Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just joined a team who has been working in a project for over a year and a half, there's a lot of docs to read (specs, requirements etc..) , and project's repository is full of branches and tags also their are a lot of defects and bugs that need to be corrected , so i'm just kind of in a scary situation now.

I should maybe mention that the project uses J2EE, WebServices. So if anyone has any advice on how to approach this .

thanks.

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 14 '11 at 14:51

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
possible duplicate of programmer's one advice –  Paul Tomblin Apr 14 '11 at 14:49
    
Did you consider this approach? –  CheatEx Apr 14 '11 at 17:07
    
@CheatEx awesome approach –  Mona Apr 15 '11 at 12:02
add comment

5 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I wouldn't focus too much on ALL the docs, chances are they won't be uptodate. Pick and choose which ones to look at.

Try and get some time with someone with the buisness knowledge, even if it is a dev, they will know the real lay of the land.

Get the system running on your machine.

Step through the code, figure out how it works.

THEN, try fixing a bug.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Find the simplest looking bug and try to fix it.

Make sure you run any existing tests so that you're sure you don't break anything. And write a test that exposes the bug.

Keep doing this and you should get up-to-speed soon enough.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I was in your situation two years ago.

Hopefully, you have a smart team leader which will give you small bug fixes at the beginning.

The secret is to have small things done in order to motivate you.

So my advice is: when you receive tasks, don't panic but try to look at the code required to be understood in order to solve that task and in this way, step by step you will understand all the application.

share|improve this answer
add comment

What has the team lead asked you to do? Start there.

From there Anthony Eden's talk on Inheriting Code may help even though it is Rails-centric. He talks about the order in which you want to read the documentation, read the code, and jump into bug fixes.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Ask those at the top where do they believe you could do the most good and try to do that. This may be fixing a bug or adding a new feature but the key here is to get some communication going so that you aren't guessing at what to do all the time.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.