The considerations for working on technical debt come down to the product life cycle itself. It’s useful to essentially conduct a risk analysis for both creating and addressing technical debt. Next, start paying down the debt “one paycheck at The Continuous Delivery Maturity Model a time” — that is, incrementally. An engineer paying down student loan debt wouldn’t allocate an entire month’s pay once a year toward the balance; they are more likely to succeed by paying it down a little at a time with each direct deposit.

managing tech debt

This code is like a financial burden, which imposes on all stakeholders – not only on the developers – a debt incurring interest for the future. The principal amount is the cost of refactoring the codebase to a clean design, which allows easy future changes. The interest is the extra costs, which have to be paid in the future if the team has to work with a messy codebase instead of a good one. How modern engineering teams approach refactoringHaving a great refactoring process is an integral part of software development. In this article, we outline how modern teams continuously refactor and tackle technical debt. Article How modern engineering teams approach refactoring Having a great refactoring process is an integral part of software development.

Make how to manage technical debt part of every conversation with your developers. One other key thing in technical debt prevention – communication, Xcellence-IT Junior ASP NET MVC Developer SmartRecruiters cannot be omitted. Developers and managers should talk frankly and openly, especially because IT managers are also prone to mistakes.

Most Important Metrics For Engineering Team Performance

Stop throwing around the umbrella term of ‘tech debt.’ Name what you’re facing as maintenance debt, developer efficiency debt, stability debt, security debt, technical product debt, and/or decision debt. However, it’s better to minimize the consequences of technical debt by keeping in mind its causes and corresponding preventive measures. These ideas and solutions can help your team address technical debt and improve your development processes.

  • Every software company in the market has some sort of technical debt.
  • This type of coding may be the result of the incompetence or inexperience of developers, or their need to apply a quick workaround.
  • Developers who come along later will have to deal with those missteps, and they may struggle to maintain and monitor the codebase.
  • Agile has had a huge impact on me both professionally and personally as I’ve learned the best experiences are agile, both in code and in life.

Managing technical debt requires a balance between quality and speed. Quick workarounds might mean you meet your deadlines, but make sure you know the cost. Technical debt may look harmless, but if left unchecked, you’ll find that at some point, speed and agility are no longer an option. Another point, never less critical, is the impact of technical debt on the developer community, both in morale and behavior. First, and this is a phenomena that I’m witnessing for long now (and it’s getting worse) comes the damaging impact on the job satisfaction of the people in the `.

Bookmark Code, Create Issues from VSCode, See Your Team’s Activity

So by the time QA gets their hands on it, the product is saddled with layers upon layers of defects. Agile teams, however, define “done” as ready to release, which means developers don’t move on to the next story or feature until their current item is practically in customers’ hands. To speed things along, they use techniques likefeature branching workflows, automated testing, and continuous integration throughout the development cycle.

managing tech debt

On the other hand, automated testing runs on automated debugging cycles and various other processes that scan issues with the code in regular cycles. In open source software, postponing sending local changes to the upstream project is a form of technical debt. Activities that might be postponed include documentation, writing tests, attending to TODO comments and tackling compiler and static code analysis warnings. Other instances of technical debt include knowledge that isn’t shared around the organization and code that is too confusing to be modified easily. Targeted technical debt—debt that is known and has been targeted for servicing by the development team. Technical debt is estimated to cost businesses $5 trillion in the next 10 years.

Otherwise, development teams don’t end up lagging behind due to an overwhelming number of tasks. Yes, it is true, mainly when the tech debt aids your organization in achieving a bigger goal – it can be overlooked. Lean software development methods and the urge to push products to the market at the earliest have led companies to believe it is okay having a technical debt. But, leaving the debt unattended for too long can have serious consequences, leading to severe issues.

A recent Gartner study shows that through 2023, I&O leaders responsible for actively managing and reducing tech debt will achieve at least 50% faster service delivery times for the business. In this piece, I’ll explain what technical debt is along with its types, causes, and effects on businesses, and tell you how to competently manage debts. Technical debt (aka ‘tech debt,’ ‘design debt,’ or ‘code debt’) is what happens when developers take shortcuts to complete a product or function faster. As a result, you’ll have to revisit and improve features in the future — whether that’s fixing bugs, completing missing documentation, or revisiting legacy code. Other types of technical debt include knowledge that the dev team doesn’t share around the organization and code that’s too complex to modify quickly. If developers rush to meet a deadline, they may do so at the expense of clean, well-organized code.

Every software company in the market has some sort of technical debt. Every team accrues technical debt in a different way but bad code How to implement linear search and binary search algorithm in JavaScript is the primary reason for most tech debt. That said, even clean code creates technical debt if it does not serve its function anymore.

Measuring And Managing Technical Debt

Like financial debt, Technical Debt is not necessarily a bad thing. Going into debt to buy a house is responsible if you know how to pay it back. Buying lots of luxury items on your credit card knowing very well you’re not able to cover the bill usually ends up in a disaster. Concerning software Technical Debt might give an advantage of an early release and profit the organization more than it costs to pay back the Technical Debt. In finance, debt is a good thing, if the principal amount plus the interest is lower than the yield of the investment.

managing tech debt

Another way to reduce technical debt is to monitor code troubles and fix them as quickly as possible. Code-analysis tools such as Sonargraph and Klocwork can help identify these problems and prioritize them. However, teams can monitor and manage technical debt to find the technical debt ratio and continue with application development. For example, tools such as SonarQube and Coverity measure technical debt and provide data to calculate the technical debt ratio and keep development on time.

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You don’t just do “healthy” two weeks out of the year; it’s an everyday habit. Engineers are likely on board with the existence of technical debt and the need to pay it down. But tangible adjustments on the ground are needed in order to manifest as practical changes in process and workflow. Of course, all engineers will stash some concepts in their minds, and everyone has to do certain things manually.


Having a DevOps process can slow down the accumulation of technical debt through early detection, quality control, and building organizational support for addressing technical deficits. While many technical debts are detectable by an experienced technical team, some still escape notice. Unfortunately, the ones that escape detection often cost more to fix than the detectable ones. How to stop wasting engineering time on technical debtIf you’ve ever argued for carving out time for this, you know that it can feel like a crusade of epic proportions.

Inherently close to tracking, there’s an argument for the Agile approach to help deal with technical debt. The Agile environment, with frequent iterations of work, features, and bug fixes delivered, can be analternative wayto manage technical debt. Small chunks of work could help deal with debt in an ongoing manner.