Well, to paraphrase the first line of the wikipedia entry:

Code refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code...without changing its external behaviour.

 

So basically, it's code clean up. But it's also more. Read the wikipedia article, and other sources, for the gory details. We are going to just hit some main highlights in this guide.

Why Refactor?

Good question. It is something you will come to appreciate with time. However, the main motivators are:

  • Readability
  • Maintainability
  • Extensibility

The best way to gain an appreciation for this is to see it in practice. This guide will hopefully help start you on that journey.

This guide was first published on Jan 23, 2017. It was last updated on Jan 23, 2017.

This page (What is Refactoring?) was last updated on Sep 26, 2020.