old code
Front End Development, The Web

Dealing with old code

You know that feeling, you’ve just seen something you coded maybe 6 months ago.
Now you’re probably thinking “What the hell is this crap?” or just hanging your head in shame.

iWKad22

We’ve all been there, an old project comes up and you need to do work on it. Its happened to the best of us. It’s the nature of the super fast web, new trends and ideas come up every day. As you learn new stuff or just get better, your old code becomes less on trend and relevant.

Don’t feel sad because this is a great news!
Think of all the things you’ve gotten better at in that time. Maybe you started using SASS, better commenting, clearer indentation, stopped styling with id’s or you just format your js better. Whatever’s going on, you’re a better developer now than you where before.

I’m dealing with this issue right now, a client paused production because of financial constraints almost a year ago. Now we’re picking up the project where we left off. But there’s some problems…
There’s a lot of HTML and ID styling, no SASS,¬† not using the Foundation grid effectively, repetition and a few other gripes. Now as ashamed I am right now to admit this but I wrote this code, its all mine and I’m taking all the responsibility for it. Because I’m better now, but I’m still facing this issue head first.So how do you deal with this old code?

The way I see it I have 3 realistic options:

1. Throw it in the bin, start again make it amazing.  But loose all the time that was put into the project already.

2. Change parts that really suck, and bare with it. Losing a bit of time, but its manageable.

3. Save time, regress, write like I did 6 months ago and hope that I never have to work on this again.

Ultimately the answer depends on the project, if it’s a massive ongoing project write it again and I think you’ll thank yourself later. If it’s a small landing page I think that updating crucial parts and baring with it would be the smartest thing to do.

The question is, is it worth it? Well that’s up to you.

Luke Dowding
I’m a UX/UI Designer & Web Developer from the UK. I’m Vegan, love Cycling, Running, Gaming and F1. Aka: Roamy
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June 1, 2015