When a technical asset designed does not produce the returns just as it is intended to, it is said that the company is accumulating technical debt. Technical debt is something that occurs when the corners are cut in the designing process by the software development team. Ideally, this is done to meet the deadline for delivery and pressure from all stakeholders for an early release.
This practice may provide the company with some immediate benefits but these are all short lived for sure. In the long run this will lead to severe problems and can even ‘strangulate’ a company to death if the issues are not detected early and addressed immediately. This is because:
- Such tech debts will accumulate the interest that need to be repaid from time to time to keep it functional and useful just as you need to repay your monthly bills for your financial loans.
- This debt will also prevent your company from gaining customers which will in turn affect your business sales and revenue generation in a negative manner.
- Last but not least, the code will become inefficient slowly but surely.
In order to avoid such a situation, your primary focus should be on its designing and development of the code to make sure that it is not imperfect or done in haste.
The code factors
It is usually the code factors that make it difficult to bring in any change in the designing process of the code once it is released in the market. Consumers will find it difficult to use and complaints will start pouring in.
Apart from the pressure of meeting the delivery deadline, there are several other reasons for the improper designing and faulty codes such as:
- Lack of proper knowledge of the development team
- Sheer laziness to run the necessary tests after designing and
- Lack of reworks and refactoring on the code.
When you are ignorant about tech debt or allow it to accumulate, then it will create a lot of issues within and otherwise.
- It will create a tremendous backlog of technical inefficiency
- It will require new code design if the existing one cannot be repaired resulting in unnecessary loss of labor, time and money
- It will reduce the functionality of the code and
- It will cause an early and premature death.
All these issues with a code design are interconnected and can exist in different stage and areas of the codes such as:
- Within the platform of operation itself
- In the code base
- In its design libraries and
- In its development, automation and test coverage settings as well.
All these will affect the code and in turn the operation of the entire business. The consequences of such issues will result in several things such as:
- The reduced velocity of the code
- Poor code maintenance
- High rate of defects and
- Very low productivity.
Tech debt must be treated just as a financial debt and never allowed to accumulate so that it reaches unmanageable limits when you have to scour through different debt settlement reviews and other relief options to choose the best to get rid of your debt.
Attitude and behavior
In order to manage tech debt, you must follow the same principle as you would do to manage your financial debt.
- First, you must change your attitude towards it and stay vigilant about its existence.
- As soon as you notice such debt starting to creep in you should arrange for its maintenance or ‘repayment.’
- All the time you should monitor its performance and functionality so as to ensure that it is at the highest level.
- While designing, to ensure that you get the maximum return on investment and proper management, you must ensure that the design is simple and easy and most importantly
- You must make sure that there are no shortcuts taken in designing to meet the deadline.
There are several benefits of regular and preventive maintenance of codes but the most significant one is that you will have a sustainable and well-performing code.
Knowledge of tech quadrants
In addition to the above, if you have enough knowledge about tech debt and its quadrants it will also help you to work as a team and resolve any difference in opinions among the team members regarding tech debt which is a very common and significant issue. Some may say that tech debt is useful while others may strongly oppose to it ensuring that every code before its release goes through a proper test run.
- Well, with the knowledge of its quadrants you can know about this metaphor and the ways in which you can keep it to the lowest mark.
- It will also help to track the velocity of the team and see that it does not drop down below the desired level.
The significance of technical debt quadrant for a software development company owner is immense.
- If you know the types and its classification, it will help you to keep your employees well informed and train them as well.
- This will help them to organize the code system and know everything that is required to do for a good code designs.
- It will in turn prevent quick and unchecked release and even communicate with the non-technical team as well to relate the issues in the code with the debt acquired.
- In some cases high tech debt may be useful but that depends on the nature of the metaphor. This they say not only helps in discussing the plans to resolve the issue with the entire team but also helps in better client management by keeping the code functional and useful for a long, long time.
- In addition to that it also enables you to make different choices with the flaws in designs. For example, when the interest payment is small then you may not want to make a release.
That means knowledge of tech debt quadrant will help you to distinguish between judicious or reckless debt and eventually conceptualize the amount and your repayment schedule for its interest.