What Is Technical Debt?

Technical debt: Part 1

Software development is all the rage today. No wonder the demand for software developers is projected to increase by 20% to 25% in the years to come. The past few years have actually made technological innovation a survival issue more than an efficiency issue. Companies in every sector are transforming and becoming more technologically smart. Custom-build software and task-specific solutions are hence in demand across the globe.

The agility with which a business meets its technological needs has become the backbone of its success. The needs of businesses today, however, are in a constant state of evolution. And with every new need, comes the requirement for new, smart software that can cut costs and maximize efficiency.

Meeting this constantly evolving, the volatile need of the market hence becomes a challenge for those who develop these software. And a hasty approach to meet this challenge results in technical debt.

What is Technical Debt?

The term ‘technical debt’ was first coined by Ward Cunningham. It is a concept that takes place when developers or software vendors hasten the deployment of a program or functionality which results in the requirement of refactoring in the future.

It is any piece of code written that is set to be revisited and modified at a later time. It can also be described as code that loses quality over time, hence requiring frequent modification.

In other words, technical debt is the price developers have to pay for prioritizing delivery time over perfect quality. It can result from anything including code bugs, missing documentation to legacy code.

In most cases, technical debt is a result of time and resource constraints, not the competence of the software development talent. It is a common occurrence in the software development industry, although it is not a welcome one. 52% of engineers believe that technical debt negatively impacts their teams’ morale.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Technical Debt?

There are three ways in which you can incur technical debt. All three types of tech debts have different ways of resolution and avoidance. It is hence important for every developer to know what the three kinds of technical debts are.

1. Deliberate Debt

When it comes to software development, shortcuts are never truly shortcuts. Deliberate debt occurs when the development team cuts back on a few complex processes in the initial development phase in a bid to save time. These early cutbacks then present themselves as bugs and technical problems during the testing or deployment phase.

2. Bit-Rot Debt

Technical debt is not always a result of oversight or negligence. In some cases, it can be incurred when the team assigned to a development project goes through a change.

The developers who start the initial development of a project are the people who best understand its design. If anyone takes it up halfway, chances are that they would not be able to comprehend the program design in its entirety. An abrupt transition from one team to another can then lead to technical debt.

3. Outdated Design Debt

As the world evolves, the systems evolve with it. Outdated design debt is incurred when a program you deployed no longer remains functional because it could not keep up with the evolving systems around it. This is also called accidental debt because in most cases, it can not be predicted.

Why Is Technical Debt A Problem?

Technical debt is, in a way, a loan that you have to repay to your clients in terms of time, resources, and effort. In the long run, its accumulation can hinder growth and innovation.

Software development requires creativity as well as skill and time. If the development team constantly plays catch-up with problems of the products that have already been deployed, they will not be able to focus on new projects. The cycle will then continue for a long time and everything from team morale or customer experience will suffer.

There are, however, ways through which you can avoid and solve the technical debt. Many developers across the globe can take a sigh of relief knowing that low-code development platforms or LCDPs can come to their rescue.

Low-Code And Technical Debt

A low-code development platform can help you make scalable, fully-functional applications much more quickly than traditional development without compromising on quality. Low-code platforms use pre-built modules and a visual-development approach to allow even non-developers to build good-quality software.

Low-code platforms prove to be excellent tools when it comes to avoiding technical debt. Low-code platforms also allow you to automate routine processes and repetitive tasks that do not require human intervention, allowing developers more time to work on complex processes.

Software made with the help of low-code platforms is also easier to maintain and modify. You do not need to edit long lines of code to make a functionality change in the program when you are using low-code. Applications made through low-code will hence not add to the technical debt being incurred by the developer.

Planet Crust Low-Code: Crush Technical Debt One Software At A Time

Planet Crust’s low-code development platform, Corteza is an excellent tool that can help you minimize your technical debt. Corteza comes ready with instant deployment features, a cloud-based architecture, pre-built modules, and visual editors to facilitate easy app development. Give Corteza a chance and discover a whole new way to tackle technical debt.


Read also:
Technical debt Part 2: How to avoid technical debt?
Technical debt Part 3: How to solve technical debt?

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