Monday, March 11, 2013

Tech debt explained

Philippe Kruchten gave an interview on about his idea of what technical debt is (and is not, or should be restricted to be)

He explains things (read the whole interview) using this image:

His thinking is that the term "tech debt" has become so much of an industry meme that it's lost its intended focus. For his money, the stuff in the box is the stuff that ought to be in the technical debt backlog.

And, by the way, that's another issue: too often the backlog is just the customer facing stuff; that way under states what a real project takes. Not only the non-functional stuff needs to be integrated into the backlog and resourced, but so also the technical debt, and the other stuff, as yet un-coined, that's outside the box.

About Philippe Krutchen:
Philippe Kruchten is a professor of software engineering in the department of electrical and computer engineering of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. He joined UBC in 2004 after a 30+ year career in industry, where he worked mostly in with large software-intensive systems design, in the domains of telecommunication, defense, aerospace and transportation.