anthony galvin


Dear Legacy Code Creator...

I’m sure you didn’t mean to create this problem. It probably seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. The client was a pain, you were under pressure to deliver - producer over your shoulder, asking “is it done yet”. As for that Tech Lead, he couldn’t code review his way out of a paper bag.

A project that nobody cared about. Ship it. Move on.

And it shows. Because 2 years later we are staring at the code. Trying to fix up some problem or other. It’s hard to know where to start because, well, there’s not many comments, the commit messages are garbage and the little documentation that there is makes no sense.

I understand that you didn’t think anyone would download that app, but people have. And the client, despite what you thought, thinks this is quite a good product and would like to promote it, if only it wasn’t so buggy. So now it’s over to us.

It’s OK for you, and the rest of the team. You left. A contractor. Got fired. Who knows, but you’re not here now as a couple of us go toe-to-toe with your lack of error handling and crazy re-invention of the most common design patterns.

And you know what, I know that we could all write better code, that I don’t have the context of those meetings and planning session when it all made sense. I wasn’t there.

But next time just write a few bloody comments and maybe some documentation that doesn’t assume you know the app inside out already. And think about those of us who have to up pick your pieces…

#work #code #legacy #frustration

2013-10-15 11:18:03 GMT permalink