If you have ever commissioned custom software, designed an enormous computer system or had a serious conversation with your IT team, then you must come across with the word technical debt and how it plays a role in your business growth strategy.
If you still doubt this term, then let's discuss it in a detailed way.
What is technical debt?
Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.
The term technical debt defines the importance of executing quick or partial software development solutions which are long-term solutions, more efficient and will not consume more time. It requires the highest level of balance and wisdom on the organization and its developer to manage technical debt correctly. We can also say that technical debts are like extra pieces of work which automatically builds up when a short-term decision is made. As like the financial debt, this technical debt can also build up, and it should not be neglected for an extended period of time.
Major cause of technical debt:
- Some technical decisions made by the business managers
- On time market pressure
- Lack of knowledge or information about further business goals
- Poor testing
- Suspended refactoring
- Bad source code/source code complexity
- Poor and insufficient documentation
- Manager collaboration/lack of satisfactory developer
How development teams can benefit
In the present time, the software developers understand the technical debt term for their benefit. For instance, if a developer put some short-fix code for quick launch of his software but later he or she will revisit the code to make it robust after the product release. While adding some new features to it, the development team will extract the old out-dated code and possibly add new features. The development team even needs to manage the technical debt by updating the product to meet the new and latest standards.
How technical debt is connected to developer productivity
It is quite apparent that the productivity of developers will get affected by opting this technical debt. As the technical debt and system size increases, gradually it decreases the productivity. Any attempt to overcome this situation can cause several problems instead of any improvement. If the debt situation reaches the highest position, then it is quite impossible to resolve it. Given below is some necessary point that one should remember to address this issue.
1. Maintain a track of it
To manage your technical debt, you need to grow a vast understanding of it. Evaluate whether the bulk of it is from system infrastructure or its maintenance. You also need to recheck the need for innovation in your system. In this context, the adequate metrics can be helpful to resolve your problem. You can get these metrics through several online channels. With the help of right tools, you can track such technical debt.
2. You should avoid technical debt
Technical debt is one of the most annoying things that every marketer or business owner faces regarding technology. This debt is expensive and can easily damage your product in that way you never expect. By utilizing agile practices and the latest technology like automated unit testing, and continuous integration to prevent such debt you may be able to limit the amount of technical debt acquired. You can also choose test-driven development and complete feature testing for avoiding this debt. Some of the necessary points to avert debt are provided below:
- Future planning
- Lean on your developers
- Resist the enticement to save money and time
- Have your balances and checks in proper place
- Roll out in phrase
- If you have some debt, then pick and choose it cleverly
- Do not forget to test your products
- Always monitor your developer's plan
3. Reduce the debt
After identifying the debt, you should try to reduce it.
Given below are some important strategies that you can use for reducing technical debt are:
- FIX ALL BUGS. Bugs in the software are mostly creating a ripple effect through the entire organization, by drawing attention to this first, you can stop the continuation of technical debt accumulation.
- Secondly, testing the new fixes using the IT team to help discover the bugs before releasing to production. Reporting these to a previous sprint is needed to release a safe product.
- Thirdly, you need to reduce the technical debt part by part from with every sprint, slowly knocking down the accumulated debt.
- You need to assign your technical strategy to an experienced person who has more knowledge in this relevant field.
The information about the overall development backlogs along with a prioritized list of the technical debt is high for the developers. Every kind of web development project will run into some technical debt. Therefore, it is best to understand it and make decisions around the burdens of implementing each new function to limit the flow of new technical debt.
About the Author:
Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as