Getting up to speed

What do you do to get up to speed on a new project?  I recently began working on a new application.  I like to know what is the underlying technology.  The current application I am working on is a legacy application built on Struts 1.0 and Oracle Toplink an ORM tool.  I am even deploying to OC4J that is pretty close to its end of life.  Understanding the technology behind the scenes can help us with some issues.

Stepping into the code base which is in CVS, I try to look over the landscape and see how things are setup.  Each application is setup in a little different way.   Looking over the source folder I usually look for a build file for ANT of Maven.  This can give us a good indicator of how things are structured and how we deploy the application.

The best way to get up to speed is to get a walk through from one of the developers.  I have spoken to a few of the senior developers on the project I am working on.  They have been very helpful in explaining things that have been done and what pieces they are working on now.  Asking good questions help.  Always do a little research before you ask questions, we don’t want to waste other’s time.  Plus some developers can be a little irritable.

How do you get up to speed fast?

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