NetTuts.com has kicked off a new series of posts looking to help you get a handle on that big pile of legacy code you're having to work with. In part one of their "Refactoring Legacy Code" series they talk about the "Golden Master", a method of testing all the things before starting on changes.
Old code. Ugly code. Complicated code. Spaghetti code. Jibberish nonsense. In two words, Legacy Code. This is a series that will help you work and deal with it. In an ideal world, you would write only new code. You would write it beautiful and perfect. You would never have to revisit your code and you will never have to maintain projects ten years old. In an ideal world... Unfortunately, we live in a reality that is not ideal. We have to understand, modify and enhance ages-old code. We have to work with legacy code.
They start with a definition of what "legacy code" is and link to a codebase they'll guide you through for refactoring. They talk some about understanding the code and scanning through it to get an overall feel for it. They recommend some testing techniques (including the Golden Master) and include the code to create it and some of the sample output.