to demo your results in a way that will excite your Product Owner and Executive Leader.

DevOps #10: Deploy Independently with Workspaces and Workloads

How Can We Deploy Independently Without Chaos? Continuous and independent deployment sounds great from the team’s perspective. Nothing blocks the flow of value. They can ship each feature when it completes, and fix any bugs with an immediate rollback. The team can interact quickly and directly with customers through A/B tests and previews, and they can do all of this free of the company bureaucracy around release management, timing, and overhead. But from the organization’s perspective, continuous and independent deployment […]

DevOps #9: Ease Integration with Hexagonal Architecture

How do I Know I’m Using My Dependencies Correctly? Our goal is to simplify integrations between my component and my dependencies. Using techniques from the last two newsletters, we can isolate my component from unwanted complexity in a dependency, and then verify that the dependency continues to work as I expect. However, one glaring hole remains: how do I ensure that my code uses the dependency correctly? We’ve Already Solved Almost Everything You may recall that we have encapsulated each […]

DevOps #8: Find Integration Bugs without Integration Tests

How Do I Keep This Working? A team that has been following this year’s Devops Series and performing each technique would find themselves able to: Plan features without dependencies, Edit code independently, Build and verify independently, Isolate changes, and Isolate its integration complexity from its main collaborator. For that team, this is great progress and things seem pretty good for a while. Work is fast, deployment is practical, and integration bugs are lower than they’ve ever been. But then integration […]

DevOps #7: Isolate Integration Complexity

How Will We Debug the Monolith? If your teams are following our approach to escape the monolith that Deep Roots has provided in this year’s newsletters, you can probably see a big problem looming. Your teams are gaining independence at the cost of increasing integration complexity. Who is going to manage that complexity as every team flees the monolith? How? Let’s look at our example organization to understand the complexity and its solution. Nearly 2000 components (125 teams * 10+ […]

DevOps #6: Compile Independently With a Forward-compatible Component

I’m Waiting For the Build…Again! Continuing our case study from the last two articles, let’s focus on one of the 130 teams who were trying to break free of the monolith. At this point this team had created their component. Actually, there were several components, but each was just a namespace in the monolith. Only one team changed each component, but every change still forced them to recompile the monolith. And every team had to recompile the monolith and every […]

DevOps #5: Gather A Scattered Component

We also support our readers through the Code by Refactoring Slack channel. Please join us there to discuss any part of the technique along your way to gathering your own scattered component. My Code is Everywhere! Let’s continue with the last newsletter’s example of an organization with more than 100 teams editing a single codebase. The codebase was well-structured. It had to be in order to support that much change. It had a well-designed, cleanly-implemented 4-tier architecture. The key innovations […]

DevOps #4: Extract Components to Edit Independently

Other People Keep Messing with My Code! I was working with a company that had about 100 teams in the same product. Each had a different purpose, so each changed different code. However, it wasn’t as clean as that makes it sound. Each team found itself making contributions across a quarter of the product. Each change impacted the work of a few other teams. Each method or class was shared among 2–4 teams — but it was a different 2–4 […]

DevOps #3: A Roadmap to Escape the Monolith

Our Code is Hopelessly Entangled With the Monolith! We really want our code to be a set of services. That unlocks CD and DevOps. However, our code is currently a long ways away from being Service Oriented so we will get to services incrementally. Our first target is Continuous Integration (CI). We think of CI as a system to rapidly find mistakes so that we can correct them. However, the power of CI comes from an unexpected source — team […]

DevOps #2: Enable Unit Tests

Our Unit Test Suite Hurts! TDD, CI, and DevOps assume that unit tests have the following traits: Domain relevant: Test one thing the user cares about and could describe. One Way to Fail: Can only fail for one reason, which is its assertion. Independent: Execute only the code they verify. You don’t need to update the test if anything else changes. Cover Functionality: The set of tests as a whole cover all behaviors of the system. This is bug coverage, not code coverage. But […]

DevOps #1: Automate Yourself with Checklists

I Can’t Automate This! Many years back I inherited a 30-year-old legacy code base. We were to clean up the C++ and make it work on modern hardware. However, the first step was to get it to even compile. Before us, building the product required 3 specialized build engineers, each with individual knowledge and unusual machine configurations. Each would remap the source, compile, get a partial success and set of failures, then pass it on to one of the other […]