Monthly Archives: March 2023

The Power of the Refactor

“We have to rewrite it!”

I’ve done a lot of interviews recently, and a common theme among them — and among prior interviews over the years too — is companies who want to go from an existing “legacy” system to their shiny “new” system: They’ve concluded that the existing “legacy” system isn’t meeting their needs, and that a “new” system is necessary.

I call these “version 2.0” projects, because quite a lot of them involve taking an “original” system that’s been keeping the company alive since its inception, and making a replacement for it. I’ve been on several teams doing “version 2.0” projects over the years, and I’ve even started a couple of those projects, and there’s one truth that has been consistently valid among every single one of those exercises:

Don’t do it.

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