One of my coworkers had a fantastic comment: “If you’re afraid to refactor a code base because you’re afraid of instability, your code is probably already full of bugs.”
I often speak with developers who fear to modify their code beyond the immediate feature or bug fix. Many say, “If it’s not broken, don’t touch it.”
I find that to be short-sighted thinking. Uncle Bob believes in the Boy Scout rule: Always leave the code behind in a better state than you found it. Martin Fowler believes in Opportunistic Refactoring.
It’s not as difficult as you might think. And as Martin Fowler says, “The whole point of refactoring is that it makes the code base easier to work with, thus allowing the team to add value more quickly.”