Technical Debt

Most of us have heard and used the term “Technical Debt”. But what is it all about? Again, Martin Fowler has a good explanation. It can also be seen as a mismatch between internal and external software quality. As I wrote before, I think many managers are too little aware of the importance of internal quality and are more concerned about external quality. Buying features at the cost of code and architecture quality results in technical debt. Removing it will cost time, and thus real money. If we don’t remove it, we’ll have to pay interest which manifests itself in slower development. Which will cost real money as well. And accumulating more and more debt will result in problems or even bankruptcy, as we can learn from current economic crises. So be true to yourselves and try to be realistic about your current technical debt. It can be estimated using the number of violations found during static code analysis. There’s a even a Sonar plugin for that.

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