Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Evolutionary Design: Normalize Growth

Evolutionary Design: Normalize Growth

The Definitions

Evolutionary Design is the practice of creating the components and interactions of a system while it is evolving, on the basis of the client requirements and user needs.

Normalization refers to a process that makes something more normal or regular

Normalization may refer to more sophisticated adjustments where the intention is to bring the entire probability distributions of adjusted values into alignment from Wikipedia

Growth refers to a positive change in size, and/or maturation, often over a period of time from Wikipedia

 

The Moment

I am a big fan of gardening. Whenever I can, I take care of my plants and think about subjects like Evolutionary Design. One moment I was taking care of my young tomato plants: I needed to rip the small leaves that grow and just take the food away from the flowers and fruits. And it struck me: any gardener is doing Evolutionary Design.

pruning

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Talk: Easier to change CODE

Talk: Easier to change CODE

This is a talk from I T.A.K.E. Unconference 2016, Bucharest.

It is a hands-on talk, where I refactor some code live with the help of the audience.

Techniques

During this talk you will see techniques that are useful for tackling legacy code issues. You will be able to see how, with the help of the audience, the code can be improved to become easier to change. We want to change existing code in just a few situations: solve bug, add feature, improve the testability of the system. Remember that when you change existing code you understand what is the reason to do this.

Before changing the code is important to have some tests as a safety net. For that I am using Characterization Tests. Only after having these characterization tests, we can start to refactor the code, but with care in order not to introduce defects. Even though we have a safety net, it is not enough and bugs might appear. So to make sure we have more trust in tests the first refactoring steps are made with the purpose to be able to add unit tests.

Adding unit tests gives me better quality feedback, because if I introduce a defect I will know better what I have done wrong. A characterization test is too big, and I might need to dig a while to find the reason.

Changing legacy code needs to be done with care, in small steps and try to always remain with the tests on green. The longer I stay on red, the riskier is that I introduce defects and I lose my refactoring direction.

Easier to change CODE means the total opposite of the Legacy Code is Fear concept. I have my toolbox with legacy code techniques. I know how to use them,  and so I am able to make the code to be easier to change.

Video

 

Interview by Lemi Orhan for Software Craftsmanship Turkey

We discussed about things like:

  • Well crafted code
  • Ways to improve one’s craft
  • How to become a conference speaker
  • and many more…