This talk is about a productive way of engaging with legacy code, as seen through the eyes of a first time open source contributor to PHPUnit. The usual focus on the negative aspects of old software ignore the valuable knowledge about the domain encoded in it. Approaching ‘the code that came before us’ as an artefact worthy of study like any art, allows us to repurpose the good parts of that knowledge while extending the system and keeping the technology up to date. The presentation will touch on code as conversation and assuming good intentions from other developers. Software soft skills and how these relate to the developer experience, from console UX to working with feedback on Github. Practical examples from my work on new features and refactoring of PHPUnit show best practices for incremental work such as exploratory coding, code-for-readability, testing and debugging.