OOPSLA 2001 Workshop
Software Archeology: Understanding Large Systems
How do you come to grips with 1,000,000 lines of code right away?
Programmers are often given a large system they’ve not seen before, built by
people they don’t know, touched by many people since, documented sketchily if
at all. They’re told to improve it. Their task might be to fix a bug, add a
feature, or complete a refactoring. They are under time pressure, so they
need to minimize the total time spent learning and the time spent improving.
In this workshop, we will share techniques and approaches for understanding
enough about a lot of code in not much time. We are concerned not just with
speed, but also with confidence: how can you know you’ve made an improvement,
not made the system worse?