Wikipedia defines technical debt as “the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy (limited) solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.” That sounds like something we do all the time, and each time we do it, we accrue a little debt.
In software development, the measure of this cost is directly proportional to how long an organization goes without paying down the debt. The consequence of a really complex technical debt can be steep, but sometimes, the rework is necessary, even helpful for developers.
In an article titled “Debt”, Ed Summers talks about technical debt in a different light. He shows how it can mean very different things for different entities. He writes,
While it certainly is the case that technical debt accrues over time for the reasons that Eghbal goes on to describe, this definition implies that maintenance, and the paying down of technical debt, is something that comes after the software is conceived or released, and not there from the beginning and part of an ongoing practice.
Read the full story to understand how technical debt is a necessary part of learning, and can in fact, provide value. For more such interesting stories, sign up for our free newsletter.