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Explore Reasons Why You Must Get Rid of Technical Debt without Fail!

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If there is an issue associated with some portion of the code during the development phase, and it becomes quite critical later and no one wants to handle it-that surely is technical debt. Stakeholders take the technical debt as the clutter and entropy in your codebase. As per the popular belief, technical debt increases when developers go on adding new code or modifying the existing programs. This implies the developers would be encountering more issues handling codebases. Once technical debt comes to a particular point, the code would start to ‘smell.’

Any code smell seems to be a good indicator that something is seriously wrong with the fundamentals of the app. For instance, classes which grow exceptionally large or those do very little, seem to have very strong ‘smells’. A large number of parameters, gigantic lines of code, and extremely long identifiers are all quite petrifying.

The chief reasons for technical debt are:

  • Lack of understanding and knowledge about the possible consequences
  • Business pressure
  • Code monolithicity
  • No documentation
  • No testing
  • Deferred refactoring
  • Miscommunication

It is better to remove all possibilities of getting technical debt on a project. We understand no one wishes to have major issues with their code. However, it is quite a tedious and laborious task to eliminate technical debt and it compels developers to keep some other initiatives literally on hold. As per https://www.forbes.com, more often than not technical debt is ignored or overlooked in various organizations just because they are already having a tough time to keep pace with other apparently more important business priorities.

For some organizations, their technical debt would ultimately culminate as a competitive liability since other organizations would be having a relatively nimble or agile technology stack which is much easier to maintain. Dealing with technical debt must, however, be the top priority for companies. Most people browse through debt consolidation reviews before seeking perfect personal debt relief solutions. Similarly, you must do a lot of homework and research before handling technical debt.

Here are the reasons why tackling your technical debt as often and the earliest possible is certainly a welcome move.

Bugs Would Be Taking Much Longer to Fix

Even relatively simple bugs can take much longer to resolve if you require picking your way handling huge amounts of cluttered codes. These are the codes which, a number of developers write. Similar issues will be arising while making efforts to introduce novel features, even those that are relatively small ones. Experts conclude that technical debt can transform a straightforward process into an incredibly convoluted one.

You Are Compelled to Re-Do & Not Re-Write

With excessive technical debt, it becomes a huge chore to rewrite even a section of the code. In fact, it may compel developers to completely redo code right from scratch instead of tweaking and definitely, that would be consuming substantial resources and time.

You Fall in the Habit of Deferring Tough Code

Often deadline pressure implies it is much easier to opt for a quick-fix solution and defer the difficult coding to sometime later. One can attribute this deferment quite often to technical debt. Furthermore, one also expects it to culminate in more technical debt.

It Lengthens Production Time

Technical debt is similar to credit card debt. If you keep it really small, you could manage it. But if you miss repayments, things could go haywire and completely out of your control and it would be taking much longer for adding new features or fixing bugs.

Smelly Code Would Accumulate Fast

Here is a popular instance of smelly code: a number of functions with almost similar parameters. One can take huge chunks of code as a strong smell. There could be times when you have an application where a majority of the functionality happens in one class. If while scanning your code, you seem to catch multiple smells that could be a massive indication that technical debt seems to be completely out of control.

How to Manage Technical Debt?

One can accept technical debt sometimes but, in such cases, it implies being actively aware of and effectively managing this debt. It also means making sure that you actually align your debt acceptance to a precise business strategy of yours. As with all things in life, you must understand that prevention is always better than seeking a cure. In other words, it is a good idea to effectively deal with your technical debt at the earliest possible during the life of your company before it transforms into a competitive liability.

The Measures

  • The first step is to identify, document, and track technical debt. You cannot consider paying down technical debt without the knowledge pertaining to where and how much technical debt is present in the code base. You cannot chalk out a plan to pay down technical debt without perfect knowledge. In this context, you must know that there are numerous static-code analytical tools that help you to track technical debt. Here are some effective steps to pay down technical debt.
  • You need to prioritize which portion of your codebase requires dealing with at first. In this context, the areas that are most vulnerable to breakages and UX must be given top priority.
  • Make debt reduction an aspect of every iteration.
  • Incentivize your team members to effectively and promptly deal with all technical debt. This would be creating a culture where they would not find it exasperating to deal with technical debt and treat it as a reward instead of labor.
  • Look for huge debt repayments which could be complementing development schedule and enhancing the overall code base status.
  • Consider repaying technical debt horizontally. This implies not simply paying back design or test debt but also, recognizing that all kinds of debt are interrelated ultimately and require to be handled cohesively.

Conclusion

Technical debt should be considered as inevitable unless you focus on taking great care of it. If growth is mismanaged, even smallest applications could end up accumulating debt.  You need to remember that the occurrence of technical debt is certainly not a calamity; it is crucial how you or your team choose to handle it or manage it effectively. Ultimately, you need to adopt a systematic approach to deal effectively with technical debt. Pragmatism is supposed to be the secret to successfully dealing with technical debt.

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