Find your way around an unfamiliar system, trace down tricky bugs, and create designs from dynamically updated diagrams with Code Maps in the new Visual Studio 2013.
For me, there’s nothing quite so frustrating as trying to find your way around a complex program for the first time, especially one that has grown organically over the years. Method and class names seem to not make any sense, it is very difficult to get a feel for which parts of the system touch which other parts, etc. All of which contributes to a feeling of hesitation and uncertainty while programming; both of which slow you down and lead to unnecessary mistakes. So there you are, stuck against a deadline and unsure whether the change you’re about to make is going to break the build. So you go ask a crusty old senior developer and he drops the always helpful, “go read the documentation, it’s in there.” Sigh. Mutter. Curse.
Enter Code Maps. Available, in a limited form, since VS 2012 update 2 and greatly expanded upon with VS 2013, Code Maps give you a dynamically generated view into the flow of information through the system in question. While no tool can make the task of assimilating into a new piece of software painless, Code Maps goes a long way towards making that pain bearable. Want a quick overview? Check out the video below!