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Technical debts

We usually develop the functionality requested by our customers in short cycles. Most of the time, we clean up our code even after several cycles when the requirements hardly change. Sometimes, however, code that has been developed quickly must also be put into production. Technical debt is a wonderful metaphor in this regard, introduced by Ward Cunningham to think about such problems. Similar to financial debt, technical debt can be used to bridge difficulties. And similar to financial debt, technical debt requires interest to be paid, namely in the form of extra effort to develop the software further.

Unlike financial debt, however, technical debt is very difficult to quantify. While we know that it hinders a team’s productivity in developing the software further, we lack the calculation basis on which to quantify this debt.

To describe technical debt, a distinction is usually made between deliberate and inadvertent technical debt, and between prudent or reckless debt. This results in the following quadrant:

  inadvertent deliberate
prudent «Now we know how we should do it!» sollten!»* «We have to deliver now and deal with the consequences »
reckless «WWhat is software design?» «We don’t have time Rfor software design!»

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