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re: What are some good questions to ask when you're inheriting a codebase? VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Depending on the documentation situation, "who worked on this the most, who is the person to contact about this?"

And as you do contact that person, it's always a great chance to make the documentation at that point as you go, rather than continue the informal oral history.

 

This is great advice. Adding to the docs while gathering info is something I did in my main project and has been helpful when new teammates join. They have it easier :P

 

IMO in terms of making the best impression when joining a new project: Docs are a huge one. I think people always wish they had better docs, and when new folks come in and show they have the discipline to contribute in this area it goes a long way in building trust.

At the risk of being overly pedantic, when people say they wish they had better docs, what they are really wishing for is more effective ways to communicate and share understanding... documentation is a way of achieving this end, but we need to keep the end game firmly in mind to be able to solve this problem in other ways.

But to add something more constructive to the question, the big things I'd want to understand is:

  • What is the current health of the codebase (primarily evidenced through build and deployment history)
  • +1 to the original comment about local dev setup (ideally fully automated)
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