I’m one of the New Guys. When the owner of a one-man software business sells his company so he can retire, and programmers are hired to come in and take his place, they’re the New Guys. Or perhaps you’ve heard them referred to as suckers, victims, chumps, patsies, or fools. Yeah, those work too, but I’ll stick with ‘new guys’. The other names all strike a bit too close to home.
Call the old guy ‘Buck’. As usually happens in cases like this, Buck spent a couple of months showing us three new guys around the system, giving us the broad overview. Of course, the only way to really learn a codebase is to dig in and start
breaking changing things. So that’s what we’ve been doing for about a year now.
Along the way we’ve seen, debugged, worked around, fixed, and occasionally been the source of, a variety of absurdities, brilliance, victories, failures and goofiness.
Don’t get me wrong – the product is very good, despite a lot of weirdness in the code. So it’s not a death march. We’re not heading inexorably to our programmatic doom. We’ve got a decent, if not always solid, base to work from. We’re struggling, sure, but we’re slowly bringing new life into the system.
It’s not a death march. It’s a coma crawl.