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Resp. to Charles — “How You Can Leverage Technical Debt & Why You Should”

Hi Charles,

Your comments make sense. My article focuses on Technical Debt in the context of an early stage startup. I am certainly not advocating for pushing bad code, and cheap practices, for no good reasons. In my previous company, I had a very hard time dealing with my managers who would hire shit devs just because they were cheap. Those managers could not fathom the idea that a bad dev would create more technical debt, which would eventually cost a lot more than hiring a good senior dev. But that was in the context of a large company, who had the funds of hiring good people, and the resources to foster best practices. In that context, the fact that my managers did not want to spend money to hire good devs just shows they were plain idiots.

The point of my article is that in an early stage startup, things are very different. Your early stage startup MUST hack, and this will inevitably generate tech. debt. Focusing on how to scale, or how to have the best practices for code reusability, when you don’t have a product/market fit might be fatal to your early stage startup. Once you have reached a product/market fit, the focus is to scale your business. At that point, getting rid of the technical debt, as well as affording to spend resources to prevent it to happen should be on your radar.

As for your comments, “By continuing to reinforce a lack of expertise, the industry is building-in technical debt in the form of not tilling the soil to cultivate the crop of Sr Developers while whining and crying about lack of talent. (Systemic issue.)”,

I never said we did not need experts, on the contrary:

“Assessing the trade-offs of hacking requires a lot of experience and expertise.”

Ideally, early stage founders would love to get their hands on experienced staff who can also hack, for hacking is a double-edge sword. But that’s unfortunately not always an option for them. In that dire situation, my article details what would be the trade-offs, one of them being that if you have to choose between a hacker’s mind that lacks years of expertise and an expert’s mind who cannot hack, then you should probably consider the hacker’s minded person.

Let me know what are your thoughts, or if you still think I’m full of shit ;)