Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Refactoring: Later? Continuously!

A couple of days ago I attended a meeting about refactoring. Some of the attendants were unfamiliar or felt unsecure about refactoring. One of the questions that arose was; "When is it time to refactor? Is it a joint descision in the developer team that it's time to refactor or is it an independent descision?" There is NEVER a special time for refactoring. You don't create a task that says refactoring. Refactoring goes hand in hand with coding and should be performed CONTINUOUSLY. ALWAYS. You should always take into account refactoring when estimating a task, if not you're in deep shit. The customers generally don't care if you build a house with duct tape, as long as it looks good enough. And they will certainly not pay for later changes not visible from the outside. But as a professional developer you know that the house will fall apart when the rainy day comes. So ALWAYS refactor and estimate accordingly!

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