Thursday, February 26, 2009

What kind of jungle am I in?

Currently I am working for a company that is doing a rapid re-factoring of an existing Java code base. The application uses JBOSS for a J2EEE EJB back end serviced by a Tomcat web application as the front end. The wonderful thing is that the code does work.It is, unfortunately, an incredible bear to maintain.

This is, of course, no different than the life of many other developers. But since I am not interested in either myself or my fellow developers suffering, we are slowly but surely re-factoring the code base so that it is easier to maintain and we are faster at turning around new features.

One of the key elements is that the original 3 developers appear to have been stuck in a room and let loose for nine months to a year. As a result, we have a code base that has a phenomenal amount of unused code. One engineer seem to write a lot of code based on the idea that "it would be neat if the code did...". Another engineer wrote a lot of overly clever code rather than trying to brute force method to see if it would suffice. And the last engineer seemed to suffer from NIH: "Not Invented the Here" syndrome and rewrote portions of the Java standard library as well as the Hibernate toolkit.

So my task has been to track down unused code.

My next post will talk about the tools we used to do that.

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