Options to Deal with Technical Debt Once Identified

Once you have identified tech debt, you may wonder what the options to deal with it are. This is the inadequacy of technical debt when compared with financial debt. Both are bound to occur, but financial debt has specific metrics to measure and can be, therefore ‘seen, ’ but tech debt is more of a metaphor. This makes management of tech debt more difficult than any form of financial debt. It is believed by competent software professionals that just like financial debt tech debt is also required to be paid off along with interest. Like a financial debt has its due date, tech debt too has a due date, and plans for its payments are similar to financial debt.

Principal And Interest

Until recently, the belief of tech debt occurrence and payment has been challenged stating that it cannot be paid off just like financial debt with principal and interest. Instead, tech debt can be paid out, that is the interest can be paid only. That is the significant difference between tech debt and financial debt as it can be simply retired at the end of its life and can never be paid off. When such debt retires at the end of its life, any tech debt that the code base may carry disappears along with all the processes for supporting it.

Depends On Approach

Payment for tech debt depends on the approach of the product owner as well as the development team. It can be paid with interest when it makes any sense to do so. There are some studies conducted to look at different ways of doing it which even included an approach to make out the extent and location of the engineering problems in the code quality. Such visible problems, called bugs, if detected can promote awareness about it among all the teams related to the production of the code. For more information about bugs, visit here.

Can Be Refinanced

Just like any financial debt can be consolidated and refinanced to pay it off, tech debt can also be refinanced. This means you can convert the tech debt into something that has a lower rate of interest which may turn out to be cheaper in the long term from the business perspective. When such business and technical considerations are applied, things turn out to be more sensible. You start to enjoy the benefits of refactoring a system or even re-architecting it if you find that the cost and the risks involved are worth taking.

Need For Additional Work

Though the tech debt concept has been around for quite some time now, it is relevant to any software engineering project. It does not depend on the methodical approach whether or not tech debt will occur. Therefore, there is a need for additional work which will develop a set of heuristics that can be used in assessing and measuring tech debts. Such heuristics will take both the technical and business perspectives into account and communicate the same even to the non-technical members of the business along with the stakeholders.

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