Agile Development Practices 2008: Refactoring: Where do I Start?

JB Rainsberger, Diaspar Software Services

Since Martin Fowler completed his now-classic work Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, few programming practices have been more effective-and more controversial-than refactoring. Refactoring is effective when you study and practice it diligently. It remains controversial because many development managers think developers should be adding features, not reworking old code. J. B. Rainsberger takes you deep inside the process of refactoring, including how to start reaping the benefits of refactoring while minimizing the disruption of learning a new practice, how to safely refactor code you don't know well, and the four key elements of simple design that should guide your refactoring. He explains the hazards of refactoring, when not to refactor, and how to refactor in such a way as not to upset your boss. After this presentation, you will be able to refactor your own code more confidently and effectively. You might just impress some of your colleagues along the way.

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