On February 8, I facilitated Strangle Your Legacy Code at OOP Konferenz. The abstract:

Given an ancient codebase that makes refactoring risky and expensive, how do you clear a path to continued delivery? The old wisdom says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time to preserve your software investment is today: plant a Strangler Fig, a pattern for reaping continuous value from your existing system while growing new functionality alongside it.

We’ll test-drive new features into a real legacy system. You’ll leave with a powerful strategy for extending the useful life of working, valuable software.

The conference Zoom session didn’t let me give keyboard control, so I was the permanent Driver (and, as is common with this exercise, also frequently the Navigator). Even so, the participants quickly saw the costs and risks of our particular Strangler Fig implementation, leading to a lively discussion about how this pattern might fit into other codebases and what to watch out for when implementing it.

A wise three-year-old recently told me, “Sometimes it bes like that; sometimes it’s similar.” When we were making plans to move to Germany, OOP was one of the conferences I’d been most excited about being able to attend. Attending online was probably similar. OOP remains high on my list for when we can once again confer in person.