Why Refactor?

Why does software development require refactoring?

“What does this ‘refactor’ word you keep using really mean . . .?”

I could almost hear the client’s eyes and nose scrunching up in scrutiny. We were talking about realistic budgets and schedules for a potentially large, multi-developer feature addition to his existing application.

I switched gears, put on my imaginary professor glasses and set my imaginary apple on the corner of my desk.

“Well, you are right. It’s part of the software development and developers’ lexicon. It’s a word that means – sort of – ‘optimize’ or ‘clean up’ or ‘tighten’ and, really, all three of these things at once.”

“So, the code is dirty?” he intoned. I could hear the silent thought bubble form above his head — “but-I’m-paying-you-NOT-to-write-bad-code!” (more…)

Let’s Explore Wired’s Article about “The End of Code”


An article published in Wired controversially predicts “The End of Code.” That’s an effective way to get the attention of people who code for a living.  Let’s explore what this means for professional coders like myself and my A&L colleagues; for our clients who hire us to write code; and for society as a whole.

Is coding as a human activity going away?

No, coding isn’t going away in the foreseeable future. The article emphasizes that its headline prediction is still an unknown possibility, a plausible bit of science fiction. Coders remain in high demand today, and the successes of artificial intelligence, while impressive, are still growing within relatively narrow and confined domains. Today’s CS students can breathe a sigh of relief because the robots haven’t jumped the fences just yet. (more…)