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> It's much harder to measure, say, the impact of a refactor where you made the code easier to reason about and more maintainable, so that future work can be done on it more easily.

I've also seen refactors that just made life difficult for everyone else with constant non-functional changes. In the end there is a lot of fashion in programming, and while some refactors are worthwhile most are not in my experience.

The refactor is supposed to provide payoff in the future, but what normally happens is fashion changes and someone new comes by and says "this code is shit" and starts the process over. The supposed benefits never accrue.






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