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Jani Hartikainen's Blog: Refactoring explained to an absolute beginner

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 29 June 2010.
PHPDeveloper

When developers start graduating from just hacking together scripts and want to start looking toward the future, one thing they start thinking about is making their code the best it could be. One way to achieve this is refactoring, but where to start? Well, this new post has an introductory guide to help developers understand this powerful technique.

Recently while on a drive with a non-programmer friend, I talked with him about code complexity and manageability, how very complicated code is detrimental to productivity and stuff like that. Later on, I decided to explain it to him with actual code examples, although the most he has ever done was some HTML back in elementary school.

He starts with a basic PHP+HTML+MySQL script that mixes the three and shows how to break it apart in steps - moving the PHP away from the HTML, creating functions and making a "template" for the database fetch results to display in.