Christopher Bailey is a developer of custom business apps, working mostly within the Filemaker Platform. Tired of running your biz on Microsoft Excel? Have a complex business process that isn’t covered by an off-the-shelf app? Let us help you out.


Working with Old Code: Tips from the Trenches


Many of us work on systems which have grown over the years to become significantly complex. Most likely, in many of these systems, there are a lot of messes to clean up—inconsistent design themes, “spaghetti” code, questionable database schema elements, and so on. What do you do if you’re hired to maintain and enhance a tangled mess of code, most of which is still delivering significant value to the client, but which is rough around the edges, broken in some places, unstable in others, and so on? I spend much of my development time on one such system—used by a small company of ~20-30 users all day during the working week. What follows are some lessons learned from working with this beast. Stability is Key Every decision you make needs to be based on how it will affect active users. Make sure your basic infrastructure (servers, etc.) are more than beefy enough to handle your usual user load. When building new functionality, don’t take risks that might cause instability or system-wide crashes. If you need to build intensive routines that churn through your data, try to keep them cordoned off in an area where their intensity won’t affect the day-to-day […]

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