Staying on Top of Your Organization’s Technical Debt

The famous, American poet Emily Dickinson is credited back in the 19th century as stating that “forever is composed of nows.” Today, the world of software is all about rapid releases, innovative new features, continuous builds and deployments, maintaining high quality, and making consistent improvements. In order to stay afloat in this competitive market, companies often sprint to the finish line — and when they sprint, they tend to fall and make mistakes. Software quality suffers, money is spent on the wrong resources, and employees’ perception of the organization and their work is damaged.

It is during these rushed development processes that many basic R&D concepts like technical design and technical review are left behind. Neglecting these activities leads to technical debt. Non-scaleable code, double (or more) coding, and inefficient code are the most common factors of technical debt.

However, code is not the only factor of debt. Failing to address functional problems, platform-level design holes, or security issues in time usually leads to refactoring, and can even result in software entropy.

In this article, we discuss the different aspects of technical debt, how to manage existing debt, and how to minimize debt in the future.

Charging Forward Without Looking Back

What Causes Technical Debt?

To satisfy customer needs and stay competitive in this fast-paced industry, almost all software organizations have embraced the agile methodology and implemented it in one way or another. Agile pushes R&D and DevOps to use continuous delivery (CD) processes to deploy software quickly and safely, which requires automatic processes for building, testing, and deploying the code in the cloud.

Many R&D groups try to increase the amount of deliveries and shorten delivery times by trimming some of the development steps out of the process. Developers, pressured to create new functionalities quickly, tend to write (Read more...)

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