Green patches in your brownfield
"Key lesson is, you can always (read: most of the time) do greenfield in a legacy code base."
-- Michael Feathers
Legacy code is not an easy setting to work in. It will unnerve you and drain a lot of your energy just to get the smallest feature to production. Things have gotten a bit better with modern IDEs and their refactoring tools. They make our lives a bit easier when working in brownfield projects but there are refactoring techniques the IDE cannot perform for us in the semi-automatic fashion we have become so used to.
Michael Feathers' quote has motivated to dig deeper into a few of those techniques. I want to show them to you mainly by coding live. You will be able to see how you can use these refactorings even in brownfield settings. You will be able to plant green patches of test-driven code which will spread over your codebase in the long run and improve the whole project.
I will use Emily Bache's "Gilded Rose" kata as an example to show you how to apply these techniques in tiny steps. My tests will stay green at all times and I will be ready to ship on command.
background knowlege: some Java and Refactoring skills will be beneficial but you don't need to be an expert in either to be able to follow my talk.