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Technical Debt: Is it really what you think it is?

Junilu Lacar
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Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5288
    
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I'm preparing to be on a panel discussion about Technical Debt at SPLASH 2013.

I'm planning to write a series of articles exploring different aspects of Technical Debt. In this first installment, I look at Ward Cunningham's original meaning. Comments welcome. Thanks.

Not All Debts Are Equal (Part 1)


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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31062
    
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Going into technical debt is not so much a problem as it is a conscious choice and commitment. At least that's the way it should be.

While I agree that's the way it should be, reality doesn't match that statement. I feel like there is a lot hidden in this one "should."

Great article by the way. I really like the analogy to real debt.


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Junilu Lacar
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Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5288
    
  10

Thanks, Jeanne. I know what you're saying, which is why I plan on looking at other meanings and analogies people have attached to the term. I'm willing to bet that there are many people--perhaps even a majority--who immediately think of messy code, poor designs, and any suboptimal technical choice as being "technical debt", just as I had before I started researching this. I think it's useful to have a term for these kinds of deficiencies in a program but I also think it's beneficial to maintain the original metaphor's integrity because we can use it to our advantage, given the right mindset.
 
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