Technical debt may have a huge negative impact on your business which is what you should avoid. For that, firstly you should avoid technical debt which is bound to occur in a code at any point of time, sooner or later. As and when it is required, you will need to refactor the code, modularize the architecture of it and ensure regular maintenance and reworking.
However, to ensure that everything is done in a way just it should be, you will first need to identify tech debt and know a few other things as well. Start with knowing the impact tech debt can have on your business. It is only then you will understand how important it is to work on it immediately to prevent early death of your business.
Tech debts and its causes cannot be rectified by itself but it will continue to accrue interest over time. That is the similarity between tech debt and financial debt as both have the potential to create a lot of problems and both needs to be addressed on time.
Just like you will go through different debt consolidation reviews to find the best option to deal with your financial debt, you will also need to research for the easy and effective ways to deal with technical debt in a code. You will get a complete peace in mind doing both.
The problems caused
Next up you should know about the different problems tech debts may cause to your business as well as your code. If you leave it unattended for a long time it will result in several issues in the code apart from its poor productivity.
- Tech debt will reduce the performance and functionality of the code
- It will affect it quality
- It will affect the morale of the code development team in an adverse manner
- The code will come back without providing proper value
- You will start to receive lot of complaints from the users before they leave you
- You will need to spend extra money, time and labor on creating stories, reworking and in refactoring the code and
In short, you will incur huge loss even if you use the best tools and techniques for such work.
Need for good codes
Next up, you should know the need for good codes. A good code does not mean it will not have an iota of tech debt. In fact, each and every code may not be good.
- Few may contain technical debts that may not even need refactoring.
- There may be some codes that have tech debt in it and produces short term gains.
If you want to determine such codes, you will first need to calculate the amount of time and effort required for refactoring. If you find that this time and effort, which is the interest of technical debt that you have to repay, is very little then you can leave these codes as it is considering these to be good enough codes.
Usually, there are a few specific reasons for tech debts to occur such as:
- Pressure from all quarters to release it before the deadline
- Need of the market to release a code early without testing to stay in the race
- The change of focus of the development team and
- The existence of critical bugs in it.
However, it will be unwise on your part to ignore technical debt. You should not give any lame excuse that you do not have the time or the code is impossible for refactoring. This will have a huge negative impact on your business. It will also reduce the ability of your development team to deliver good quality codes in the future.
On the contrary, you should focus on finding out the best remedial measures both technical as well as the non-technical to minimize the chances of accruing tech debt and its inherent risks. It is required that you involve the stakeholders and make them understand its needs so that they understand the cost effectiveness of reworking on faulty codes.
Prevention is better than cure
Since you cannot avoid technical debt, the best you can do is take proper preventive actions so that you are well aware and prepared to take the issues up as and when it occurs and to find the best remedial measures quickly. There are lots of useful tools and software that will actually prevent technical debt formation and accumulation.
- Frist identify the codes that need to be refactored and then the issues in it.
- You must then consider the value derived from each of such codes and the deficit in it to calculate the technical backlog.
- Use this backlog to fond the amount of debts you need to repay with interest so that you get a clean code and the desired returns as soon as possible.
- You will also have to write certain user stories for the specific requirements for refactoring a particular code.
- Add to that, you will need to estimate the amount of work and time required to devote by your development team for the specific refactoring and cleaning up job.
- Also consider the interferences if any to make sure that the stories written are transparent and easy to understand for both the technical as well as the non-technical team.
Lastly and most importantly, you must make sure that you convey everything to the stakeholders so that they can measure the value or the cost of refactoring and allocate a suitable budget for refactoring the code.
Prioritizing and testing
Next you should prioritize the products that need to be refactored and mix feature work and technical work in the right proportion and as required.
Apart from regular testing, it is essential to test a code especially after refactoring. This is the best way to know about its functionality and level of performance and to identify potential issues in the code. Consider tests like performance testing, unit testing, regression testing, feature testing, user interface testing, and more to know about the code quality with little manual labor before re-releasing it in the market and expect best results.