Reducing Risk When Changing Legacy Code with Tina Fletcher

Motor City Software Testers
Motor City Software Testers
Public group
Location image of event venue


Reducing Risk When Changing Legacy Code

Do you work on a large product that’s been around for a while? Are there dark corners and scary areas that no one wants to touch? Does everything seem interconnected in ways that no one fully understands? Do you have low, spotty, or maybe even unknown automated test coverage? Do your colleagues talk about doing a “big re-write”, or hiring an army of contractors to add tests in fragile areas? Does it feel tempting to attribute escaped defects to something like “there was no subject matter expert for the code we changed”?

If any of this sounds familiar, well, I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers. However, my belief that there are ways to make changing legacy code safer has led me to conduct several experiments to help determine what the most effective tactics might be. Interestingly, although I am a tester, none of the investigations I have undertaken so far involved doing any actual testing. So no matter what your role is, join me to hear what I’ve learned about good and bad ways to approach risk mitigation strategies such as code stewardship, team shadowing, knowledge management, test coverage analysis, and culture change.


Tina loves being challenged every day to solve new testing, communication, and leadership problems. You’re most likely to find her planning test approaches for new features, discovering ways to promote better collaboration between groups, or experimenting with techniques to help enable quality-focused development and decision making. Some of Tina’s favorite projects to date have been helping D2L to go “all-in” on AWS, building Analytics applications in D2L’s Brightspace learning platform, and leading the team responsible for testing BlackBerry Hub. Tina is currently a Senior Test Strategist at D2L.

6:00pm - 6:30pm - dinner and networking
6:30pm - 7:30pm - main presentation
7:30pm - 8:30pm - cake & ice cream, swag giveaways, socializing and networking

Location: 1520 Woodward Ave, Detroit. Thanks to Detroit Labs for hosting!

Dinner and refreshments are provided! Be sure to note dietary restrictions when RSVPing