In a new post to his site Ben Ramsey shares a few suggestions around things to ask and do to learn a new codebase (whether that means in a new job or coming into a new open source project).
A few days ago, my friend Ed Finkler started a new job. Earlier this week, he posted on Twitter: "First days humble us all." Having begun a new job myself, I shared Ed's sentiment. Last weekend, while at the Madison PHP Conference, we were discussing what developers can do during the interview process to get an idea of the kind of codebase a company has.
He includes a few questions for developers to ask, either during the interview or once hired, about the codebase itself including:
- what coding standards the company follows
- how much of the code is covered by tests
- have the company's deployment process described
He also recommends learning the codebase by diving in and either writing tests for untested areas or work through bug reports and fix (then test) them.