I attended Feathers' speach at JAOO this year and was highly motivated to work with legacy code - I really wanted to try out all the presented techniques! I wished for the next contract to be a legacy project, and lo and behold, wishes do come true.
Given that, I was highly motivated when my copy arrived in the mail and ate it in three healthy bites - not leaving too much time to sleep when you have a wife and two small kids that you want to see too!
MF starts by stating that 'good code is code under test'.
The highligt is to some extend the 20-something page introduction. MF manages to set the arena for working with legacy code and pass on the enthusiasm of getting a job done on difficult terms. I mean, if you can be a success with green field projects, thats fine, but how well do you cope with legacy code?
Following that is a rather lengthy catalog of ways to get code under test. Much of the time you'd nod and say, yes, I've seen mess like this before - so that is how I could have dealt with it!
Having had the time to try to work by the principles, I'd summarize that the book has given me a professional lift. Many a time, I'd have to bypass the good advice due to pressure to produce short-term results, but over-all I'd say that more and more of the 'tricks' gets used and with good results.
Anders, M.Comp.Sc., Contractor, Denmark