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Matt Vanvleet on Legacy Code Testing

03.04.2010
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Matt Vanvleet is the VP of practice management and product development at Pillar Technology.  Pillar has created a product called Verde which lets developers use modern practices such as TDD and CI within legacy code bases.  Legacy code, which Vanvleet defines as "code that is very hard to change," is not easy to test.  You commonly need to know how the rest of the system works in order to thoroughly test a code base.  Vanvleet says around 80% of projects involve taking an existing system and enhancing it in some way.

The advantage of Verde is that it generates characterization tests for your legacy code.  Developers can then use those tests in any of their modern toolsets.  Vanvleet says this tactic keeps developers from going into unfamiliar code bases and potentially breaking something that was working before.  Vanvleet concludes by talking about the features in the current version of Verde and the features we can expect in the next version.
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Eric Hagan.

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