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Tag Archives: Technical Debt

Letting Go Of Technical Debt

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The term “technical debt” was first introduced by Ward Cunningham as a metaphor. It was in the early 90s, when the rift between developers and business people was growing wide. The business people would urge developers do release untested, ugly code. The developers tried to explain why this was a bad mistake. (Not like today, right?) The metaphor of debt ...

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Don’t waste time tracking technical debt

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For the last couple of years we’ve been tracking technical debt in our development backlog. Adding debt payments to the backlog, making the cost and risk of technical debt visible to the team and to the Product Owner, prioritizing payments with other work, is supposed to ensure that debt gets paid down. But I am not convinced that it is ...

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Transition to Agile, Large Technical Debt, Small Project

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Many months ago, Rebecca asked an interesting question about technical debt in projects. She asked, How to start when there’s a really big mess? In that case, small, just being a professional clean-up acts may not even make a dent. Of course, as with any good question, the answer is, “it depends.” And the biggest flavor of depends is whether ...

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Technical Debt – when do you have to pay it off?

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There are 2 times to think about technical debt: When you are building a system and making trade-off decisions between what can be done now and what will need to be done “sometime in the future”. “Sometime in the future”, when have to deal with those decisions, when you need to pay off that debt. What happens when “sometime in ...

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Software Development Metrics that Matter

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As an industry we do a surprisingly poor job of measuring the work that we do and how well we do it. Outside of a relatively small number of organizations which bought into expensive heavyweight models like CMMI or TSP/PSP (which is all about measuring on a micro-level) or Six Sigma, most of us don’t measure enough, don’t measure the ...

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Programs and Technical Debt

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Once you have a program (a collection of interrelated projects focused on one business goal) and you have technical debt, you have a much bigger problem. Not just because the technical debt is likely bigger. Not just because you have more people. But because you also geographically distributed teams, and those teams are almost always separated by function and time ...

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Infrastructure, Technical Debt, and Automated Test Framework

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I’ve had several conversations in email and with clients recently that have all been about this question: “What do we do about our infrastructure?” Either the project or the program has to create/update/upgraded their architecture or automated test infrastructure, pay down technical debt, or somehow do something that’s not part of a story. And, that’s the part where I say, ...

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