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Never, ever, I can’t stress this enough, talk bad about the code you have to work on.
As you said, everybody has been on both sides. The client might still like the old dev.
What do you get if you tell them the old code sucks which worked for years? Not the job, in many cases.
Tell them you need to refactor it because newer versions, new requirements, new framework, what ever.
Be diplomatic and everybody is happy ;)
@ExGetMessage We had a few cases where the client came to us with a prototype and asked to implement features. It is clearly a prototype, the code is scattered.
We've suggested to him that we can finalize the product, find and optimize some parts and fix issues that he is having. He was keen on knowing what we think about the actual code and not the actions so we just said - it's good for what was needed at that time BUT in order to grow - some rewriting would be suggested.
In the end, we received that project and carrying with it for the last few years with no issue. Even the old dev came to meet us and he was happy that the code grew. His main point was that he was just trying to prove the idea and not make a product immediately. Why should the client spend years on an idea which is not any good? (looking at you google :D )
hack66144yI get in and get the job done with many refactors while I am ranting about how bad the initial structure of project and flaming on previous devs.