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Five Lines of Code

How and when to refactor
Christian Clausen
Foreword by Robert C. Martin
  • MEAP began May 2020
  • Publication in September 2021 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781617298318
  • 275 pages (estimated)
  • printed in black & white
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I have refactored a lot of legacy code in my current job, but after reading this book I realized there is still a lot to be learned, and different ways to approach refactoring.

S. Shawn Mehaffie
Look inside
Improving existing code—refactoring—is one of the most common tasks you’ll face as a programmer. Five Lines of Code teaches you clear and actionable refactoring rules that you can apply without relying on intuitive judgements such as “code smells.” It’s written for working developers, guiding you step by step through applying refactoring patterns to the codebase of a 2D puzzle game. Following the author’s expert perspective—that refactoring and code smells can be learned by following a concrete set of principles—you’ll learn when to refactor your code, what patterns to apply to what problem, and the code characteristics that indicate it’s time for a rework. Thanks to this hands-on guide, you’ll find yourself programming faster while still delivering high-quality code that your teammates will love to work with.

about the technology

Refactoring is a fact of life. All code is imperfect, and refactoring is a systematic process you can use to improve the quality of your codebase. Whatever your architecture, choice of OO language, or skill as a programmer, the continuous design improvements of refactoring make your code simpler, more readable, and less prone to bugs. You’ll be amazed at the productivity boost of adding refactoring to your code hygiene routine—it’s quicker to hammer out bad code and then improve it than spending hours writing good code in the first place!

about the book

Five Lines of Code teaches working developers the shortcuts to quality code. You’ll follow author Christian Clausen’s unique approach to teaching refactoring that’s focused on concrete rules, and getting any method down to five lines or less to implement! There’s no jargon or tricky automated-testing skills required, just easy guidelines and patterns illustrated by detailed code samples. Chapter by chapter you’ll put techniques into action by refactoring a complete 2D puzzle game. Before you know it, you’ll be making serious and tangible improvements to your codebase.

what's inside

  • The symptoms of bad code
  • The extracting method, introducing strategy pattern, and many other refactoring patterns
  • Modifying code safely, even when you don’t understand it
  • Writing stable code that enables change-by-addition
  • Proper compiler practices
  • Writing code that needs no comments
  • Real-world practices for great refactoring

about the reader

For developers who know an object-oriented programming language.

about the author

Christian Clausen works as a Technical Agile Coach teaching teams how to properly refactor their code. Previously he worked as a software engineer on the Coccinelle semantic patching project, an automated refactoring tool. He has an MSc in computer science, and five years’ experience teaching software quality at a university level.

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We need to have more maintainable code and this is a great up-to-date intro to the topic.

David Trimm

A must-read for software developers who want to lift their quality of work to the next level.

Marcel van den Brink

This book will make you want to do a better job and it will give you the techniques to do just that.

Tom Madden

This book presents an easy to grasp approach to refactoring code that is safe and not scary -no specialist testing experience required.

Ben McNamara

A great guide if you are in the beginning of your career and a wakeup call for many seasoned programmers.

Kim Kjærsulf

A fantastic guide to understanding some of the best ways to re-factor and work withsoftware that might be legacy or difficult to understand and parse.

Taylor Dolezal

Get a copy now! This book will help everyone who deals with code to reduce the perpetual costs that arise from an inadequately maintained codebase.

Jeff Neumann