Beyond Legacy Code

Author: David Scott Bernstein
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages: 230
ISBN: 978-1680500790
Print: 1680500791
Kindle: B01CRIZEF8
Audience: Developers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

Over the festive season IProgrammer asks its reviewers to recommend books that are worth a second look in case you missed them. As this book descibes practices that could save the software industry from broken code, it seemed like a suitable inclusion.

The first thing to say about the book is that the title is misleading. The book isn't actually about legacy code, or reworking code to take it beyond legacy code. What Bernstein means by the title is that by using the techniques described, you'll write what might be termed 'modern' code - clean, understandable, and working. 

The book starts with a section called the legacy code crisis that lays out the problem of existing code being hard to maintain and extend. There are chapters on the Standish Group's CHAOS report and on the rise of agile coding, but essentially this part of the book is all scene setting.

Banner

The second part of the book then has chapters on each of nine practices, each describing an idea that Bernstein says will extend the life and value of your software.

These practices are:

  • Say What, Why and for Whom Before How
  • Build in Small Batches
  • Integrate Continuously
  • Collaborate
  • Create CLEAN code (Cohesive, Loosely coupled, Encapsulated, Assertive and Nonredundant)
  • Write the Test First
  • Specify Behaviors with Tests
  • Implement the Design Last
  • Refactor Legacy Code

Each chapter is written quite conversationally, and the book is easy reading. There are plenty of references to real world examples, and all the chapters on the practices end with a "let's get practical" section with seven strategies for putting into practice the ideas within that chapter. Where appropriate, the different techniques in common use for that particular idea are clearly and succinctly summed up, so that the chapter on collaboration, for example, discusses pair programming, buddy programming, spike, swarm and mob techniques.

 

 

This is a really nice read. Some ideas covered within it will be ones you've probably heard of, but the discussions of why they are worth adopting are well made and clear. It would be a great book for anyone who's not a developer and who wants to know why some ideas have become trendy, but it's equally good for clarifying the thoughts of those of us who do write code so we can do it better.

 

To keep up with our coverage of books for programmers, follow @bookwatchiprog on Twitter or subscribe to I Programmer's Books RSS feed for each day's new addition to Book Watch and for new reviews.

Banner


Using Asyncio in Python

Author: Caleb Hattingh
Publisher: O'Reilly
Date: February 2020
Pages: 166
ISBN: 978-1492075332
Print: 1492075337
Kindle: B084D653HW
Audience: Python developers
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
Asycio is the new way to do asynchronous code in Python and  you probably do want to know about it.



Mathematics for Machine Learning

Authors: Marc Peter Deisenroth, Aldo Faisal and Cheng Soon Ong
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Pages: 398
ISBN: 978-1108455145
Print: 110845514X
Kindle: B083M7DBP6
Audience: Developers interested in machine learning
Rating: 3.5
Reviewer: Mike James
Lots of people need to learn the math behind mach [ ... ]


More Reviews

 

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 January 2017 )