Guardian.co.uk, Technology

An ABC of R2: L is for legacy systems

…which needed to be removed if we were to be productive. Just adding shiny new things would only add to our workload if we didn’t also get rid of the old ones.

In fact the most significant legacy systems needed to be removed (or at least isolated) before we could even start R2. These included internal dependencies on an unsupported browser, a cumbersome (and imminently unsupported) application server, and a particularly insidious database table.

Eliminating these was not a glamorous job by external standards, but it was a necessary one. And significantly it allowed us to prove and improve our Agile skills. Each project was more complicated than the one before. By the time we got to the last of these we believed we really could undertake the largest software project since the website began.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “An ABC of R2: L is for legacy systems

  1. Ah, I remember that particularly insidious database table!

    Posted by Robin Houston | 3 December 2008, 12:38 pm
  2. …and perhaps fondly. Or at least we can say “fondly” now that we don’t have to deal with it.

    Posted by Nik | 3 December 2008, 2:48 pm
  3. I suppose it depends whether I’m being honest or glib. Honestly, it sticks in my mind (as perhaps in yours) as an example of how a quick fix can have unanticipated cost well into the future. Of course I find it more amusing to affect satisfaction that the pain only kicked in in earnest once I was safely out of the way, and in some situations it feels more appropriate to be amusing than honest.

    I think it was an interesting kind of cock-up, the insidious kind that masquerades as a success for a year or two. A useful category to have in one’s taxonomy of failure, and perhaps one that can only really be appreciated through experience.

    Posted by Robin Houston | 7 December 2008, 7:48 pm