Practical Refactoring

with Woody Zuill

"Clean code that works"

Working with a legacy mess can be frustrating, boring, dangerous, and time-consuming. When FIBS occur (FIBs = Fixes that Introduce Bugs) you often enter an endless Test and Fix cycle that can quickly escalate into a nightmare. I've been there, you've been there. How do we return to pleasant dreams?

In this code-centric workshop we'll look at ways to introduce sanity and calmness into the process of maintaining and improving buggy, poorly written, poorly designed code. Few slides, mostly code. We've been fighting the good fight for a long time and we are going to show you how to turn any project around and have fun doing it. It is our opinion that we can fix and enhance any code.

We'll be working on an example project, and learn the steps of making changes to code in tiny steps. We'll explore ways to introduce tests to legacy code, and find ways to clean up the most common problems of duplication, clutter, complexity, and cleverness, as well as identifying and removing duplication.

Our approach will have us using Solo, Pair, and Mob Programming to do exercises and work with others as we experiment with many simple techniques that combine together to make a big impact on the quality and cleanliness of our code.

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Learning Goals

The basic goal is to learn enough about refactoring in baby steps so you can begin doing this immediately. We'll be covering a number of basic refactoring techniques that provide a wide range of easy to implement improvements, and learn how to identify some common code "smells" (symptoms of potential problems)

Instruction Approach

  • Hands-on Exercises
  • Interactive Dialogues
  • Simulations, Videos


  • Duration: 1 day.
  • Participants: 5-20 individuals, eager to fight code.
  • Cost: 40 000 SEK excl VAT.
  • Venue: in-house or separate venue.

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