What is refactoring?
Refactoring is a DevOps software development practice of restructuring the body of the code without affecting the internal functionality and its external behavior. The objective of restructuring is to make the code maintainable, more efficient, and enhance its performance.
Refactoring helps in reducing the technical costs of development. It is wise to clean up the code rather than incur more costs in the long run due to errors. Refactoring the code improves its readability and makes the debugging process efficient. However, refactoring does not remove the bugs but instead assists in their prevention and identification.
Regular refactoring is necessary as it helps to avoid code rot. Code rot is a term for duplicate code, wrong classifications, programming inconsistencies, and patches.
What is Dirty Code?
The term dirty code implies a code that has become difficult to maintain or update. Also, it becomes hard to read or understand and translate it.
Examples of dirty code include:
● Superfluous coupling
● Incorrect or incomplete application of programming and extreme programming principles
● Bloated methods, snippets, or classes that become hard to manipulate easily
● Code that is not consequential and removing it does not affect the overall functionality
● Areas in the code that need repeated changes across the codebase to enable it to function appropriately
When code is clean, it is easy to read, understand and maintain. It makes it more suitable for future software development and increases the chances of delivering a quality product within a short time.
When To Conduct Software Refactoring
The best time to refactor code is before adding new features or updates to existing code. Cleaning up the existing code before adding a new feature or function will improve the product’s quality and enable future developers to build new code into the existing codebase.
You can refactor at scheduled intervals and during the code review. You can also refactor after delivering the product to the market.
How to Refactor Code?
Refactoring is effective when conducted in small bits, and the code is tested after every change. Code refactoring does not change the functionality or the behavior of the code. Common approaches for refactoring are:
Red Green Refactoring is used as a refactoring technique in agile software development. With this technique, three steps are involved: analyze and consider what should be developed, pass the basic testing, and implement the improvements.
Refactoring by Abstract is predominantly used where there is a considerable amount of refactoring. This method helps in removing duplications in the software code.
Preparatory Refactoring is conducted when adding a new feature, and the developer sees a need for refactoring.
The Composing Technique is a refactoring method that streamlines the code to remove and minimize duplications.
Refactoring involves small bits of changes that seem insignificant but add up to the cumulative effect of having a clean and excellent functioning code.