How to delete code

Matthew Jones

⏱ 90 minute session
09:30-11:00, Saturday, 20th April 2024
Every large code base I have worked on contains dead code that shouldn't be there.

Why hasn't it been deleted? Are there good reasons why it is still there? Why do we have to read it? Can I delete the whole file? Might some of it still be relevant? Why am I wasting my time thinking about this? I'm trying to be productive!

There seems to be a general fear of deleting old code. I hope to allay that fear.

This talk is a fairly personal view about mindset, process, techniques, technical debt, relentless refactoring, and overall, "doing the right thing". It is not language specific, although all the examples will be in C++.

🏷 process
🏷 refactoring
🏷 tdd
🏷 tools
🏷 version control
🏷 lifecycle

Matthew Jones

Matthew has been paid to write software for over 30 years, mostly in C++. After a variety of jobs, and a spell contracting he now works on Formula 1 driving simulators.

He can be contacted at