Reading Other People's Code

NDC Sydney 2018

Patricia Aas, 19 September 2018

Someone else’s code. Even worse, thousands of lines, maybe hundreds of files of other peoples code. Is there a way to methodically read and understand other peoples work, build their mental models? In this talk I will go through techniques I have developed throughout 18 years of programming. Hopefully you will walk away with a plan on how to approach a new code base. But even more I hope you walk away with a feeling of curiosity, wanting to get to know your fellow programmers through their code.

Presented at NDC Sydney 2018

“While at NDC Sydney, Carl and Richard [from .NET Rocks!] talked to Patricia Aas about the fine art of studying code you haven’t written - and even more challenging, understanding it!

Code doesn’t read like a novel, there really is no beginning or end, it’s always an exploration. The conversation also turns to being respectful of existing code, recognizing that it is as good as it could be at the time and that there are always ways to make it better.

And when you’re writing code, the challenge is to write it so that it can be read and understood by others!”

Reading Other Peoples Code (NDC Sydney 2018) from Patricia Aas