Technical debt happens when developers make suboptimal coding or design decisions that rebound on their clients. We explain how Ceiba minimizes technical debt and ensures companies maximize the ongoing impact of their digital products.
What is technical debt in digital product development?
- What is the technical debt trap and why does it happen?
- The impact of technical debt on your company
- How to avoid accruing technical debt on a digital product
- Best practices to help businesses manage technical debt
- Addressing technical debt will help your company succeed
Every decision has a consequence and nowhere is this truer than in the world of software development – where it is essential to consider how digital products will perform in the future.
‘Technical debt’ is a term in the tech industry that refers to the future impact of imperfect software development actions in the present.
Also known as ‘code debt’, technical debt can be accrued when a developer makes a sacrifice in terms of coding or design, knowing that its consequences will reverberate in future.
Here we explain how Ceiba approaches how to solve technical debt and ensure both client satisfaction and a positive end user experience.
What is the technical debt trap and why does it happen?
It’s a simple scenario and therefore an easy trap for a software developer to fall into – deploying the fastest, easiest code with no thought to a product’s future needs.
This is the technical debt trap, and it usually happens because an overworked and unhappy developer is scrambling to meet a deadline or comply with an unrealistic budget.
Technical debt also leads to a scenario known as “legacy handcuffs” – where a product’s owners are tied to an out-of-date technology that becomes extremely challenging to maintain.
Unchecked debt can also snowball, and become increasingly challenging, and expensive, to address.
At Ceiba, we take this issue very seriously. Our teams monitor the risk of avoidable technical debt from the very start and work to balance a project’s long- and short-term goals.
We embrace continuous improvement to monitor and reduce technical debt as much as possible.
The impact of technical debt on your company
The problem of technical debt extends into many areas of business operations.
As technical debt increases, there is a decline in overall software quality and reliability and a decrease in productivity, which takes its toll on staff morale.
Some companies may struggle to attract talented IT staff because there are developers who deliberately avoid digital product development projects that are marred by technical debt, or even a company that allowed the technical debt to escalate so severely.
Expenses can also soar due to the mounting costs of servicing it.
Managing technical debt and ensuring software can be easily maintained is therefore key to a business’s competitiveness, and has a direct impact on the end user experience.
How to manage technical debt on a digital product
Software maintenance that is delayed or difficult can have a dramatic effect on the bottom line and jeopardize a business’s operational success.
At Ceiba, we recognize that, despite our prowess, it is rarely possible to avoid technical debt altogether. No technological solution is perfect, and the more time we spend working on a project, the greater the likelihood that we will discover a better solution.
We therefore keep in mind that, no matter what decisions we make, we’re going to accrue technical debt one way or another. That keeps us honest and ensures our teams manage technical debt responsibly.
Ceiba’s best practices help businesses manage technical debt
As a company, we are always attentive to the risks of technical debt, and plan and define specific workspaces that are focused on this issue.
Our project managers, in particular, remain vigilant and hold follow-up reviews to ensure effective oversight. When we do find a gap, we implement mechanisms to avoid the growth and acceleration of technical debt.
Ceiba can help companies address legacy technical debt too
We consider it a fallacy that a large amount of inherited debt on a digital product can never be managed or fully paid off.
In fact, Ceiba has had success managing large amounts of technical debt on a product, while making small improvements to its design or code to bring the debt under control.
We have discovered that with dedication, patience, talent, and expertise, it is possible to significantly reduce the balance of a product’s technical debt.
To find out how Ceiba can help your company reduce technical debt on a project or develop a transformational digital product that is straightforward to maintain, contact us today.
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