by Asim Jalis
I just had an extremely positive refactoring experience. We
refactored out a piece of code so that we were able to reuse it
for several different cases. Once we extracted the essense of the
repetition, we got several cases for free.
When refactoring creates leverage like this it is extremely
This made me wonder, what leads to more of this kind of
high-leverage refactoring? Why did it happen this time, and why
does it not happen every time we program.
Here are the things that I think contribute to it.
1. The other person in the pair has be interested in doing this.
If the other person is not interested in creating this elegance
he will not be open to exploring the different shapes the code
2. The tests must be refactored, just like the code. In our case
we refactored the tests first. The refactoring in the code fell
out of the refactoring in the test.
3. The concept of premature optimization can act as a force that
opposes seeing similarity in different things. Optimization
should be postponed.
4. Having the tests in place and then doing it in tiny steps
Now I am eager to have this experience again.