It Was Like That When I Got Here: Steps Toward Modernizing a Legacy Codebase


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This talk is awesome.

Paul has taken the pain of converting bad code into good code and turned it into an inspirational presentation.

If you're not motivated to make your codebase better after this, you might want to check your pulse.

Great talk that takes the students from having a mess of a legacy codebase, and how to step by step modernize it, without ever breaking it along the way.

Fabulous speaker. Great overview with excellent examples.

Fabulous speaker. Great overview with excellent examples.

I thought this talk was really, really excellent with a lot of nice technical detail backed up with time tested material and clearly awesome experience from Paul. My only suggestion is to include some female examples in your back story.

Looking forward to the book!

I really feel like I am taking a lot away from this talk.

Paul is a great speaker with a lot to say. I found this talk to be both informative and inspiring. His upcoming book ( sounds quite promising.

Absolutely fantastic. My first job out of college started like he spoke about and we limped along. And finally they hired a bunch of new people to make the new version, and it was just as broken but in different ways.

A lot of great lessons can be learned from this presentation.

Clear, concise. Leaving this talk inspired.

One of the best at the conference so far. Paul's passion and energy were contagious! His humor was mixed in with some really clear, focused suggestions for modernizing a legacy PHP application.

If you only see one talk, this should be it. Paul is a great speaker, and the content is something that all developers need to learn.

Wow. Just, wow. I'm still going to struggle against the allure of starting over from scratch, but Paul's "simple" strategy may just tip the balance. Appreciate the very clear 1-2-3 approach. This is one I want my entire team - and my management - to see.

Can't wait to read the book!

This is an inspiring and fantastic talk that provides value to all levels of developers. Experienced devs gained insights about how to tackle a large refactoring project, whereas lesser-experienced devs were given an instructional guide on how to move from procedural code to object-oriented programming.

Paul is a really engaging speaker which made this talk even more of a joy. A+.

Robert Radtke at 10:50 on 16 Mar 2014

excellent talk - I'm excited to refactor - go figure it

Fantastic talk breaking down achievable steps to incrementally converting nasty, legacy codebases into modern, usable, maintainable codebases. My personal experience resonated strongly with many of Paul's suggestions, while he also brought up several ideas that were new and inspiring. Absolutely great. Can't wait for the book.

Awesome. Paul introduced the problem of messy codebases, isolated the issues, demonstrated the why behind incremental changes, and then showed how to do it. And pitched his book a bit too. Great speaker, great talk from a core member of our community.

Anonymous at 10:58 on 16 Mar 2014

Awesome presentation! engaging and brutally honest about the trade-offs involved in a rewrite, and a solid approach to incrementally making massive changes.

Fantastic talk. Lots of good suggestions, and the books are on my buy list.

Great talk. Good speaker. Lot of good things I can use in the near future!

This was a great talk. I liked that you laid out practical ways for people to starting putting some of these ideas into practice. Thanks!

This talk offered a clear and pragmatic path for making significant improvements to a legacy codebase. Looking forward to the book.

Great talk, well-organized. Good energy & confidence. Really like the dancing bear example, very apt. Could have done without the sales pitch part 8^)

Awesome talk. +1 Change nothing.

Perfect talk, great speaker, walked away with an amazing plan of attack for old codebases.

Very good information, very good points. I enjoyed this talk very much. I disagree with the absoluteness of the "never rewrite" rule, but I agree with the reasons behind it, and the process described was excellent. Thanks.

Fantastic talk with a clear beginning, middle, end, and take aways. Thanks sir.

If you have the opportunity to go see Paul speka--take it.

Awesome talk! We all struggle with this, and you did well to walk through the steps. I have a lot of work ahead of me!


- So valuable. This taught me not only the basics of good modern PHP web app design, but also the way to incrementally arrive there while honoring the wisdom contained in existing code.

- Humor, levity, speaking skills were high.


- Ubiquitous uses of "he" and "guys" to describe generic / all programmers reinforces the maleness of programming, damages the accessibility of programming to women.
--- 3+ women programmers I heard from through the conference about their thoughts on your language, and she was of the perspective that indeed ubiquitous male norms are a barrier to women entering the field as devs. "It was an awesome talk, except everyone in it was a dude."

Based on your generous giving to others in the way of both your presentation and your earnest and enthusiastic individual conversation, isn't something you want.

However, I trust you've considered this, so I don't pretend to be so wise as to override your conclusions, but rather just wanted to present an additional perspective.


Most importantly, I need to thank you for the value your talk added to my professional career. (This is of greater weight than my aforementioned concern)