How To Avoid Technical Debt

Technical debt: Part 2

Technical debt is any code written for a product or functionality that is set to require rework and modification in the future. It happens because development teams are forced to expedite deployment owing to strict deadlines and a shortage of resources.

A widespread occurrence in the software development industry, technical debt is seldom welcome by developers or clients. While it isn’t outright harmful, technical debt can cause a lot of problems if not paid on time and efficiently.

Technical debt can prolong building times and can hog the resources that would otherwise go to new projects and innovation. Taking short-cuts during software development results in volatile, often low-quality software. This can also lead to a dip in the brand value of the software vendor or developer. Technical debt can also come when you are not expecting it in the form of an outdated design.

While it may feel like technical debt is omnipresent and undefeatable in the software industry, thankfully, there are various ways through which technical debt can be avoided.

Ways To Avoid Technical Debt

1. Testing

Testing is one of the most essential practices in software development. It safeguards developers against future liability that may arise from faulty software. Testing should happen not just at the end of the development process, but throughout the development cycle. Developers must also set standards against which the code should be tested.

While manual testing sprints have their benefits, to tackle the issue of hefty deadlines and shrinking resources, development teams should consider investing in automated testing.

Automated testing is not just a more time-efficient way of testing, it is also more effective. It uses an automated solution to perform various tests on a program. The tests examine the functionality, quality, speed, and efficiency of the program. Automated testing ensures that the code in your program is free of bugs and errors that might cause problems later.

2. Writing Optimal Code

Mostly, technical debt occurs because the developers write subpar code. While writing subpar code can save time in the initial development stage, it only leads to short-lived success.

The solution to this is simple – using best practises to write programs. Instead of cutting back on good quality code, try to prioritize a faster and more efficient methodology and code structure.

3. Use Agile Practises

Agile software development is a collaborative discipline of software development that focus on the individuals who work on a project and how they collaborate together. Some agile frameworks include Extreme Programming, Scrum, and Feature-Driven Development.

Traditionally, developers have used the waterfall model to develop new software. The waterfall method is a linear model of software development where each phase derives from the last phase of development and cannot proceed without it. While the waterfall method is a thorough and time-tested method of development, agile practises are better suited to saving time and avoiding tech debt.

The Agile model focuses on shared solutions, self-organization, and collaboration. It also makes modification and addition of changes easier along the development cycle.

4. Support Your Developers

Hiring the right people to develop complex software is the first step towards avoiding tech debt. However, that is not enough. You have to make sure that your developers have the right infrastructure to work on a project. Developers also need time and resources to develop good quality software. Often companies, in a bid to generate more revenue, overwork their developers, causing them to cut back on important development processes. This causes technical debt and leads to a heavier depletion of resources further on.

5. Set A Maintenance Plan

Since technical debt can also occur because of outdated infrastructure, it is always wise to stay on top of updates. Set aside a yearly maintenance plan for your products and allocate a budget for fixes and updates.

6. Use An Issue Tracking System

One of the best ways of tackling technical debt is identifying a problem quickly and fixing it. If any issue is identified, it should reach the developers  right away. Otherwise, chances are that it will become a bigger problem.

An issue tracking system is an application through which you can record, store and follow every customer complain until the problem is solved. You can also track the frequently occurring errors and modify them in the following versions of the software.

7. Plan Your Project By Using Project Management Tools

Another smart way to avoid technical debt is by planning out your entire development process in detail and making necessary changes as you go. This allows for better time-management and resource-allocation.

Project management tools can help you organise the work performed by your development team and increase efficacy. They also help you synchronise the work between departments, allowing for better cross-functional collaboration.

8. Use Low-Code Development Platform To Aid Your Developers

A low-code development platform or LCDP is a development tool that allows people with minimal coding knowledge and training to build complex software. It uses a graphical user interface to facilitate this development.

Low-code platforms aid rapid application development by eliminating the need for working on the most time-consuming, tedious, and iterative development processes. They use pre-built modules and drag-and-drop editors for the purpose of building basic modules. Low-code automation also reduces the need for writing long lines of repetitive code.

Low-code development can reduce turnover time by a large margin, hence allowing for ultra-fast development. It frees the time of the development team to work on complex modules and custom functionality. It also allow the developers to tackle bugs and updates for previously deployed software.

Software built through low-code is also much easier to modify than those made solely through traditional development. Low-code also helps you decrease costs per software as you are developing way more apps in less time. Low-code also reduces the need for having an extensive development team. Saving you the money you can spend on expert-level and strategic talent.

Corteza by Planet Crust: Avoid Technical Debt The Smart Way

Corteza is a low-code app development platform created by Planet Crust. Corteza can help you with rapid application development, and in turn, avoid technical debt. Corteza comes with easy-to-use functions, visual builders, instant deployment features, and a cloud-based architecture. Try Corteza and discover a whole new way to tackle technical debt.

 

Read also:
Technical debt Part 1: What is technical debt?
Technical debt Part 3: How to solve technical debt?

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