Comprehensive explanation about Technical Debt and how it is measured
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Comprehensive explanation about Technical Debt and how it is measured

We all want to complete our projects before or at least on the day of the deadline, but doesn’t it happen in the parallel universe? Even better if it gets completed within the estimated budget. It is safe to say that ready software projects in a given time and budget are a myth.
If you have worked closely on software development, then you might also know about the term ‘Technical Debt’, if not then now you will know.

Let us first understand why you should know about the ‘Technical Debt’ concept-

It is a very important concept yet unclear to many. The is also known as code debt or tech, is the process that helps in refactoring the piece of code in order to keep the work continued without any hindrance.
Sometimes, developers use tactics and strategies that are easy and can help them to make fast deliveries, however, is a short-term solution. But the point is that even if you deliver the software fast, the approach used in the project cannot be effective in the long term.
The reasons may vary and can include outdated architecture, choosing the simple solution, or changes in requirements. To avoid such problems, you must calculate the Technical Debt just to ensure that you deliver the best results to the client.

Now that you know why you need to understand the concept of ‘Technical Debt’, let us now delve more into the topic and know about the other aspects of it-

What is Technical Debt? Till now, you must have some idea about it. It gives you the implied cost of the software project that is required for the additional rework on the project just because simple and easy approaches were used while developing the software.

The term Techincal Debt may include anything like a module written on legacy technology or other things that decline the software’s functionality. It is important to address these debts on time in order to avoid future debts.

Why Does Technical Debt happen?

If you want to accurately address the Technical Debt, you need to first understand what causes the Debt. Here are four major reasons that lead to Technical Debt-
1. Poor scheduling-
This is where most of the developers lack- improper or poor scheduling. You cannot underestimate the power of scheduling because eventually, you might end up having debt. Sometimes, the developers may follow bad practices in a hurry, which is the reason you might have to face the tech debt for your project.
2. Poor Conception-
When the developers concentrate on working fast they shortfall in the concept and make a huge difference. When they just want to deliver as soon as possible, the quality will always be in deficit. The software is not well thought because the professionals only focused on the functionalities and the results of such approaches always cause Technical Debt.
3. Outmoded technology-
We all live in an era where technology gets outdated within a couple of years and when some developers do not focus on the tech, it might create a massive problem because what if the chosen technology is old-fashioned?
Later on, when you try to make new changes in the tech, every new improvement can cause you a new debt.
4. Not following good practices-

When we say good practices we mean that every team has some set of approaches or practices and sometimes that is bad enough to complete the project and include all the qualitative functionalities. 

What comes in this picture is that when these tactics and strategies are adopted it increases the technical debt as well.

Why Technical Debt is bad?

Even if the Technical Debt works fine for some time, it surely is not good for a longer time. This debt can cause trouble to the software as well as to the developers if not paid within a time.

If you knowingly put your software in the market after having the tech debts, the developers will not be able to keep the software updated and you will have a lot of problems from the end of your users.

If this problem is not conveyed in the initial stages, the changes of software failure are high. Such issues later pile up and create Technical Debt which is nothing but the extra cost that should be avoided.
We will tell you how to avoid these debts, but first, let us see how can you measure this cost.

Can we calculate Technical Debt?

All the information mentioned above shows that this concept is really important for the developers to quantify the issue and measure it in order to get precise results. Some metrics helps the developer to know the quality of code

Technical Debt is a crucial thing but it may get perplexing to count it with so many other factors and elements. So, you can simply calculate the ratio by getting the reaction between the software system (Remediation cost) and the cost of development (Developing Cost).

The term that describes this equation is known as Technical Debt Ratio.

 

Therefore, 

Technical Debt Ration= (Remediation Cost/Development Cost) * 100%

Yes, it is this simple.

 

The next thing you need to know after this formula is what are the different types that come under the Technical debt is as follows-

Source Code Formatting:
This is the common one but very simple to resolve because by using the right type of tool or template before commencing the development of the project.
Code Complexity:
Code complexity is calculated in different ways but mostly it depends on how long does it takes to complete an operation. When the path is long it will increase the complexity of the code.
Insufficient Documentation:
While developing software, documentation is always part of it because the software is often evolved. Thus the cost must be written of all the times so that everyone who is involved in the process knows the code of the software from the start. If not maintained properly by developers, will lead to Technical Debt.
Lack of Modularity:
The poorly designed code results in a lack of modularity. Often, some codes serve different goals of business logic, and when different developers are writing the code, then the logic may differ and it reduces the modularity of the software.
How to reduce or eliminate the Technical Debt?
Here are some ways that will help you to reduce or eliminate the Technical Debts-
  • Solve the ones that can be fixed faster. This way, you will be gradually declining the Debt and slowly you might be able to solve all the problems that are creating the Technical Debts.
  • Try to address the issues by priority because that way you will have quick results and the accumulation of issues and problems can be declined.
  • Try to review and refactor more often so that you don’t pile up with various issues that are difficult to handle in the later stages.
  • Keep checking on the latest technology in the market and make sure you are updating it on a timely basis for the best results.

The ball is in your court now…..

Now that you know each perspective of Technical Debt, then you possess the power to handle this with ease. When you have a Technical Debt during the process, don’t worry about it because it is usual and when you know how to keep up with it, you are all set to deal with the Technical Debt.

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