Friday, September 1, 2006

Getting Up To Speed on New Codebases

This post isn't a how-to, it's a question. When you start a new job as a programmer (whatever title you actually have), how do you quickly and accurately familiarize yourself with a company's existing codebase? In the complex systems of the real world, there's certainly not enough time to just read through everything, the way you can for school projects.

While you're learning the codebase but still required to develop and commit your own work, it seems impossible to avoid making mistakes that seem idiotic to everyone else, simply because you didn't know to look for Qux.doBar() when you thought was the functionality you wanted. It's frustrating, and I'm hoping my fellow programmer-readers will have some insights.

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