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#1 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

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Learning new ASP.NET codebase

Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:54 PM

this isn't a coding question persay...but it is related to ASP.NET Webforms.

Does anyone have any tips for learning new codebases? I'm primarily involved in the HTML/CSS/JS side. However, I still have 'read-and-write' access to the server-side code as well.

my issues are:
-the code base is large (by my standards); where do I start?
-I'm worried that it will take too long for me to get comfortable, affecting my TL's opinion.
-I'm very comfortable reading C# code, HTML/CSS, and to a lesser degree, JS/jQuery. for instance, I am aware of '.prototype'; but I have zero experience using it.

I was thinking that I should work on a single page at a time, going through all of the custom JS scripts and trying to 'learn by osmosis' that way.

in summary, I am comfortable with the syntax and programming concepts; I am not comfortable with figuring out how the huge amount of code works together.

also, the comments are in a language I can't read.

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Replies To: Learning new ASP.NET codebase

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning new ASP.NET codebase

Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:09 PM

First of all you should look for documentation. If the codebase is any good it would have some that will give you an idea of what is important and at the "core" of the code base.

Second, look for groupings of files/code around a "theme" and once you identify what the theme is, you can typically start looking at the code at the heart of the code base and work your way to the more obscure "fringe" functionality.

For instance, the code base might be divided up into sections around things like IO, Utility functions, System functions, GUI components etc. Once you identify these you can dive into each one and see what would be common in such a section. Example, maybe one file is responsible for opening and closing IO connections. Then perhaps other files use that one file to do other things.

Good codebases typically share a hierarchy and as long as you can follow that, start from the most general and work your way to the specific.

Hope that gives you some ideas of how to learn a new code base. :)


P.S. If you are good at reading code and it takes you longer than your team leader wants, then perhaps the code base is not as good as everyone thinks. Just do the best you can but let them know that things are not organized very well. Opportunity to share some insight?

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 22 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

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#3 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning new ASP.NET codebase

Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:25 PM

I think I'm hurting myself by not being as good at using the helper utilities in VS as I probably need to be.

for instance, I see alot of very important looking functions....I just can't see where and how often it is used. Does this just not exist or do I just not see it?

as well...does 'go to definition' not work in JS code?

thanks for the tips :)

EDIT:

there is most definitely NOT any design document/in-code documentation. Everything looks like it was imported from other projects and each helper library was made by a different person.

This post has been edited by The Architect 2.0: 22 August 2012 - 04:27 PM

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