We Refactored 10K Lines of Code in Our Open Source React Project

We Refactored 10K Lines of Code in Our Open Source React Project

Know the how, the when, and the why we refactored 10k lines of code in our open source react project. When working on any project, especially in the MVP stage, we as developers often prioritise one thing above all else when writing code: making sure it works.

When working on any project, especially in the MVP stage, we as developers often prioritise one thing above all else when writing code: making sure it works. Unfortunately, this can mean writing code hyper-focused on the MVP’s requirements, so we end up with code that is hard to maintain or cumbersome to expand. Of course, this isn’t a problem one can easily avoid since we don’t live in an ideal world. The forces of time are always against us — sometimes we just need to push something out.

I’m a software engineer building Firetable, an open source React app that combines a spreadsheet UI with Firestore and Firebase’s full power. We ran into this exact issue with some fundamental code: the code for all the different field types, from the simple ShortText to the complex ConnectTable field.

After refactoring, we now have a more solid foundation to build more features, we squashed a few hard-to-find bugs, and we now even have a guide on how our contributors can write new field types.

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