We hear this all the time, a developer going in and finding some code someone else wrote and they start hacking at it to make it look more like their coding style than the original and they label it "refactored"
Sometimes we need to look at someone else’s code or even our own to resolve a bug and at times it is necessary or efficient to rewrite part of the code to better assist in solving the problem. This brings client value, a bug has been fixed.
We may have code we wrote a long time ago and the code does not reflect our current style and attention to detail. Changing this code so we may better support it later adds long-term value to the client, the code was updated by the author and is better maintainable and reflects their up-to-date knowledge an brings value to the client.
I have worked with some arrogant programmers before who think they know it all and can turn code they deem as unacceptable into acceptable code (aka their code), you know who you are. I have been programming a long time and I certainly don’t know it all, far from it. I am always willing to learn better ways to do things but I don’t have the arrogance to run into a fellow developers code and change it because I don’t like the looks of it.
This is one thing really annoys me and makes it really hard to justify to the client who often times never finds out but is billed for anyway. This as a huge waste of time, money and introduces potential bugs. If the code works and is not a bottleneck in the system, just leave it alone.
Please don’t do this….you know who you are. I would like to hear from all the refactoring fan-boys out there that insist on this behavior and why they feel the need.