RailsConf Dispatch - Rescue Missions
Tammer Saleh on parachuting into disaster codebases
The first tutorial class at RailsConf on Rails Anti-Patterns has been phenomenal and incredibly validating given my experiences with consulting. Tammer Saleh gave a wonderful talk on how to handle troubled legacy codebases - what he calls "rescue missions". It's particularly relevant for me as much of my early freelance work centered on failing projects I was dumped into.
Because of the success of Rails, there's a lot of shitty code out there for you to fix. The harder issue is figuring out why shitty code was delivered, which can be trickier to figure out than you'd think. It can be really difficult to change the course of a project when much more than merely the code is dysfunctional.
Tammer suggested a ton of coping strategies, many of which end up being good practices for most situations. I'm sharing my cursory notes here in case others are interested. Feel free to strike up a conversation in the comments to explore these points. I'll link to the slides when they become available.