Skip to main content

Refactoring in the Maintenance phase

In this blog spot I would like to talk about the maintenance phase of an application, especially from a developer perspective.
Usually a software product has the following life cycle:

  • Requirements definition
  • System and Software Design 
  • Implementation and Unit Testing
  • Integration and System Testing
  • Operation and Maintenance

At the last phase, you already have a working product that was deliver to the client and is used by users. A big problem at this step is the technical depth that not only exist but will increase with every bug that you fix.
When a bug is found, almost all the people recommend to touch only the part of the application where the issues was found and fix the problem with the minim amount of changes. The problem with this approach is related to technical depth and the garbage that you need to pull with you.
What is happening with the dirty fixes that are done at this step? Who and when you will refac. this parts of the application and clean the code.
A non-technical client will say that he don’t care about this, it is your problem to resolve this issues and all the things related to it. In the end he will not pay for additional tasks.
In the same time, a refac. or a clean up would mean changing a part of the code (system) that will required a full test of the application. This may not be possible.
Going back to the original question: When and how we should do this refac?
There are two possible things that can be done.
First one is the refac. that should be done in the moment when a solution for the bug was found. In that moment, before going live and send to the client a notification that the bug was fixed, you should look over the code and refac. the code that was changed for the current issues.
The second thing that can be done when we observe that there is a technical depth that don’t affect the application functionality is to add the refac. task in a queue. All the tasks from this queue should be prioritize, estimate and the risks calculated.
For example let’s suppose that you have in your application an algorithm that is critical for your client (calculate the wining chances in a casino) and is working as expected. But you don’t like the way was written. In this particular case you should not touch it and change because you think that is better in the other way. You could cause a lot of damages on the client side.
Also, don’t forget that all the refac. should be approved by the client, in the end it is his code and not your. We can compare the application code with a garden. You cannot change the location of a tree of cut the grass without the approval of the owner. The same thing is with the code.
In conclusion I would say that even the temptation is high to change and refac. the code, you should make a step back and wait client approval. It is very good to be proactive, to come with new ideas and designs, but in the same time you should wait the green light from the client.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to check in AngularJS if a service was register or not

There are cases when you need to check in a service or a controller was register in AngularJS.
For example a valid use case is when you have the same implementation running on multiple application. In this case, you may want to intercept the HTTP provider and add a custom step there. This step don’t needs to run on all the application, only in the one where the service exist and register.
A solution for this case would be to have a flag in the configuration that specify this. In the core you would have an IF that would check the value of this flag.
Another solution is to check if a specific service was register in AngularJS or not. If the service was register that you would execute your own logic.
To check if a service was register or not in AngularJS container you need to call the ‘has’ method of ‘inhector’. It will return TRUE if the service was register.
if ($injector.has('httpInterceptorService')) { $httpProvider.interceptors.push('httpInterceptorService&#…

ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded

Today blog post will be started with the following error when running DB tests on the CI machine:
threw exception: System.InvalidOperationException: The Entity Framework provider type 'System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer' registered in the application config file for the ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded. Make sure that the assembly-qualified name is used and that the assembly is available to the running application. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=260882 for more information. at System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.DependencyResolution.ProviderServicesFactory.GetInstance(String providerTypeName, String providerInvariantName) This error happened only on the Continuous Integration machine. On the devs machines, everything has fine. The classic problem – on my machine it’s working. The CI has the following configuration:

TeamCity.NET 4.51EF 6.0.2VS2013
It seems that there …

[Post-Event] Codecamp Conference Cluj-Napoca - Nov 19, 2016

Last day I was invited to another Codecamp Conference, that took place in Cluj-Napoca. Like other Codecamp Conferences, the event was very big, with more than 1.000 participants and 70 sessions. There were 10 tracks in parallel, so it was pretty hard to decide at  what session you want to join.
It was great to join this conference and I hope that you discovered something new during the conference.
At this event I talked about Azure IoT Hub and how we can use it to connect devices from the field. I had a lot of demos using Raspberry PI 3 and Simplelink SensorTag. Most of the samples were written in C++ and Node.JS and people were impressed that even if we are using Microsoft technologies, we are not limited to C# and .NET. World and Microsoft are changing so fast. Just looking and Azure IoT Hub and new features that were launched and I'm pressed (Jobs, Methods, Device Twin).
On backend my demos covered Stream Analytics, Event Hub, Azure Object Storage and DocumentDB.

Title:
What abo…