Legacy projects

Written on December 19 2011.

This blog post was written a long time ago and may not reflect my current opinion or might be technically out of date. Read with a grain of salt.

As a company or freelance developer you have probably encounter the dilemma of taking over somebody else code. On one side you are happy to get new work, on the other side dealing with legacy code can be frightening.

Here are some questions you will need to ask when you continue and maintain a project:

Many of these questions sounds stupid or simple good sense but a checklist is never too much when it comes to such a tricky decision.

Everybody likes to write new code. Maintaining code is usually less appealing.

I love to dig in somebody else code,to refactor it, to understand what the previous developer had in mind when doing it. I like to remove the small imprecisions here and there and to curse when I see useless javascript files or two hundreds lines of commented code.