The most vital and wrong concept of this analogy is that technical debt is what you get when you write bad code. This is total misconception. Technical debt is a way to make design trade - off decisions in a clear, manageable way. Debt means that you traded something now for a long-term financial burden. This burden is not just repaying what you got, but there is an interest. It means that even if you pay your debt timely, you will pay more than you took.
The Analogy of Debt
Debt analogy is clearly different from what you have anticipated. If you write software on best practices and after understanding business domain, you might incur in technical debt. Whoever has to change something has to deal with the imperfect concepts you designed on the first occasion. If you ignore it long enough, you can go technically bankrupt. After that, your developed concepts will not reflect any more on the domain you have been working on. If you do not pay your debt, it will be kept on increasing even if you don’t opt for necessary changes.
Concept of debt revived
Debt is something which you get when you delay design decisions for later even with better information in hand. The idea of technical debt is only useful when used consciously in every decision. It is associated with the time and ways you can work to refactor things. Given total time, it’s always better to go for the best design as possible. Just like the best scenario for a company is to be able to invest in new things without going to the bank. Most Professionals do not understand precisely the concept of technical debt. Business staffs think they can load up technical debt because they never truly see the consequences.
Technical debt and strategic designs
The concept of strategic design gives an idea on ways to deal with Technical Debt. The strategic plan says that a system can’t have the same high level of quality throughout the platform. Therefore, you can check online to leave which parts of the system have a good or a bad quality, or to control the quality actively. Messy code, which is rarely read or touched and doesn’t implement necessary requirements, does not have to be perfect. Therefore, you don’t have to spend efforts on refactoring it into proper code. So the question is which parts of the code should have high quality? It’s possible that a piece of the implementation has a bad design without having a bad quality.
Technical debt is unavoidable
Technical Debt is almost always enforced by lack of velocity. The developers hope to gain a higher short-term productivity with a quick & dirty implementation and lower costs for the current release. They are well aware that they cause lower productivity and higher costs in future versions. The team, however, can never be sure that it achieves a higher productivity or lower costs within the current release. Possibly, the shortcuts boomerang earlier than expected and the team has to pay the interest sooner than anticipated. The team also doesn’t know exactly how much the debt is and when it needs to pay it back. It’s not necessary that the person who obliges for the debt is the same one to repay it, but usually someone else.
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