Track: Dark Code: The Legacy/Tech Debt Dilemma


Day of week:

How do you evolve your code and modernize your architecture when you're stuck with part legacy code and technical debt? Lessons from the trenches.

Track Host:
Michael Feathers
Author of Working Effectively with Legacy Code
Michael Feathers is the founder and Director of R7K Research & Conveyance, a company specializing in software and organization design. Prior to forming R7K, Michael was the Chief Scientist of Obtiva and a consultant with Object Mentor International. Over the years, Michael has spent a great deal of time helping teams after design over time in code bases. Michael is also the author of the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Prentice Hall, 2004).
10:35am - 11:25am

by Michael Feathers
Author of Working Effectively with Legacy Code

In most systems, code lives forever. Occasionally, we can delete it if we are sure it is not used; however, static path analysis and production monitoring of code usage are often expensive and present inconclusive results. In this talk, Michael Feathers will describe techniques that allow us to generate more certainty around our assessments of feature liveness, and strategies that can be used to remove code that does not have high value.

11:50am - 12:40pm

by Colin Breck
Engineer @Tesla

When you work in engineering or operations, you become intimately familiar with the challenges of technical debt. It can be difficult, however, to communicate the full cost to others in the organization, particularly to people who are non-technical. Communicating the risks for software systems that are not directly customer-facing can be especially difficult. For these systems, it can be easy to ignore the technical debt until it becomes crippling.

1:40pm - 2:30pm

by Franziska Sauerwein
Software Craftswoman @Codurance

We’ve all had that nightmare where you are try to get to your destination, and keeping moving, trying different things, but for various reasons, you never arrive.

Some refactorings are like that - you extract methods, name constants, increase readability… In short, you spend a lot of time cleaning up - but you never get to a good place with the code. In this talk, I will show you how to refactor for the right reasons and the...

2:55pm - 3:45pm

Open Space
4:10pm - 5:00pm

by Adam Tornhill
Founder and CTO of Empear

The technical debt metaphor has taken the software world with storm. No wonder, since software projects have their fair share of challenges. 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; no one has a holistic overview. So what if we could mine the collective intelligence of all contributing programmers and start to make...

5:25pm - 6:15pm

by Rob Witoff
Chief Architect @Coinbase

In the past 4 years Coinbase has grown from one service in production to over 100. Our team has grown 50x, we’ve launched in 30 countries and reinvented ourselves several times as we mature and our industry evolves. We believe a failure mode of financial companies is the death of innovation once encumbered by tech debt and the fear to change that follows. While maintaining an uncompromising level of increasingly scrutinized security, we’ve systematically attacked tech debt to stay agile and...