January 19, 2007
Continuous Refactoring Boosts ProductivityRobert Martin makes a very good argument for continuous refactoring on the ObjectMentor blog. His anecdote follows a familiar template: time spent keeping the code clean and simple paid dividends later on. But this isn't the "later on" that project managers talk about (a management euphamism for 'it'll never happen'). Uncle Bob reports a significant productivity boost in just a few days. Having run 3-day workshops where teams build real software from scratch, I can report similar experiences. Code written on the first day can be having a very significant effect by the third day.
The same is true of test-driven development: it may seem like a pain at the start, but you'll very soon be glad you stuck to your guns and kept up the TDD discipline as your code grows and the feedback from automated regression tests becomes invaluable.
In both cases, these are practices that should not require permission for you to apply them. The work won't take any longer - quite the opposite in most cases - and you need neither expensive tools or much in the way of training. If you want to do it, you should just do it. No excuses! After all, it's you who's writing the code...
Posted 14 years, 6 months ago on January 19, 2007