Home Hate Working With Legacy Code? It’s Time for a Change in Attitude

Hate Working With Legacy Code? It’s Time for a Change in Attitude

Developer Sandro Mancuso has some words of wisdom for those of you stuck working on legacy code: change your attitude. Cursing and moaning won’t get you anywhere, so you need to learn to love working with legacy code.

That may be obvious, but how does one actually make this shift in thinking? Mancuso has some suggestions.

Mancuso recommends that you think of legacy code as a jigsaw. You can’t understand the whole system at once, but if you start working on small pieces you’ll figure the larger significance over time.

The more pieces we put together the more excited we are about finishing the jigsaw puzzle. The more pieces we put together, the easier it gets to put more pieces together. And that’s exactly the feeling I’ve got when working with legacy code now.

Mancuso also suggests thinking about legacy code as an interesting challenge instead of as a hassle.

I would add that it may help keep in mind why legacy code is important: it may have stuck around forever because it’s secure and stable and gets the job done. Treat it with respect.

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