When we hear the term debt, often what pops into our mind is a financially burdensome commitment that we need to pay off for a long time. But, when debt is used wisely, it can accelerate the growth and development of teams and companies.
Technical debt can also be called code debt. It can be toxic or helpful for a software company as with regular debt. This article will examine what technical debt is and how it happens. It also states what you can do to do technical debt management wisely and purposefully and avoid all the negative consequences of running into technical debt without a clear vision.
What Is technical debt?
The first wiki developer, Ward Cunningham, used the term technical debt. It was first created as a metaphor, then the concept grew and expanded. It was further elaborated.
With borrowed money, you can turn the wheels moving faster. And this is valid for every project, regardless of the entity.
Technical debt, in particular, is any piece of code that you still need to create. This debt happens because deadlines press development teams, and they need to deliver fast. So they provide a product that is still lacking some pieces here and there. These debts need to be paid for the product to be complete. This technical debt can be due to pressing deadlines, but this is not the only reason they happen. Here are some more reasons:
- Using an inappropriate software coding platform
- Poor quality design decisions
- An improper vision of the project
- Insufficient software development skills
- Scarcity of tools and resources for coding engineers to use to complete the project
How to manage technical debt efficiently?
You need to have a clear strategy for dealing with technical debt.
Be Aware of Technical Debt
To begin with, you need to be aware of any gaps your product has. All these gaps or debts are what you will need to work on. If you don’t, this might lead to a substantial loss for your company in terms of customers and credibility.
Мake the tracking process effortless
Firstly, it is crucial to keep a list of any such gaps. You need to have a tool that you can log any such issues that have the potential to explode into bugs or major code breakdowns. Having a process to track them will help you and your team pay your technical debt in time. If you have a system for monitoring your technical debt, it will be easier for you to review it and resolve it.
Your tracking team should allow discussion over the ongoing issues to take place.
Here is a sample checklist of the most popular metrics of technical debt in coding:
Example of metrics of technical debt:
- Bugs – track resolved and unresolved bugs
- Code quality – Scarce code quality can hit the product and your organization very hard. Make sure you notice and fix any shortages in the quality of your product coding.
- Coherence of Code – it keeps track so that your code is not low quality but is not also too complex. Cohesion means the code is easy to maintain and use and well-built.
- Ownership – problems are almost certain to arise when there is a lack of ownership of a piece of code. You need to know who the engineers are in charge of every part of the code on your product, and thus, you see who can help if anything malfunctions.
- Churn – this allows you to spot any areas of your code where there is a lot of activity. This means that there are bugs and fixes which happen pretty often. If you spot such regions, there is technical debt in the code. You need to get someone to look into this and address the lacking areas carefully.
Proactively work to resolve your technical debt.
Once you have a system to track your technical debt, you need to work proactively to resolve it. You do not want it to stack and become bigger and bigger.
Take responsibility for the existing technical debt that you have. Appoint people in charge and deadline to resolve any significant and minor gaps in your current code. Do not leave anything to the case. It won’t get resolved by itself. Track your progress and work with your team until the arrow of the technical debt hits 0. If it does not hit zero, at least it will not pile up and become a huge mountain.
Suppose you do not have enough time and resources to address your technical debt with your in-house team. In that case, you may consider outsourcing or offshoring a software development team to resolve any urgent issues within your software products. Some offshoring companies have even different tailor-made programs, called Yourshoring, to handle and resolve the technical debt for you. The term Yourshoring was invented by Turnkey, but it has become increasingly popular as more and more offshore agencies offer customized solutions for the specific needs of their software development companies.
Leaving technical debt unaddressed is not sustainable, and it can damage your organization. It is like having a room of dirty laundry stacked for months. You need to wash it; otherwise, you will be compelled to walk around naked as you run out of clothes. In this article, we have created for you a clear roadmap: we have examined a good strategy. You ought to become aware of it, track it, and work proactively to resolve it. You may also use the services of a third-party organization to handle it and fix it.
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