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In 2014 we had to do a major overhaul of ArangoDB's database engine,because we wanted to introduce a write-ahead log. Since for a database this change is similar in nature to the proverbial open-heart surgery for humans, it was clear from day one that this would be a difficult endeavour with a lot of risk to break things. Rather fundamental changes were needed in nearly all places of the kernel code and it seemedimpossible to serialise the work to keep the system in a working state. As usual, time was at a premium, since the next major release had to go out of the door in 2 months time.
In this talk I will tell the story of this overhaul, explain the role of unit tests and continuous integration and describe the challenges we faced and how finally overcame them.