Your Code as a Crime Scene, Second Edition (PragProg)

_Your Code as a Crime Scene_ blends criminal psychology with code analysis to help you investigate and improve your code, software architecture, and organization.


Adam Tornhill

edited by Kelly Talbot

Software development might well be the most challenging task humanity ever attempted. As systems scale up, they also become increasingly complex, expensive to maintain, and difficult to reason about. We can always write more tests, try to refactor, and even fire up a debugger to understand complex coding constructs. That’s a great starting point, but you can do so much better.

Take inspiration from forensic psychology techniques to understand and improve existing code. Visualize codebases via a geographic profile from commit data to find development hotspots, prioritize technical debt, and uncover hidden dependencies. Get data and develop strategies to make the business case for larger refactorings. Detect and fix organizational problems from the vantage point of the software architecture to remove bottlenecks for the teams.

The original Your Code as a Crime Scene from 2014 pioneered techniques for understanding the intersection of people and code. This new edition reflects a decade of additional experience from hundreds of projects. Updated techniques, novel case studies, and extensive new material adds to the strengths of this cult classic.

Change how you view software development and join the hunt for better code!

Adam Tornhill is a programmer who combines degrees in engineering and psychology. He’s the CTO and founder of CodeScene, where he develops tools for software engineering intelligence. Adam is also the author of multiple technical books, including Software Design X-Rays and Patterns in C, as well as a software researcher. Adam’s other interests include modern history, music, retro computing, and martial arts.


I haven’t read the first edition, but I am looking forward to reading this. Looks very interesting topic to learn.


This might be useful for me. I’ll be working on a large brownfield project before the end of the year, so reading this might give me some ideas.

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