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How long would it take to change programmers? (Forums : Coding & Scripting : How long would it take to change programmers?) Locked
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Oct 1 2013 Anchor

I know that this is highly variable (no pun intended!) but I was wondering how long it may take a programmer familiar with the language to take over from another assuming the original hadn't given things odd naming conventions, had commented the more obscure parts of their code and may be available to aid the new programmer a bit.

Our programmer is having some personal issues and may be dropping out of the project altogether and I was wondering how long getting a new person in and getting them up to speed may take.

We're using UDK so its all Unreal Script, about 6 months in to the project and the game itself is 'very simple' (programmers own words).

Any ideas how long it may take?

What else would need to be considered?

Oct 1 2013 Anchor

I'd expect at least a month likely to get up to speed. Although its very hard to estimate with any accuracy at all. If the existing codebase is trash, their is no documentation, the last programmer isn't available for support, the new programmer isn't familiar with UDK, etc times could all ballon.

Oct 12 2013 Anchor

Yeah it's one of those things that's really hard to guage. Really depends on the state of the existing code.

Nov 13 2013 Anchor

It would probably be best if you got the new programmer into the game before your existing one leaves so they could help the new one understand the code that is already present. Even with that being said it can be hard for a new programmer to understand existing code even if it's well documented and that's assuming it is well documented. Games don't usually have a widely shared code base so the documentation is mediocre at best (most the time).

Someone wrote: Any idea's how long it it may take?

Depends on the new programmer, code documentation, how organized the code is, how far you are in the project, and so forth. It's really impossible to say. If your six months in and are hiring on a programmer that has a sharp mind then I would say at least a month before they are intimately acquainted with the code. If the existing code is well kept, probably less.

Someone wrote: What else would need to be considered?

Try and get the new programmer in before the old one leaves. That way if there are any questions or concerns they can be sorted out.

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