In a new post to his site Robert Basic shares how some of his work on Open Source projects taught him how to better work with legacy code.
Contributing to open source projects has many benefits — you learn and you teach, you can make friends or find business partners, you might get a chance to travel. Even have a keynote at a conference, like Gary did.
Contributing to open source projects was the best decision I made in my professional career. Just because I contributed to, and blogged about Zend Framework, I ended up working and consulting for a company for four and a half years. I learned a lot during that time.
He shares some of the things that open source taught him about working with code and how it relates back to legacy code (including how to find his way around). He also tries to dispel the myth that all legacy code is bad and was "written by a bunch of code monkeys who know nothing about writing good software." He points out that, at the time the code was written, the changes may have been the best that could be done, it might be a necessary workaround or it could be an actual bug that needs fixing.