Technical debt is a programming theory that refers to the necessary work that gets delayed during the development of a software project to meet a deadline or deliverable. It is an idea that shortcuts are taken to quickly deliver a product, but this decision incurs a “debt” that must be paid in the future when the work is eventually completed. Technical debt is often the result of a tradeoff between perfect products and the short timelines often required for product delivery. Developers may choose the easier route with messier code or design to deliver a product faster, but this can lead to technical debt that must be addressed later.
Technical debt can accumulate “interest” over time, increasing the difficulty of implementing changes and leading to software entropy. It is important to manage technical debt to avoid these negative consequences. This involves identifying technical debt, accounting for nonfunctional requirements, and implementing best practices and agile practices to minimize it. It is also important to be proactive in reducing technical debt in new initiatives by carefully planning and designing projects from the start.
I selected this post because I wanted to learn more about technical debt as I found the concept to be particularly interesting and relevant to my future projects. This topic also seemed important as I found it amazing that despite the large file structure for projects in this class, it was not too difficult to add and update code for the assignments. That showed me how a codebase can avoid technical debt to a degree, and how it simplifies for maintainers (or a group of students) the process of adding and updating code to the codebase. After reading through the blog, I gained a better understanding of what technical debt is and how it can accumulate over time. This really resonated with me as I can see how important it is to consider the long-term implications of the decisions, we make during the development process. One of the most valuable takeaways for me was learning about the various types of technical debt and how to identify them. This will be especially useful as I continue to learn and grow as a programmer. I also appreciated the discussion of best practices and agile practices for managing technical debt, as I can see how these approaches can help to minimize the amount of debt that is incurred. I expect to apply what I learned in my future practice by being more mindful of the potential impacts of my decisions and actively working to minimize technical debt whenever possible.
From the blog Zed's Blog by Lord Zed and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.