Technical debt: Part 3
One of the most in-demand commodities today is software. Both businesses and end-consumers seek advanced platforms that can make their lives easier by carrying out various processes. Software vendors and SaaS providers hence are always in a rush to deliver their products on time.
Sometimes, in order to deliver the product within the deadline, the development team fast forwards through certain software development processes. These parts often become the reason for errors and glitches in the final product and require refactoring. Technical debt for a company is all the code they have written that will need future modification.
How can unsolved technical debt affect your business?
Since technical debt is incurred on a regular basis, it should be also be regularly solved. Otherwise, it has the potential to cause several impediments to the business. A few major problems occurring from technical debt are listed below.
1. Company Image
Technical debt mainly occurs when developers take the short route and skip a few vital development processes. Along with technical debt, this can result in poor software quality. While sometimes, skipping a few processes to meet the customers’ needs is unavoidable, making it a constant habit can give you a poor brand image.
2. Impediment To New Innovation
A poor product will not only cause harm to your reputation as a software vendor, but it will also imply you to deploy your resources towards solving these problems as and when they occur. This will mean that most of your software developers’ time and skills will be employed with products that have already been sold and new product development will take a hit.
3. Impedes Hiring Of New Talent
Technical debt can cause companies to lose out on new development talent. While job hunting, developers tend to look for companies that have a fast-moving, and efficient development culture. They do not want to work at a place where they would have to constantly race against time to deliver subpar products and will then have to work extra to put out fires that arise because of shoddy work.
Practices like using inconsistent design behavior, skipping module descriptors, poorly stringing program modules can also result in confusion when different coders try to access and modify the code. This is another reason why new developers avoid joining companies with big technical debt.
4. Decreases Productivity
Poorly written code sometimes has to be revisited more than once. Eventually, the developers spend more time refactoring the code than they would have if they created it well in the first place. This decreases the amount of output you generate in the long run.
How To Solve Technical Debt?
1. Redesign Your Software Development Methodology
The first step towards solving existing technical debt is reworking the development framework that caused it to happen. To get rid of the pain points of a code, you must revisit its original development strategy and identify the shortcomings. You then have to reframe the development strategy and refactor the code according to it.
While making modifications to existing code, you have to make sure you give the development team enough time and resources. Rushing the development team will only lead to more shortcuts and increased technical debt.
Once the refactoring is done, you have to put the software through several tests of functionality, efficiency, and overall quality. This will ensure that the refactored code doesn’t lead to more technical debt in the future.
2. Quantify The Debt
Before jumping into refactoring and modification, it is important to quantify the amount of technical debt you have. You can use various metrics to define various kinds of technical debts. This will allow you to plan tech debt management by giving you the data you need to allocate resources and budget to different processes.
Quantification of debt will also help you keep track of its occurrence and elimination. This will make it easier for your development teams to observe and examine its repayment.
3. Perform Unit Tests
Unit tests are used by software developers to scout for bugs and errors in a code. They allow coders to identify, tackle and solve code errors more efficiently. Conducting frequent unit tests on software that has already been deployed can help you get on top of errors before the users even identify them. You can then refactor the code and deploy the new code, and in turn, improve the functionality of the software.
4. Document The Whole Development Journey
Maintaining a database detailing the software development journey can significantly improve the efficiency of tech debt repayment. Digital documentation of software includes several information-rich resources like code documentation, roadmaps, connected files, checklists, etc.
These resources can help new developers who were not on the project from the beginning. Even the developers who originally worked on a project can save a lot of time with the help of an existing database.
5. Low-Code Development
Low-code development platforms follow a visual app development approach. Anyone can use a low-code platform to develop complex software with just a little training. Companies that have high technical debt can greatly benefit from low-code development platforms.
Low-code development platforms shorten the development process by providing pre-built modules and pages. Low-code automation also saves the developers from writing long, repetitive lines of code. Developers can then use this free time to repay tech debt without new product development taking a hit.
Planet Crust’s Corteza: Get Rid Of Technical Debt With Low-Code
Corteza is Planet Crust’s low-code development platform. It comes with visual app development features that can help you eliminate technical debt efficiently. Try Corteza and adopt the smart way to tackle tech debt repayment.