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Session: Large-scale refactorings using the Mikado Method

Friday, 15:35 - 16:25
Track: Agile

The Mikado Method: Code almost always depend on other pieces of code, hence one change often requires another in an entangled web. When working with software, one usually has to perform a series of refactorings before making the core change to the software, be it to enable adding a new feature or just making a part of the code read better.

This works like the game Mikado (pick-up sticks), where you have to pick up lower scoring sticks in a certain order to reach the higher scoring Mikado stick.

You can build your map of changes using analysis. We would like to present a less demanding way to build the map: ‘The Naive Approach’:

  1. You set up a goal for your change.
  2. Naively implement that goal, as you would wish it to be.
  3. Compilers, tests, analysis and common sense will then show you immediate problem areas with your naive solution.
  4. Resolutions to those immediate problems are noted as prerequisites to the goal.
  5. The current changes are reverted using e.g. a versioning system or undo.
  6. The prerequisites are now new goals. Repeat 2)-6) for each goal until you find no prerequisites.
  7. Continue perform changes that have no prerequisites. You will eventually have cleared the prerequisites of other changes that now can be performed. Repeat this step until done, or continue from 2) if you find new prerequisites.

This can be described as a depth-first recursion of refactoring dependencies.

A more extensive description can be found here

Contents and time line: This session contains some theory, but focuses mostly on hands-on working with code.

Part 1: Tutorial (35 min)
* Introduction to the method and to refactorings (10 min)
* The presenters demonstrates the method on an example problem, using Eclipse and Java (15 min)
* Q&A (10 min)

Part 2: Dojo: Practice in pairs (55 min)
* Repeating the same problem in pairs. BRING YOUR LAPTOPS. (50 min)
* Q&A (5 min)


Java, C# or any other OO-language


Visualize technical debt to non technical persons and how to work your way out of messy code

Ola Ellnestam

Ola likes to combine technology, people and business. Which is why he finds software development so interesting. After coming in contact with eXtreme Programming he realized that developing software doesn't necessarily mean big and seemingly endless projects. There are flexible and fun ways to develop software too.

More than anything else, he likes to share his knowledge with others because he believes that this is how new knowledge and insights are created.

Daniel Brolund

Daniel Brolund has a small working memory.  He tries to compensate for his bad memory by using and spreading solid working habits, like limited work-in-progress, TDD, and automation.  He is a co-creator of the Mikado Method, a process and memento for large transformations of legacy systems. The method has enabled him to actually perform such transformations, in spite of his memory shortage! If you meet him, please refresh his memory and tell him your name.


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