About the Book
Are you suffering from maintaining extremely poor application code with tons of technical debt? Are you leading a new team and want to start clean, and not hit the same wall again?! Are you transitioning to Agile, and started feeling the pains of shorter iterations with limited time for regression testing? Are you puzzled with prioritizing which refactorings to apply on which code and having hard time convincing managers with the value of refactoring?
If the answer is yes, this book is for you. This book is an attempt to cross the chasm and introduce order to the chaos of developing and maintaining software products.
This book is an accumulation of years of experiments to refactor software products and make them easier to understand and cheaper to modify. In early attempts, we achieved limited success and many failures. During that period, I had a strong feeling that there must be a better way to handle the mountains of technical debt in a systematic and sustainable way. Later on, I've changed my way of thinking and took into consideration two important factors:
- Starting with simple and least risky refactorings
- Keep it sustainable for developers, managers, and users
For the next set of the projects, we achieved better results. We kept experimenting and fine-tuning the roadmap till we reached what we believe to be a better way of refactoring poor code and systematically reduce the technical debt in a sustainable and stepwise manner.
This is not a book about refactoring, although you'll learn a lot of useful refactoring ideas. It's also not a book about software design, although it teaches you some very important principles about good design. Rather, it's a book about good development habits and clean coding, including refactoring techniques, design principles, test automation, technical debt management, and many more.
All these ideas are put into a roadmap which takes you step-by-step towards your goal. This roadmap divides the effort to refactor poor code into three stages:
- Quick-wins; simple and least risky enhancements
- Divide-and-conquer the code into functional, utility, and architectural components, with identified and clear component interfaces
- Inject-quality-in the code by wrapping components with automated tests
For every stage, the book lists techniques and tools that you can use. It offers hints, tips, and tricks which you may consider along the way. And most important, it gives you some ideas about how to measure your code quality, and how to show progress and share achievement with your busy managers to gain their support.
Practices & Techniques
The book introduces some basic clean coding practices and techniques. These practices are presented in an order which most suites stepwise refactoring of existing code. However, they are equally useful for green field development and establishes grounds for becoming a professional programmer.
About the Author
I've been always interested in helping people develop better software. I've combined 17 years of experience in software development, design, architecture, delivery management and team leadership. Over the last 7 years, my primary focus was to spread agile awareness and lean thinking in the Middle East and North Africa. I've co-founded Agile Academy, Egypt Lean and Agile Netwrok, and I'm the organizer of Agile Egypt, the largest group of agile practitioners in the region. I've authored several industrial reports and articles, and write frequently at my blog: amr.agileegypt.org