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Discussion on: Exploring the path of a new and unfamiliar codebase

ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

Great advice! A few of my favorite strategies:

  • Help write automated tests. I've never had a development team be reluctant to let me jump in and write tests for them :P You learn their coding conventions, find your way around the application, and get familiar with their tooling.
  • Learn how to set up an entire environment for the application. At large enterprises, this may be impossible. I've always worked at smaller companies where I could set up a web server and database, learn how to deploy the code, and figure out basic configuration of the app. If there isn't an established Dev Environment setup doc or environment deployment playbook, you can score some points immediately by writing them.
  • Use static analysis tools. Figure out which areas of the code see the most commits, as you will likely be working in those areas soon enough. Find out what code is frequently referenced, and what the biggest dependencies are. This helps me ensure I am spending my time learning areas that are important.
ridhwana profile image
Ridhwana Khan Author

These are really good points, thanks Scott! I especially like the idea of jumping in and writing tests!