Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Technical Debt, the real costs of corner cutting

Found on Martin Fowlers Bliki yesterday:


Technical Debt, a term invented by Ward Cunningham to describe the effects of having code being badly designed for current circumstances (my paraphrasing) due to a variety of circumstances.

In our case this debt is incurred by not re-working our software for new situations or platforms. The system as a whole isn't bad, but we have a few cranky old parts to our system that need a bit of TLC (Tender Love and Care). Whenever we need to look at those screens, we see how much work it would be to rewrite them the way we all know we want to but every time we have a project effect them we 'um' and 'ah' and finally decide that the project can't afford the rewrite, or schedules don't allow for it or there is no testing resource for the rewrite.

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