Refactoring should be done as a series of small changes, each of which makes the existing code slightly better while still leaving the program in working order.
I’ve found that unclean code after refactoring happens when you move away from refactoring with small changes and mix a whole bunch of refactors into one huge change. It’s very easy to lose focus, especially if you have a time limit. But it can also happen when working with extremely sloppy code. Whatever you improve, the code as a whole remains a disaster.
In this case, it’s worthwhile to think about completely rewriting parts of the code. But before that, you should have written unit tests and set aside a good chunk of time. Otherwise, you’ll end up with messy unmaintainable code that you’ve made even more complicated. Don’t mix refactoring and the development of new features. Try to separate these processes at least within the confines of individual commits.
Always keep in mind:
• The code should become cleaner.
• New functionality shouldn’t be created during refactoring.
• All existing tests must pass after refactoring.
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