How To Minimize Technical Debt
09 February 2021 4 min read
Although it's hard to calculate the exact level of Technical debt, you need to know the seriousness of the situation once it gets unsolvable!
You might agree, it's a common practice in the organizational setup to assign the most complex and lengthy coding job to the junior developers with the least experience. Or there might be a deadline close ahead, and the team of engineers is considering specific shortcuts to complete the coding task. Such instances create the chances of technical debt, especially when there is not enough support for developers.
In contrast to carrying out lengthy and clean coding processes, software developers adopt the path of getting things done before the deadline; the shortcuts!
There are limitations on time, expertise, and funds in real-world situations that end up creating a certain level of technical debt within your software design. Building the cleanest codes and exact data sources is a fantasy in the world of software engineering. So is the concise documentation of software.
Once the software is ready and shipped to the Customer, there are issues found in the software's working due to untidy coding used during the design process. An obvious consequence of Technical Debt is too many bugs reported on and off and compatibility issues.
No doubt, shortcuts used in the coding process lead to such inconsistencies in performance; nevertheless, it's unavoidable in many situations.
The coding experts are often working within strict deadlines. The only solution is adopting a relatively low-quality code and fixing the rest later on.
Minimizing the Technical Debt:
Although technical debt is not desirable, managers can hardly avoid it at all! A certain level is always there to cope with. The solution is to continuously monitor the issues and deal with them on time before they get complex.
We suggest these measures to minimize technical debt.
Go for the solid architectural base:
Solid architectural foundations are vital to minimizing technical debt. Applying TQM in your design development prevents technical debt at the root. A well-thought-out technical design should be a priority. The teams with the multitasking capabilities of designing, testing, and continuously sharing ideas are the key to doing things right the first time.
Again managers need to create a norm of meeting deadlines with quality assurance. No doubt, the overall result is a low cost of post-development services. Pressures on delivery time is there in every sales and manufacturing process, but developers need not to adopt the shortcuts for long run debts.
System to analyze the level of technical debt:
How much technical debt is suitable for a given area or application may differ from another. What it looks like will vary from organization to organization. A well-dedicated team of experts is what you need in ideal situations. The team members should invest time to read the quality of useful codes and discuss and develop a solution to fix the problem at hand for specific software.
Engineers may needs to find out the additional coding requirements for the present software design and comparing different options against each other.
The teams need to possess the expertise necessary to analyze the codes. In case you find it costly to retain the experts, you can use specific software like Duecode to read the code quality with a coding expert's accuracy and fix it to the lowest technical debt levels possible.
With such systems, you don't need to be a designer to comprehend code quality. They add the recorded git information and give you essential experiences into your designing groups' work process designs.
Managers should never be so lousy to fix the dirty coding before technical debt compounds and it becomes even more costly to deal with it. Such ignorance sometimes ends up starting the whole software project from scratch. In my experience, the engineering department consider such failed projects as one of the biggest constraints in routine operations.
An optimal mix of education, detailed technical practice, prioritization, and a culture of continuous monitoring and discussion is helpful to avoid technical debt.
Decide on the optimal level of Technical Debt to meet Customer Satisfaction:
Managers should admit the presence of technical debt and implement the measurements and controls as a norm. It's hard to reach the zero level as it requires ample time and unrealistic expertise level that may cost in terms of dollars. Hiring and retaining competent technicians and while bearing the costs of lost customers due to failure in timely order completion is also there. For this reason, managers should realize the optimal level of debt whose existence is acceptable by the Customer and does not impede the software's working.
You should approach the technical debt with care and understanding. That means you need to treat it like any other important program or tool in your organization. A well-defined strategy to resolve a compounding debt issue helps in structural problem solving. There should be an actionable plan to execute it.
The whole process of fixing the tech debt should be documented, involving all the concerned departments like engineering, operational teams, and product management.
Make your teams resourceful to cope with the Technical Debt:
No doubt, focusing on excellent documentation and specialized practices do not guarantee the solution. You need to enable individuals to strongly utilize technical obligation and pay it down over the long run.
Automated tests help the software designers to validate their work. They ought to be required to leave the codebase in a preferable place than it was before. Automated tests, consequently ran after each improvement stage prove to be an excellent resource for the team. This implies that you need to give individuals time to get familiar with the subject and fabricate their definitions and systems.
In my own experience, what gets estimated can better be controlled!
Being a part of senior management, you should keep track of the technical debt over your project's lifecycle with in-built tracking mechanisms. Technical debt managed on time prevents the whole project from being crashed. Continuous improvement in improving the quality of code can lead you to achieve a sustainable position in a competitive environment and retain your customers for the long run.