A study performed semistructured interviews of 12 seasoned software architects and developers at nine Finnish companies. Its main goals were to find out how the practitioners viewed the role and importance of refactoring, and how and when they refactored. Another goal was to see whether shortened cycle times and, especially, continuous-deployment practices affected how and when refactoring was done. The results paint a multifaceted picture with some common patterns. The respondents considered refactoring to be valuable but had difficulty explaining and justifying it to management and customers. Refactoring often occurred in conjunction with the development of new features because it seemed to require a clear business need. The respondents didn’t use measurements to quantify the need for or impact of refactoring. This article is part of a special issue on Refactoring.
Leppanen, M. Makinen, S. ; Lahtinen, S. ; Sievi-Korte, O. ; Tuovinen, A.-P. ; Mannisto, T. (Tampere University of Technology): Refactoring-a Shot in the Dark?