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276 votes
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A large part of my code has a major design flaw. Finish it off or fix it now?

If I were in your shoes, I would probably try it this way: first, finish the current project - at least partially - as soon as possible, but in a working state. Probably you need to reduce your ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 210k
232 votes

My boss asks me to stop writing small functions and do everything in the same loop

There are other problems Neither code is good, because both basically bloat the code with a debug test case. What if you want to test more things for whatever reason? phoneNumber = ...
null's user avatar
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227 votes
Accepted

My boss asks me to stop writing small functions and do everything in the same loop

Taking the code examples first. You favour: if (isApplicationInProduction(headers)) { phoneNumber = headers.resourceId; } else { phoneNumber = DEV_PHONE_NUMBER; } function ...
David Arno's user avatar
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225 votes
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Should I refactor the code that is marked as "don't change"?

It seems you are refactoring "just in case", without knowing exactly which parts of the codebase in detail will be changed when the new feature development will take place. Otherwise, you would know ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
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177 votes
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Rationale to prefer local variables over instance variables?

What is the objective, scientific rationale to favor local variables over instance variables? Scope isn't a binary state, it's a gradient. You can rank these from largest to smallest: Global > ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 52.7k
146 votes

Is it the correct practice to keep more than 10 years old spaghetti legacy code untouched without refactoring at all in big product development?

It‘s a question of risk management: Refactoring a system always creates the risk of breaking something that worked before. The larger the system, the higher its complexity, and the higher the risk ...
Christophe's user avatar
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140 votes

Should I refactor the code that is marked as "don't change"?

Yes, you should refactor the code before you add the other features. The trouble with comments like these is that they depend on particular circumstances of the environment in which the code base is ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
123 votes
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Writing tests for code whose purpose I don't understand

You are doing fine! Creating automated regression tests is often the best thing you can do for making a component refactorable. It may be surprising, but such tests can often be written without the ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 210k
120 votes

A large part of my code has a major design flaw. Finish it off or fix it now?

Finished IT projects, even faulty ones, are much better than unfinished ones. Unfinished ones can teach you a lot too, but not as much as finished ones. You may not see it now, but you get an ...
tmaj's user avatar
  • 1,713
113 votes

How to encourage a team to refactor

Do not ask management for permission to refactor. It's none of their business. You might as well be asking permission to sharpen a pencil. Management doesn't understand refactoring. It's not a ...
candied_orange's user avatar
112 votes
Accepted

Does "variables should live in the smallest scope as possible" include the case "variables should not exist if possible"?

No. There are several reasons why: Variables with meaningful names can make code easier to comprehend. Breaking up complex formulas into smaller steps can make the code easier to read. Caching. ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
101 votes

Is it the correct practice to keep more than 10 years old spaghetti legacy code untouched without refactoring at all in big product development?

One reason is it's really difficult to measure the loss of productivity the messy code is causing, and difficult to estimate the work it will take to clean it properly and fix any regressions. The ...
Karl Bielefeldt's user avatar
85 votes

Rationale to prefer local variables over instance variables?

The original code is using member variables like arguments. When he says to minimize the number of arguments, what he really means is to minimize the amount of data that the methods requires in order ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 911
70 votes

Does it ever make sense for a refactor to end up with a higher LOC?

To answer that, let's take a real world example that happened to me. In C# a library that I maintain, I had the following code: TResult IConsFuncMatcher<T, TResult>.Result() => TryCons(...
David Arno's user avatar
  • 39.4k
69 votes

Is "Parent x=new Child();" instead of "Child x=new Child();" a bad practice if we can use the latter one?

It depends on the context, but I would argue you should declare the most abstract type possible. That way your code will be as general as possible and not depend on irrelevant details. An example ...
JacquesB's user avatar
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66 votes
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Where does refactoring belong in GitFlow branch naming model?

Refactoring work should go in a feature branch. The prefix "feature" is just a word to describe a discrete programming task, you could choose any word you like, any branch from development is either ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 77.4k
60 votes

Should I refactor the code that is marked as "don't change"?

My question is: should I refactor the code when I encounter such warnings from the authors No, or at least not yet. You imply that the level of automated testing is very low. You need tests before ...
Daenyth's user avatar
  • 8,147
59 votes
Accepted

How to write unit tests before refactoring?

You're looking for tests that check for regressions. i.e. breaking some existing behaviour. I would start by identifying at what level that behaviour will remain the same, and that the interface ...
Brian Agnew's user avatar
  • 4,686
59 votes

My boss asks me to stop writing small functions and do everything in the same loop

There is no "right" or "wrong" answer to this. However, I will offer my opinion based on 36 years of professional experience designing and developing software systems ... There is no such thing as "...
LiamF's user avatar
  • 759
58 votes

Getting buy-in for cleaner and more structured code

The 2 years of experience me was you, but more extreme. I'd always create interfaces for every class, I'd apply any design pattern where I was able to, I'd never inject any concrete implementation, ...
Steve Chamaillard's user avatar
56 votes

A large part of my code has a major design flaw. Finish it off or fix it now?

I would happily start the project over. You're a student, and you're still learning. This puts you in a very different position than the question you linked to. You have no professional ...
Hylianpuffball's user avatar
54 votes

Rationale to prefer local variables over instance variables?

Other answers have already explained the benefits of local variables perfectly, so all that remains is this part of your question: Yet despite these benefits I still cannot seem to convince the ...
meriton's user avatar
  • 4,100
54 votes

Getting buy-in for cleaner and more structured code

TL;DR - You need Unit Testing Unit Testing is a phrase which I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else in this thread so far. (At least, from reading the original post I'd have been willing to bet that ...
Ben Cottrell's user avatar
51 votes

Is it the correct practice to keep more than 10 years old spaghetti legacy code untouched without refactoring at all in big product development?

It depends on your definition of "correct practice". I'm currently working on said old spaghetti code, much of it is old enough to drink. It's a critical safety system. Changes to this code ...
Kingsley's user avatar
  • 663
50 votes

My boss asks me to stop writing small functions and do everything in the same loop

“Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” — Occam's Razor Code has to be as simple as possible. Bugs like to hide in between complexity, because they are difficult to spot there. So what ...
amon's user avatar
  • 135k
50 votes
Accepted

In TDD, should I add unit tests to refactored code?

Testing before and after In TDD, should I add unit tests to refactored code? "refactored code" implies you are adding the tests after you've refactored. This is missing the point of testing your ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 52.7k
49 votes

Which object should have the method?

A user is someone who is registered and able to use the system. A chat room is a place people can chat. What happens when a user joins a chat room? What is that thing that represents a user who has ...
Greg Burghardt's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

Sufficient conditions for refactoring

Refactoring takes time. If not done well, it creates bugs that you need to fix. So it costs. You refactor when the benefits outweigh the cost of refactoring. There are good times for refactoring: one ...
gnasher729's user avatar
47 votes

Unexpected Code Coverage Reduction

The problem I see here is that you have made the code coverage a trigger for build failure. I do believe that code coverage should be something that is routinely reviewed, but as you have experienced,...
Berin Loritsch's user avatar
42 votes

How to write unit tests before refactoring?

The recommended practice is to start with writing "pin-down tests" that test the current behaviour of the code, possibly including bugs, but without requiring you to descend into the madness of ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar

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