Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Black Friday Video Game Deals Shop Now DOTD
Working Effectively with Legacy Code and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Working Effectively with Legacy Code 1st Edition

92 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092025986
ISBN-10: 0131177052
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $20.92
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Rent On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$24.28 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$42.38 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
42 New from $37.33 34 Used from $28.91
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$42.38 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code
  • +
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  • +
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Total price: $121.34
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Get more out of your legacy systems: more performance, functionality, reliability, and manageability

Is your code easy to change? Can you get nearly instantaneous feedback when you do change it? Do you understand it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you have legacy code, and it is draining time and money away from your development efforts.

In this book, Michael Feathers offers start-to-finish strategies for working more effectively with large, untested legacy code bases. This book draws on material Michael created for his renowned Object Mentor seminars: techniques Michael has used in mentoring to help hundreds of developers, technical managers, and testers bring their legacy systems under control.

The topics covered include

  • Understanding the mechanics of software change: adding features, fixing bugs, improving design, optimizing performance
  • Getting legacy code into a test harness
  • Writing tests that protect you against introducing new problems
  • Techniques that can be used with any language or platform—with examples in Java, C++, C, and C#
  • Accurately identifying where code changes need to be made
  • Coping with legacy systems that aren't object-oriented
  • Handling applications that don't seem to have any structure

This book also includes a catalog of twenty-four dependency-breaking techniques that help you work with program elements in isolation and make safer changes.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

MICHAEL C. FEATHERS works for Object Mentor, Inc., one of the world's top providers of mentoring, skill development, knowledge transfer, and leadership services in software development. He currently provides worldwide training and mentoring in Test-Driven Development (TDD), Refactoring, OO Design, Java, C#, C++, and Extreme Programming (XP). Michael is the original author of CppUnit, a C++ port of the JUnit testing framework, and FitCpp, a C++ port of the FIT integrated-testing framework. A member of ACM and IEEE, he has chaired CodeFest at three OOPSLA conferences.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (October 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131177052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131177055
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Phlip on October 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The average book on Agile software development describes a fairyland of greenfield projects, with wall-to-wall tests that run after every few edits, and clean & simple source code.

The average software project, in our industry, was written under some aspect of code-and-fix, and without automated unit tests. And we can't just throw this code away; it represents a significant effort debugging and maintaining. It contains many latent requirements decisions. Just as Agile processes are incremental, Agile adoption must be incremental too. No more throwing away code just because it looked at us funny.

Mike begins his book with a very diplomatic definition of "Legacy". I'l skip ahead to the undiplomatic version: Legacy code is code without unit tests.

Before cleaning that code up, and before adding new features and removing bugs, such code must be de-legacified. It needs unit tests.

To add unit tests, you must change the code. To change the code, you need unit tests to show how safe your change was.

The core of the book is a cookbook of recipes to conduct various careful attacks. Each presents a particular problem, and a relatively safe way to migrate the code towards tests.

Code undergoing this migration will begin to experience the benefits of unit tests, and these benefits will incrementally make new tests easier to write. These efforts will make aspects of a legacy codebase easy to change.

It's an unfortunate commentary on the state of our programming industry how much we need this book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By J.J. Langr on October 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Martin Fowler's book on Refactoring showed us how to improve the design of our code. We learned to make changes safely, by taking small, rote steps, and by ensuring that we ran our tests after each small change. But what if we're working on the typical ugly system with no tests? In Working Effectively With Legacy Code, Michael Feathers tackles the problem that most of us end up dealing with.

Feathers does an excellent job of articulating the problems and scenarios, using clear examples from C, C++, Java, and C#. Many of the code examples look a lot like real examples I come across all the time--they don't appear to be fabricated.

Working Effectively With Legacy Code contains a catalog that provides a wealth of solutions. The catalog shows how to resolve concerns like, "I'm changing the same code all over the place" and "how do I safely change procedural code?"

The book is highly entertaining and comes across as a conversation with a really sharp, really patient guru developer. Often, it's a chore to slog through code-heavy books. But Feathers manages to keep my attention with interesting stories, loads of examples, and well-written text.

I think that Working Effectively With Legacy Code is an important book. The vast majority of existing code presents the classic catch-22: you can't change it safely because it doesn't have tests, and you can't write tests without changing it to easily support testing. It's not an easy problem, and most people will give you high-level ideas for solving it. Feathers is the first person to dig deep and present a wealth of knowledge and insight on the problem, all in one place. I'll be pulling this book from my shelf for years to come.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Boyarsky on November 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Working Effectively with Legacy Code" is a very valuable resource. The author defines "legacy code" as "code without tests." It doesn't matter whether the code was written last week or ten years ago. There is more emphasis on old code that nobody understands, mainly because it is messier and harder to work with.

The examples in the book are mainly in C, C++ and Java, but there are a couple in C# and Ruby. While it is essential to know one of these languages, the author provides enough information to understand the others. When a technique only applies to a certain language, it is clearly indicated.

The author shows how different diagrams can help you learn how to understand code. In addition to UML, there are dependency and effect sketches. The author uses these to show how to think about understanding and refactoring. Other tools, such as refactoring browsers and mocks are explained.

Speaking of refactoring, there are "dependency breaking techniques" (aka refactorings) with step-by-step instructions (Martin Fowler style) throughout the book. There are also explanations of why patterns and design rules exist. Most importantly, there are lots and lots of cross-references and an excellent index.

Working with legacy code isn't fun, but this book helps make it as painless as possible. With the split emphasis between psychological/understanding/techniques and refactoring, this book is both a great read and an excellent reference.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
100 of 114 people found the following review helpful By David M. Boose on December 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I work at a decent sized telecommunications company. We have legacy code written in C that is over 1 million lines of code. Some of the code was written as far back as 1988. Needless to say, we didn't follow TDD and there are not a lot of unit tests. We have recently increase the number developers to add features to this code base and I was hoping that this book would help.

We've been doing a "techincal book club" for a while as part of continuous training. I've had about 20 engineers reading this book a few chapters a week and discussing them. Most of the reviews from the group have been negative. Hard to read, annoying editorial errors (duplicate text on following pages), and not really getting a lot out of it. The main problem is that our system is not using an object oriented language so a lot (most) of the techniques are not relevant.

At first I thought it was just me, but as I asked the other engineers, there was a lot of concensus, even from engineers that have worked on Java/C++ projects in the past.

I picked this book because of the following taglines on the back of the book:

* Techniques that can be used with any language or platform-with examples in Java, C++, C, and C#
* Coping with legacy systems that aren't object-oriented

There is one small section on non-object oriented code. It basically says that you should slowly migrate to an object oriented language.

Anyway - we've stopped reading the book. If you're code is already object oriented, this is probably a great book. If it's not, I wouldn't bother. Instead pick up a differnt book on how to migrate the code to an object oriented language.
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Working Effectively with Legacy Code
This item: Working Effectively with Legacy Code
Price: $42.38
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: computer programs