Technical debt? What's that?

During the construction or maintenance of an app or website it sometimes happens that choices have to be made to make a little more pace. These choices create a 'debt', or in other words: a 'technical debt'.

Compare it with a credit card. You see a great opportunity to invest, but you just don't have the money. By saving, you lose an opportunity, so you decide to pay for the purchase with your credit card. You pay interest until the payment is repaid.

In the case of technical debt, the same thing happens: You want to quickly expand your app with an adjustment, but you don't have the time or money for a structural solution. You go for a quick adjustment. The adjustment has been made, but has consequences, for example, there will be more time spent on maintenance or future adjustments. These consequences are the "interest".

What's so bad about it?

Creating technical debt can be a smart move. For example, a quick adjustment that causes your profits to increase immediately. But it is something to keep an eye on. Compare it with the credit card: All is well while you can cover the interests. This is also the case with technical debt. The situations that may arise:

  • Adjustments are becoming more expensive until the 'debt' is (partially) 'repaid'
  • More and more problems show up, that need to be solved
  • Each adjustment seems to introduce a new problem
  • Your developer starts to complain, advises to rebuild everything or leaves the project

Advice

Ask your developer which strategy is being followed with regard to technical debt.