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From my experience diving into large, unfamiliar code bases, I would say the key thing is to understand how the program is split up, and then focus only on the piece you're changing. This is just as true of codebases I work on every day as it is of codebases I've never seen before. If the program is well-designed, the modules/components/pieces/whatever will ...


After writing the original version of this answer (see remark below), I came to the realization that instead of analyzing the mental gap present in new developers, I should have instead explored what is the single most important thing that new developers need to do to close the mental gap. Here is my assertion. The best thing new developers in this ...

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