Beware of your Green Field Messes

This week I paired together with a colleague from another team. We were reworking one of our approaches and had started with implementing one of the class responsibilities anew. We wanted to improve the performance on the overall test suite and needed to take a look into several classes in order to get to know where the seconds and milliseconds got lost. I already knew there was one class which violates the Single Responsibility Principle and that I was striving looking into the code of that class since several weeks. Basically I was considering two options: Either we would start rewriting the major classes around or tests anew in order to improve the performance or boil down the technical debt, that caused our performance problems in the existing code.

We decided to start with the first option. Therefore we spent all Monday on some Ping-Pong-Programming for the new class we were building. When we tried it out, from functional point of view it worked. But when we wanted to incorporate our new class in the old code, we realized that this will be a major change. Therefore we started to take a look into the code. Soon we would realize that there were some simpler problems in the old classes and fixing them would be easier than the re-writing over all.

Some weeks ago a blog entry from Robert Martin had made myself aware that I would need to clean up my mud myself. Anyways I had to make this experience myself to realize that his statement was absolutely wrong. Hopefully I will be smarter next time.

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