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Beyond Legacy Code

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  18 reviews
These nine practices could save the software industry. Beyond Legacy Code is filled with practical, hands-on advice and a common-sense exploration of why technical practices such as refactoring and test-first development are critical to building maintainable software. Discover how to avoid the pitfalls teams encounter when adopting these practices, and how to dramatically ...more
Paperback, P1.0, 274 pages
Published July 31st 2015 by Pragmatic Bookshelf
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Rod Hilton
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've become somewhat wary of "how to be a better programmer" type books in recent years. I really want to become a better programmer, but I've been doing this for over a decade and it's gotten to a point where every book I pick up feels like rehashing the same stuff from Pragmatic Programmer, or adding codified common sense. I know it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, like I think I'm some great programmer, but that's not what I'm trying to say - it's just that a lot of these kinds of books h ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are a software developer, this is required reading. Although not all of the ideas presented are new, Bernstein presents them with a good narrative.

Each chapter has a Retrospective section which outlines the chapter. These are great to review the section just presented and can be used as a reference in the future.

I don't fully agree with everything he presents (e.g. using Cucumber for testing) but Most his ideas I'm in agreement with and he presents cited sources for the information.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I had bigger expectations about this book.
Instead I just got a general overview of too well known development practices.
Nevertheless, It could be nice intro for beginners or people outside development.
I found some interesting bits like about pair programming but more often I had to struggle with too wordy explanations or repetitions etc.
David Snook
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A nice compendium of good development practices and principles, focusing on the rationale and the context for each one, rather than the nitty-gritty details of their techniques.
Jerome Terry
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I had higher expectations for this book Maybe if this was the first book on software development I've read, I would review this book higher.

I'm a software developer with 15 years experience building software, mainline in OO, C# and Java mostly. My bookshelves are littered with programming books. Some of my favourites are Code Complete 2, The Pragmatic Programmer, Domain Driven Design, Clean Code, Software Craftsmanship, Working Effectively With Legacy Code, Test Driven Development by Example, E
Franck Chauvel
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
As opposed to the title of the book, S. Bernstein does not focus here on how to deal with legacy code, but rather on how to avoid producing some in the first place. He details nine well-known "practices" (CLEAN code, TDD, refactoring, emergent design, etc.) and explains how they tame the growth of legacy code. I found the text pleasant, but I believe some content are already covered in other books such as Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, Emergent Design: The Evolutionary Nature of ...more
Christophe Addinquy
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: craftmanship
A disappointment, in short. The author knows his subject. He damn knows it well. The content is here, if you have the will to concentrate on it : it is summarized as the 9 principles. The thing is, even if he is a decent story-teller, he is not a very good writter. The text is almost exclusively focused on declarations of intent, but very few practical material. My take-away bag was practically empty once the last page was turned.
Ma note de lecture en Français ici
Francie Wirkus
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read because this book is written in human terms. This is the book to give to your budding agilists, your leaders who do not understand why software is an excellent, disarming understanding. There is a more technical section at the end that you will be ready for, after so many excellent chapters on concept ahead of it.

I just loved this book!
Philip Athans
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must-read book for anyone inside or in close proximity to the software industry that lays out a serious issue with Legacy Code then spends the majority of the book with practical advice for developers AND MANAGERS on how to move forward into a bug-free future.
Alex French
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lot to like, a lot I don't quite like.

- A ton of good content. A nice complement to "The Art Of Agile Development", focused a little more from-the-outside-in.
- Good formal mix of principles and almost-actionable practical tips.
- At its best, this reminds me "Superforecasters" but for writing software.

- Very focused on Object Oriented design, which I would say was a flaw when it was published and severely dates the book in 2020. This is acknowledged at one point, way too late.
- A lot o
Nilesh Injulkar
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical
If you had been following XP and Agile practices, the nine principles mentioned in the book may feel like a repetition.
But the first part of the book was an eye opener where need of such practices, and where our Software Development industry stands is explained with all the propositions being backed up with solid data.

A good read for seniors in the industry; should give a new perspective of thinking for the industry in addition to individual’s career and project.
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leutrónicos
Not very original, but a very cohesive and solid approach.

It's so beyond legacy code that it's difficult even to see legacy in the rear-view mirror.

It's more a 3.5, but tonight I feel generous :-)
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read for a developer who wants to up their game and get better at writing code.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
If your code is already a mess and deserves the label “legacy code”, then this book is not the best advice. In this case you are far better off with reading Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael C. Feathers

David S. Bernstein explains in this book his approach to prevent legacy code in the first place. While he also has good advice to stop making code worse, his advice is best used at an early stage of code degeneration. The book shines when it goes about practices of software developme
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great overview of modern software developing practices, written in everyday language that even non-technical people can get. The title might be a little misleading: the idea is that if we use the practices of the past, our code is already outdated as soon as we write it. There's much wisdom in this book; common sense that's unfortunately all too uncommon. ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
It wasn't earth-shattering, but it was a good survey essential technical and planning practices for software development. This might a good book for bootstrapping a new developer into the practices of an existing Agile team. ...more
Iurii Okhmat
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
some good stuff, some not so good stuff, and some stuff i can't agree with. ...more
Tobias Lindqvist
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Jul 14, 2020
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Feb 14, 2016
Very nice book to get rid of & avoid legacy code.
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Anthony Woodward
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David Scott Bernstein has shared his passion for building software with thousands of developers at hundreds of companies around the world including IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo. His firm, To Be Agile, helps teams adopt Extreme Programming practices such as test-first development, pair programming, and refactoring.

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“The fact that software engineering is not like other forms of engineering should really come as no surprise. Medicine is not like the law. Carpentry is not like baking. Software development is like one thing, and one thing only: software development. We need practices that make what we do more efficient, more verifiable, and easier to change. If we can do this, we can slash the short-term cost of building software, and all but eliminate the crippling long-term cost of maintaining it.” 0 likes
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