The set of exercises offers insights and practice in applying principles for improving the design of existing computer code. Readers are expected to be practicing programmers or graduate and upper-level undergraduate students who have already been exposed to the principles themselves.
From the Back Cover: As a programmer, you need to be able to recognize and improve problematic code, so the program remains in a working state throughout the software lifecycle. Refactoring-the art of improving the design of existing code safely-provides an efficient, reliable system for bringing order to the chaos, and one that keeps the surprises to a minimum! Refactoring can be difficult to learn, but Refactoring Workbook, by consultant William C. Wake, presents the material in a easy-learning format that makes learning enjoyable and effective.
For many, the obstacle to learning refactoring is in identifying the "smells"—the potential problem areas-found in code. Instead of having you read about the smells, Refactoring Workbook makes sure you understand them. You'll solve a carefully assembled series of problems, and you'll find yourself learning at a deeper level and arriving at a few insights of your own. Wake uses the workbook method—a learning-focused approach that forces you to apply the techniques presented in the book-in the rest of the book. This approach helps you learn and apply the most important refactoring techniques to your code and, as a side benefit, helps you to think more about creating great code even when you're not refactoring.
Refactoring Workbook provides user-friendly references such as:
A handy, quick-reference "smell finder"
A standard format for describing smells
Appendices showing key refactorings
A listing of Java™ tools that support refactoring
This book is intended for programmers with a knowledge of Java, though a C# or C++ programmer with a basic understanding of Java would also be able to follow and learn from the examples. It can be used as a companion to Martin Fowler's Refactoring (also from Addison-Wesley Professional), which provides step-by-step instructions for many refactorings.