Reducing Risk When Changing Legacy Code with Tina Fletcher

Oct 16, 2017 · Kitchener, Canada

Do you work on a large product that’s been around for a while? Are there dark corners and scary areas that no one wants to touch? Does everything seem interconnected in ways that no one fully understands? Do you have low, spotty, or maybe even unknown automated test coverage? Do your colleagues talk about doing a “big re-write”, or hiring an army of contractors to add tests in fragile areas? Does it feel tempting to attribute escaped defects to something like “there was no subject matter expert for the code we changed”?

If any of this sounds familiar, well, I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers. However, my belief that there are ways to make changing legacy code safer has led me to conduct several experiments to help determine what the most effective tactics might be. Interestingly, although I am a tester, none of the investigations I have undertaken so far involved doing any actual testing. So no matter what your role is, join me to hear what I’ve learned about good and bad ways to approach risk mitigation strategies such as code stewardship, team shadowing, knowledge management, test coverage analysis, and culture change.

Tina loves being challenged every day to solve new testing, communication, and leadership problems. You’re most likely to find her planning test approaches for new features, discovering ways to promote better collaboration between groups, or experimenting with techniques to help enable quality-focused development and decision making. Some of Tina’s favorite projects to date have been helping D2L to go “all-in” on AWS, building Analytics applications in D2L’s Brightspace learning platform, and leading the team responsible for testing BlackBerry Hub. Tina is currently a Senior Test Strategist at D2L.


Join us at D2L at 151 Charles St West in the Tannery on Monday, October 16 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor where a D2Ler will greet you. This is a free event that is open to the public. RSVP today on Meetup.

Free parking is available in the Tannery parking lot. We will have local craft beer and snacks available.

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