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Programming

Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Working With Awful Legacy Code? 360

kramer2718 writes "I have worked for about a decade as a software engineer. I am almost never hired to build new software from scratch, so my work satisfaction tends to be proportionate to quality of the legacy code I have to work with. Some legacy code has been good. Most of it is bad. I know a few questions to ask during an interview to determine the code quality: Are recent technologies used? Are there code review processes? Is TDD practiced? Even so, I still encounter terrible quality code. Does Slashdot have any advice for other questions to ask? Any other ways to find out code quality beforehand?"
Programming

How To Deal With 200k Lines of Spaghetti Code 236

An anonymous reader writes "An article at Ars recaps a discussion from Stack Exchange about a software engineer who had the misfortune to inherit 200k lines of 'spaghetti code' cobbled together over the course of 10-20 years. A lengthy and detailed response walks through how best to proceed at development triage in the face of limited time and developer-power. From the article: 'Rigidity is (often) good. This is a controversial opinion, as rigidity is often seen as a force working against you. It's true for some phases of some projects. But once you see it as a structural support, a framework that takes away the guesswork, it greatly reduces the amount of wasted time and effort. Make it work for you, not against you. Rigidity = Process / Procedure. Software development needs good processes and procedures for exactly the same reasons that chemical plants or factories have manuals, procedures, drills, and emergency guidelines: preventing bad outcomes, increasing predictability, maximizing productivity... Rigidity comes in moderation, though!'"
Privacy

"Smash Your Hard Drive" To Fight Identity Theft 527

Will Do This For Free writes "BBC News has a story about the only fireproof way of safeguarding your personal information when dumping your old computer: 'It sounds extreme, but the only way to be 100% safe is to smash your hard drive into smithereens. [...] The more thoroughly the better.' This sounds like so much fun that I almost feel like doing it right now. Let me press Submit Story first."

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