None the wiser? I’m not surprised. How about this? Technical debt is the ever-increasing cost of refactoring code; as well as carrying forward unnecessary redundancy and duplication. The interest is paid as the code descends into a morass where it would be better and cheaper to start again from scratch than continue to maintain the code. I’m sure we can all relate to the all too common causes of technical debt thanks again to Wikipedia:

  • Business pressures: where the business considers getting something released sooner before all of the necessary changes are complete;
  • Lack of process or understanding: where businesses make decisions around software development without considering the implications;
  • Tightly coupled components: where functions are hard-coded so that, when business needs change, the software is inflexible;
  • Lack of documentation;
  • Lack of collaboration, where knowledge isn't shared around the organisation and business efficiency suffers.
  • Parallel Development;
  • Delayed Refactoring: where parts of the code become unwieldy and must be refactored to support future requirements, but are not.
So what it to be done technical debt? The easy answer is: avoid any of the practices listed above, but we all know that in the real world that won’t be possible. The remedy is not that simple, and neither is understanding or defining technical debt. Philippe Kruchten, a professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, explains that technical debt is all about the invisible parts of an application that have a negative effect. So it would seem that technical debt goes well beyond bugs and defects. It could readily be likened to the miss placed beams and poorly welded girders of a building that has been clad with concrete to hide the mess. This is where things get complicated. As you may know not all debt is bad; living in a house now and paying for it later is a widely accepted concept. Technical debt is no different. Kruchten suggests that if time to market is really essential then the debt paid over time could be a good investment. So there is more to this than this writer first thought, fortunately Philippe Kruchten is heading to Australia to give us the inside running on how  to weigh up the costs of technical debt. In YOW! workshops following  the YOW! 2013 conferences to be held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney in December he will get up-close and personal with technical debt [more information here]. Attendees will  discover how to characterise it, measure it where possible, and develop strategies for prevention and for remediation. // "); // ]]>

YOW! is bringing 35+ international experts for a series of Conferences and Workshops in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December 2013. Learn from the experts while networking with top IT professionals in Australia.....more

Melbourne 5 – 6 Dec
Brisbane 9 – 10 Dec
Sydney 12 – 13 Dec
Melbourne 3 – 4 Dec
Brisbane 11 Dec
Sydney 3,10 – 11 Dec
Click for more news on Emerging Technologies