Many codebases contain code that is overly complicated, hard to understand, and hence expensive to change. The pressure of new features and user needs makes it hard to stop and backtrack, and the longer we wait, the worse it's going to be. Mix in the people side with frequent organizational change and the siren song of a system rewrite becomes more and more attractive. It doesn't have to be that way, and in this presentation you'll see how easily obtained version-control data let us uncover the behavior and patterns of the development organization. These behavioral code analysis techniques provide a sweet spot to prioritize and guide refactorings. We cover refactoring techniques that reduce excess complexity, address hidden implicit dependencies, and discuss architectural restructuring that reduce inter-team coordination needs. Since behavioral code analysis also lets us consider the social side of code, such as refactoring modules that are under development by our peers, we explore novel patterns that help us limit risks and code conflicts. The specific examples are from real-world codebases like Android, the Linux Kernel, ASP.NET Core MVC, and more.
Most organizations find it hard to prioritize and repay their technical debt. The main reason is the scale of modern systems with million lines of code and multiple development teams where no one has a holistic overview. So what if we could mine the collective intelligence of all contributing programmers and start to make decisions based on data from how the organization actually works with the code?
Adam Tornhill is a programmer who combines degrees in engineering and psychology. He's the founder of Empear where he designs tools for software analysis. He's also the author of Your Code as a Crime Scene, Software Design X-Rays, Lisp for the Web, and Patterns in C. Adam's other interests include modern history, music, and martial arts.