Tag Archives: Legacy

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 8 – Extract and Override

Extract and Override

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

Almost always when needing to test existing code we bump against dependencies that make the system untestable. This technique is useful to extract the static dependencies. After that we can use dependency inversion in order to be able to really test the systems.

With this technique we can transform untestable systems into testable systems, step by step. The steps are small because we want to enable safety while changing the code.

Extract and Override

Extract and Override

Read More →

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 7 – Dependency inversion

Dependency Inversion

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

As you found out from the previous post, it would be a good idea to refactor in a safe way. This session is about another concept that will prepare for the tough refactorings ahead.

Dependency inversion is one way of transforming a tightly coupled system into a system that has a core and many small external dependencies. These external dependencies can be called also plugins.

Sierpinski_Racket_example Read More →

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 6 – Basic rules of refactoring

Basic Rules of Refactoring

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

This technique is useful to minimize the mistakes one does while changing existing code. When refactoring existing code, one can introduce defects because of rushing through the changes.

During the next sections you will find some rules (guidelines) and some explanations about why these rules are useful.

 

Basic Rules of Refactoring

Basic Rules of Refactoring

Read More →

Legacy Coderetreat: Episode 3 – Fix bugs on Legacy Code – Code Cast

Fix bugs on legacy code – code cast

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Code Cast

This is a code cast in Java. I have a bug report and I need to fix bugs on legacy code. I start by writing characterization test on the system level and then I dive into the code with writing a unit test. See more about the technique in the blog post Fix a Bug on Legacy Code.

 

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 4 – Fix bugs on Legacy Code

Fix bugs on legacy code

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

When we need to fix bugs on legacy code, we first need to understand if the described behaviour is in fact a bug or not. For that we can write some characterization tests in order to understand what the system really does. The simplest form of characterization test is a system test. A couple of ideas to start writing the characterization tests are to use the generic approach Part 2 – From Nothing to System Tests and Part 3 – Golden Master. We can generate system tests considering that the System Under Test (SUT) is a black box. You can find more details about how to do that in the blog posts and code casts about the above techniques. But in order to fix bugs on legacy code we need to dive more into the code base. We need to write tests on a smaller scope and we often need to refactor in order to make room for the code changes. Let’s see a technique of fixing a bug in legacy code.

Fix bugs on legacy code

Fix bugs on legacy code

Read More →

Legacy Coderetreat: Episode 2 – Golden Master Codecast

Golden Master Codecast

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Code Cast

The Golden Master technique is very useful when a clear input and output is easy to obtain on the system level. There are some cases where the Golden Master technique can be applied with difficulty or where it cannot be applied at all. We will discuss these situations further as well.

For all the given situations we need to think if the system tests generated with the Golden Master are enough, or we need to start adding other types of tests like unit tests, component tests, integration tests, security tests, etc

After this session we will have a basic safety net composed of system tests. These system tests will check the SUT against the golden masters. A very important output of the system would be the golden masters persisted in any form. All the system tests would need always to be called during the next refactoring phases.

This is a codecast in Java where I start generating system test with the Golden Master technique. Please read more details about this technique in the Part 3 – Golden Master blog post. Have fun!

 

 

 

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 3 – Golden Master

Golden Master on legacy code

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

Whenever you start dealing with an existing software system you need to have a basic safety net. This basic safety net will make sure that whenever you change big things in the code, the changes will not affect the existing functionality. You can read more about this concept in the generic session Part 2 – From Nothing to System Tests.

As mentioned in the above entry, we want to start with some basic safety feature that will let us test the code in a generic way, focusing only on inputs and on outputs and without changing the production code. So we will treat the system as a black box (we do not care about the internal behaviour of the system, we care just about the whole system inputs and outputs) and we will test only the outputs for given inputs.

The Golden Master technique is very useful when a clear input and output is easy to obtain on the system level. There are some cases where the Golden Master technique can be applied with difficulty or where it cannot be applied at all. We will discuss these situations further as well.

golden-master-beatles-hey-jude-lp

In audio mastering, a golden master is a model disk used as a reference to create disks in the old vinyl industry. This disk was cut in metal and it would contain the sound transferred from a microphone (see here more details). In the software world we took this name and we started using it for a fixed reference of a system output, paired with a system input.

Read More →

Legacy Coderetreat: Episode 1 – From Nothing to System Tests Codecast

From Nothing to System Tests – Codecast

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Codecast

Before starting to change any legacy system you need to know you will not introduce any defects when changing the code. So one way would be to stay on the safe side and start writing some automated tests. These tests can be Golden Master type of tests, they can be Characterization Tests, or anything else that might give you this certainty of correct changes in a later stage.

This is a code cast in Java where I start covering with tests a simple code base. Please read the explanation of this technique in the Part 2 – From Nothing to System Tests blog post. Have fun!

 

This session has some prerequisites:

  • Good knowledge of unit testing and test doubles, especially mocks, stubs and fakes.
  • Very good knowledge of the programming language you use. You often need to use some hacks that will allow you not to change the existing code and be able to test it.
  • Open mind to new, sometimes mind-blowing, techniques and concepts.

Further it is very important to have good knowledge about software design, especially techniques of decoupling the existing code. It would be a good thing that any attendee would know about the SOLID Principles and have basic knowledge about Design Patterns.

Legacy Coderetreat: Part 2 – From Nothing to System Tests

From Nothing to System Tests

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about legacy coderetreat and legacy code techniques you can apply during your work. Please click to see more sessions about legacy code.

Purpose

Whenever I need to change an existing system I need a safety net. These system tests knit a coarse safety net, very good if you want to have the safety of changing code later without introducing defects.

This is the first thing I usually do when I start working with a system that:

  • does not have any automated tests
  • is totally unknown to me

This safety net will be used during the next phases when the code will be refactored and cleaned-up, before being modified. Now let’s see a bit about the concept of this session.

from-nothing-to-system-tests

From Nothing to System Tests

Read More →