Saying hello to your old code

Sometimes getting in contact with your own old code can be tough — but why is that?

What’s the problem?

So, what’s the problem with looking at our old code? Well, if you’ve done it before you’d most likely know. It’s this weird feeling — almost frustration with how could one could have created such “monstrosity”. The thing is most programmers looking at their past dealings are fast to identify issues in them, for which most of the time the only “rational” solution is a complete rewrite. “I could have documented it better”, “I should have used a different pattern/architecture”, “This code isn’t clean enough”, etc. I don’t know how to best describe it — it’s just something within me that turns on immediately when I get in contact with my old code — something that snaps just like that.

How does it feel?

My personal experiences aren’t with very old code — no. In fact, recently the oldest piece of code I’ve come in contact with was my personal side project from a month ago. And yet something as “young” as that made me think.

The solution

How do I achieve this “peace of mind”? I didn’t really know until I started to think about all this after the fact.

Thoughts?

This is very much an open post, as I’d love to hear about your opinions, thoughts, and past experiences from dealing with your personal old code. Did you have similar thoughts? Did you manage to get out of the loop? Or is it only me who has such problems? Be sure to let me know down in the comments!

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Arek Nawo

Hobbyist. Programmer. Dreamer. JavaScript and TypeScript lover. 👍 World-a-better-place maker. 🌐 https://areknawo.com