Don’t dive in headfirst if you’re thinking of reworking your codebase. To make measuring progress easier, specify objectives and constraints for your refactoring process.
First and foremost, you should gather any codebase-related issues that you intend to address during this codebase refactoring sprint. Suppose any tickets go missing; please be sure to trace them down or raise an issue. For example, go over all TODOs that should be deleted from the codebase.
Set metrics to help you measure refactoring success once you’ve discovered the issues you wish to address. For example, suppose you want to delete three redundant modules while increasing code coverage by 15%.
Now that you’ve gathered all concerns and established goals, it’s time to convey your understanding of the codebase and why specific issues need to be addressed. If you leave problems unresolved, you can describe the context and impact on the project. It’s also an excellent time to exchange information about new areas of the codebase so that all developers are up to speed.
Finally, prioritize the concerns you wish to address first. You will not be able to complete all issues during a refactoring week or any other time frame you have selected. As a result, prioritize the most critical organizational challenges before committing to less critical concerns.
To complete your codebase restructuring, collect all metrics data and compare it to the goals you’ve specified. This is an excellent time to talk about what went wrong and how you may improve your codebase reworking approach in the future. Don’t anticipate everything going as planned. Mistakes happen, and that’s okay.
Main techniques to perform code refactoring
As previously said, the ideal approach to refactor is in little chunks. Before introducing any new functionality or features to the solution, this step must also be done. Code refactoring should not affect how the product behaves.
Having stated that, there are several methodologies and strategies for code restructuring. Some of the most well-known are:
The red/green method used in Agile test-driven development is one of the most extensively used approaches for code reworking. Developers use the Red-Green-Refactor approach to divide refactoring into three discrete steps:
- Stop and consider what needs to be developed. [RED]
- Get the development to pass basic testing. [GREEN]
- Implement improvements. [REFACTOR]
Refactoring by abstraction
Branching by abstraction is a technique that is generally employed when there is a lot of refactoring to be done. Class inheritance, hierarchy, and extraction are all involved in abstraction. Abstraction’s purpose is to minimize unwanted duplications in software programming.
The Pull-Up/Push-Down technique is an example of abstraction. These are two opposing types of class-based refactoring. The Pull-Up function gathers code pieces into a superclass to avoid code duplication. Push-Down transfers something from a superclass to a subclass.
Composing entails simplifying the code to minimize duplications. This is accomplished by various approaches, including extraction and inline methods.
Extraction is the process of breaking down code into smaller bits to discover and “extract” fragmentation. The fragmented code is then relocated to a new method and replaced with a call. Extraction can include class, interface, and local variables in addition to the technique.
Inline refactoring is a technique for reducing the number of different methods while simplifying the code. The process may then be eliminated by locating all calls to it and replacing them with its content.
The older the code, the more chaotic and convoluted it becomes. As a result, it makes it logical to go in and simplify much of the reasoning. This can be accomplished in various methods, including the consolidation of conditional pieces and expressions and substituting polymorphism for a dependent.
Simplifying method calls entails adjusting how classes communicate with one another. The addition, removal, and introduction of new parameters and the replacement of parameters with explicit methods and method calls are all parts of simplification.
Moving features between objects
This approach entails the creation of new classes and the relocation of functionality between existing and new courses. When one type has too many functions, it’s time to relocate part of the code to another. Alternatively, if a class isn’t doing anything, you can relocate its features to another type and eliminate it.
When should you avoid refactoring?
We previously said that refactoring should never impact application performance and should only be used to clean up. However, there are situations when an application must be redesigned from the ground up. In some circumstances, refactoring is unnecessary since starting from scratch would be far more efficient.
Another instance in which you should avoid refactoring is when you attempt to get a product to market within a specific time limit. Refactoring is akin to falling down the traditional rabbit hole: it may quickly become time-consuming once you start. Adding more coding or testing to an already tight deadline will cause your customer aggravation and additional costs.
No matter how you assess refactoring success, don’t use these metrics to evaluate programmer performance, decide promotions, or anything else. Refactoring code aims to tackle codebase and organizational issues as early as possible. If you leave them untreated, they may worsen into more serious problems that will take more time and resources to resolve.
This is also one of the primary justifications for organizing code reworking. The demand to provide new features is constant with startups. However, as a team, you must occasionally take a step back to assess and rewrite the code to preserve its quality.