Maintaining Code While Staying Sane

A one-day course on code maintenance.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop is happy to announce "Maintaining Code While Staying Sane," a special course for programmers faced with the task of managing legacy code, to be taught by returning PPW speaker, Peter Scott.

There is an additional registration fee to take this course. Please be sure to select the "Maintaining Code While Staying Sane" option when registering. Seating in this course is limited.

About the course.

Have you inherited a hideous lump of code that would need an exorcism before you could get it to run under 'use strict'? If you've acquired Perl code written by someone else, or even if your own code is giving you problems, this tutorial is for you. Based in part on Scott's book Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code (Addison-Wesley, 2004), it provides first aid for the ailing program that just landed in your lap. Don't be the victim of someone else's poor programming skills - be the hero by tackling and taming the legacy code beast!

Perl is easy to start using. But sometimes being easy can get you into trouble. The many ways to program in Perl mean that Perl code can often be cryptic, obscure, or muddled; just because a program runs doesn't mean it's maintainable. Hordes of programmers have acquired just enough Perl knowledge to get a program to run, and then one day, you find yourself tasked with maintaining one of those programs, and the horror begins.

This tutorial is designed to help you deal with that horror. You'll learn how to:

  • Retrofit tests and profiling onto legacy code
  • Get bad code to conform to best practices
  • Make code warnings- and strict- compliant
  • Recognize different Perl styles and deal with them
  • Use tools to detect and remove duplication
  • Make sense of code messes
  • Understand and edit code at micro and macro levels
  • Deal with political and interpersonal issues of code inheritance
  • Make your own code more maintainable

Target audience: beginning through intermediate Perl programmers.

About the instructor.

Peter Scott is a Perl trainer and the author of "Perl Medic" (Addison-Wesley, 2004) and "Perl Debugged" (Addison-Wesley, 2001). He's taught Perl for top institutions and also at OSCON, YAPC, and on the Perl Whirl cruise. He's a book reviewer for The Perl Review and perpetrated the recent spoof review of "The Geek's Guide to Surviving a Recession" that appears to have taken in far too many readers. He lives in the Pacific Northwest and undertakes enterprise architecture and infrastructure using Perl at every chance. This year he is on the Perl Track committee for OSCON, and he was a keynote speaker at the PPW in 2006.

Copyright © 2006-2008 Pittsburgh Perl Mongers. Mast photo by whobee@flickr.