Managing And Minimizing Your Technical Debt

  • You are on a mission to get your product tested with your real users and can not miss the launch deadline. This implies you choose to go-live with a working product over a ‘flawless code’.
  • There’s a mountain of older debt that was never attended to in the first place
  • It’s coming in the way of your product’s scalability and expansion plans
  • Technology and tools used are obsolete in the current scenario.

Is there a connection between Software quality and Technical debt?

The answer is a yes, but not necessarily in a negative way. If someone claims that their technical debt level is low, it can mean several things. They could have missed many deadlines, deployed more resources (in terms of employees, efforts, and time) than required, or even went down the rabbit hole of over-engineering.

Managing your technical debt efficiently

As discussed above, there is a good and bad side to everything, technical debt included. A perfect, error-free code is never a possibility. There will always be some small bug, patchwork done to meet deadlines.

  • Make sure that any shortcuts, omitted code lines, or such trade-offs decisions are taken in your development stage are documented in a single and accessible place. Also, it must be recorded in a way that every team member can understand it and don’t end up wasting time in decoding the documents themselves.
  • Inform stakeholders about your present technical debt levels. This will ensure that there is no surprise sprung on them when certain deadlines are missed.
  • Implement automated unit tests during development stages. This will provide faster feedback and lead to quicker iteration cycles.
  • Be on the lookout for newer technologies and possible industry disruptors. This will help you in anticipating the current relevance of the technologies deployed in your product. Also, when finalizing the tech stack of your products, ensure that the tools and technologies selected will be around for a long time and have active communities.
  • If possible, have a dedicated team (can be a small one) exclusive for managing technical debt. Unanimously decide on the permissible level of technical debt with this team. And keep them involved in your development and testing process.
  • This is specific to legacy codes. Factor in the relevance, time and efforts required, possible delays, testing, and team capabilities before you deep dive into it.

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