Discussions

News: The five people in your organization that grow legacy code

  1. Roberto Cortez knows legacy code. As he writes in The 5 people in your organization that grow legacy code, we shouldn't fear our so-called "old code":

    What exactly is legacy code? How can you define it? Is it old code? Is it code that no one wants to use? Or is it just badly-written code?

    In my opinion, legacy code is software that developers usually don´t know much about, and they might even be too scared to change it because it can break something in the system. The tendency is to ignore it until the day it stops working and you need to start putting out fires…

    This brings us to those legacy-code generators out there, whose efforts may seem well-intended at the time, but in hindsight they have their own special techniques of growing the legacy code in your organization:

    1. The Overly Energetic Engineer ("Hey, I brought the rocket launcher to shoot that butterfly")
    2. The Technology Enthusiast ("OMG Every1, we all have to switch to this AWESOME new web framework")
    3. The New Intern ("Thanks for lending me Java for Dummies...where should I commit my code?")
    4. The Elusive Firefighter ("I can dive into that from the helicopter and be gone within minutes")
    5. The Smartass ("No worries, I'll have that all done in a couple hours".... 3 days later...)

    So which of these profiles do you see at work? Are you any of them? Please leave comments below, or tweet at @radcortez or @RebelLabs!

  2. We are in the open source world we need to learn, try and implement it in the right way within a short time window. Gone are those days when we can spend months to learn something before we decide to implement. I am not in the favour of adopting anything just because someone has written an article on it. There needs to be a proper analysis and due-diligence process as part the architecture or technology governance, but having said so branding anything new as bad is not something I would do. I have seen the same patterns in the Banking projects, some of the clients I have worked for has exactly the same attitude "new is bad", but they also have a new technology adoption process. The issue is you need to take the added pain to get through the process. It seems to be a pain but I always felt it to be a rewarding experince. I end up learning more than I would have if I had implemented it without the challenge.