Learning a new codebase

Ben Ramsey posted tips on starting a new job and learning a new codebase.

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. After all, the developer is interviewing potential employers just as much as they are being interviewed as a potential employee. It would suck to be hired only to find the code is in shambles.

I think that second sentence is a key point here and one we, as developers, can miss as we get bogged down in an interview process. A natural reaction is to be excited about a new job and loose focus on just what we might be getting into. It reminds me of the famous Ben Franklin quote:

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

Granted a new job isn’t the same as a marriage contract, but you should still do your due diligence.