Technical Debt: Recognising the rate of interest

A quick recap of technical debt

DDD can’t help with predicting the future, only with understanding what’s known in the present

We must acknowledge that one of the inherent challenges in building software is that we don’t know what we don’t know about the domain we’re working in.

Introducing the ‘rate of interest’

the interest burden becomes so great that the borrower is capable only of meeting the interest payments

The fine art of technical solvency

the rate of accumulation of high interest debt can grow exponentially

  • Your teammate who’s on call out-of-hours appears weary eyed at your desk in the morning. Every morning.
  • “Simple” things that were meant to take days, somehow take weeks or months (or years!)
  • Your teammates never seem to make it to stand up on time. And if they do make it at all, they’ll probably be sitting down.
  • Your P3 bug backlog is so full, and growing daily, that nobody even cares about it any more.
  • Nobody ever bothers to challenge decisions they don’t agree with
  • When a test suite is failing, everyone just blames it on Jenkins instability.
  • Somebody turned off the static code analyser to get it to shut the hell up. The rules were too strict, right?
  • All anyone seems to do is moan. All bloody day.
  • Your company network appears to be issuing a denial of service attack on Facebook

If we do our best to limit ourselves to low interest technical debt, then we give ourselves a better chance of being able to afford to pay back the underlying loan

Higher or lower?

we can reasonably define high interest debt as relating to the architectural aspects of software

But, what about startups?

before you’ve established some form of product-market fit, it doesn’t really matter what the hell you do

a microservices architecture will succeed as a side effect of having identified the right domain boundaries

Summing up

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Software engineering nut. Cyclist. Musician. Dog lover

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Andrew Easter

Andrew Easter

Software engineering nut. Cyclist. Musician. Dog lover

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