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Michael C. Feathers
The average book on Agile software development describes a fairyland of greenfield projects, with wall-to-wall tests that run after every few edits, and clean & simple source code.
The average software project, in our industry, was written under some aspect of code-and-fix, and without automated unit tests. And we can't just throw this code away; it represents a significant effort debugging and maintaining. It contains many latent requirements decisions. Just as Agile processes are incremental, Agile adoption must be incremental too. No more throwing away code just because it looked at us funny.
Mike begins his book with a very diplomatic definition of "Legacy". I'l skip ahead to the undiplomatic version: Legacy code is code without unit tests.
Before cleaning that code up, and before adding new features and removing bugs, such code must be de-legacified. It needs unit tests.
To add unit tests, you must change the code. To change the code, you need unit tests to show how safe your change was.
The core of the book is a cookbook of recipes to conduct various careful attacks. Each presents a particular problem, and a relatively safe way to migrate the code towards tests.
Code undergoing this migration will begin to experience the benefits of unit tests, and these benefits will incrementally make new tests easier to write. These efforts will make aspects of a legacy codebase easy to change.
It's an unfortunate commentary on the state of our programming industry how much we need this book.
Martin Fowler, Kent Beck
Users can dramatically improve the design, performance, and manageability of object-oriented code without altering its interfaces or behavior. "Refactoring" shows users exactly how to spot the best opportunities for refactoring and exactly how to do it, step by step.
Jez Humble, David Farley
The step-by-step guide to going live with new software releases faster - reducing risk and delivering more value sooner! * *Fast, simple, repeatable techniques for deploying working code to production in hours or days, not months! *Crafting custom processes that get developers from idea to value faster than ever. *Best practices for everything from source code control to dependency management and in-production tracing. *Common obstacles to rapid release - and pragmatic solutions. In too many organizations, build, testing, and deployment processes can take six months or more. That's simply far too long for today's businesses. But it doesn't have to be that way. It's possible to deploy working code to production in hours or days after development work is complete - and Go Live presents comprehensive processes and techniques for doing so. Written by two of the world's most experienced software project leaders, this book demonstrates how to dramatically increase speed while reducing risk and improving code quality at the same time. The authors cover all facets of build, testing, and deployment, including: configuration management, source code control, release planning, auditing, compliance, integration, build automation, and more. They introduce a wide range of advanced techniques, including inproduction monitoring and tracing, dependency management, and the effective use of virtualization. For each area, they explain the issues, show how to mitigate the risks, and present best practices. Throughout, Go Live focuses on powerful opportunities for individual improvement, clearly and simply explaining skills and techniques so they can be used every day on real projects. With this book's help, any development organization can move from idea to release faster -- and deliver far more value, far more rapidly.
* *600 real-world examples that teach you how to identify good (and bad!) code *Identifies what exactly to look for when reading code, and how to improve code based on what you read *The latest in the excellent tradition of Addison-Wesley "programmer self help" books!
James Shore, Shane Warden
For those considering Extreme Programming, this book provides no-nonsense advice on agile planning, development, delivery, and management taken from the authors' many years of experience. While plenty of books address the what and why of agile development, very few offer the information users can apply directly.