Guide to Code Refactoring: When, Why and How

Published Date

Guide to code refactoring

Software ages over time and that can corrupt the way the system is supposed to perform. If ignored it will lead to a reduction in the functioning of the software. This software decay will eventually reach a point where it becomes unusable because of bugs, poor performance and incompatibility with newer systems. Everything after all has a lifecycle and reaches an end so why should software be any different? However, an organization might want to continue with the same functionality rather than change over to a completely new system. In that case, code refactoring will be the best option.

What does code refactoring mean?

Refactoring is the process of improving the internal structure of the software system without any change in the features. From the outside there won’t be any noticeable difference, so then why refactor? Well, the answer is that after a software refactor there should be noticeable ease of usability and improved performance, especially if code refactoring has not been part of the software maintenance on a regular basis.

The reason why refactoring is often ignored till problems pile up is that development teams are always in a rush to get products or features out to market. This often means that they will cut corners. In turn, they do not find the time to make the changes and frequent code clean-up required to support code longevity. This results in what is commonly known as technical debt. It is defined as prioritizing speedy delivery over implementing perfect code. This is more common than companies would like it to be.