Refactoring Is Its Own Skill

by Zach Briggs

And I suck at it. Don't get me wrong, I can start a Rails app from scratch and grow the thing; shipping features at an almost linear velocity. It is a skill that I worked my ass off to achieve and am quite proud of it, thank-you-very-much.

But starting with a mess, that is a different story altogether. Think of when the code is already tangled; interpolated SQL in the 1,000 line controller, everything else shoved into the junk drawer of the User model. Starting from there I have a much more difficult time; to the point where I doubt my confidence as a programmer.

That is changing.

Katrina Owen was good enough to give a workshop on refactoring at RailsConf using this online tutorial that she wrote. I am in the process of memorizing the steps and turning my greatest weakness into an asset. Consider doing the same, you won't be sorry.

Update:
Katrina has an excellent writeup of her surprise 90 minute live coding session from RailsConf.