Technical Debt is a metaphor coined by Ward Cunningham. Suppose you have a piece of functionality that you must add to your system. There are two ways of doing it, one is quick to accomplish but is messy – it will make further changes harder in the time to come. The other involves a cleaner design but will include a longer period to implement. Implementing things the quick and dirty way is similar to dealing with a technical debt, which is like a financial debt. Similar to a financial debt, the technical debt sustains interest payments, which takes the form of the extra effort that we have to put in later due to the quick and dirty design choice.
Meaning of Technical Debt
On the one hand, we can select to go on paying the interest, or we can pay up the principal by redesigning the quick and messy design into a better one. Although it incurs a higher expenditure to pay up the principal, we benefit from reduced interest payments for the future. The use of this term- Technical Debt also elucidates the logic to adopt the quick and messy approach. Just as a business involves some debt to take benefit of a market opportunity, developers take in technical debt to meet a major deadline.
Measuring technical debt
The common problem with this approach to take the quick and dirty way out is that development organizations cannot restrain their debt. They let their debt spiral out of control and devote most of their future development effort in paying high-interest payments. In technical debt, unlike monetary debt, it is impossible to quantify it effectively. The interest payments put a spanner in the works of a team’s productivity, but since we are not able to measure productivity directly, we cannot clearly see the real effects of technical debt.
Problems with Technical Debt
One point which is easily missed out is that you only earn a profit on your loan by delivering. The biggest problem with technical debt is that it hampers your capability to deliver future features. Thus it incurs an opportunity cost for lost revenue. Moreover, following the Design Stamina Hypothesis, you must deliver your features before reaching the design payoff line to allow you any scope of gaining from your debt. In many cases taking on technical debt results in slowing you down to such an extent that you finish up delivering later.
Conclusion of Technical Debt
The concept does not imply that you ought to never take in debt. Just as financial loans, despite leading to debt can help in providing assistance to a company when used in a proper fashion. Similarly, a quick solution may signify a faster time to market in software development. Moreover, technical debt is simply not just poorly written code. Bad code is bad code, and technical debt can occur because of good programmers working under unrealistic project constraints. Technical Debt could come from a variety of sources; some could prove to be good and some bad. To furnish further details check online. These days’ people are also checking out for credit card refinancing and are using it for making their financial condition better and solving their issues. So, you can too check it out and might be you will find it interesting and useful too.