The Role of Team in Handling Technical Debt

In any software company, there are virtual teams appointed with a focus on particular segments of infrastructure or product, for around one week performance. The size of the team is big enough to assure complete coverage so that none of the problems for the segment or product remains unnoticed and everything is serviced well. The rotation of the number of team specifies the frequency that the particular product will be used for triage. For a complete development every product area needs to be serviced. It makes sure that the high profile segments aren’t spread too thin.

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Every team plays developmental and non-developmental roles:

  • Technical assistance- representing and communicating with the customer, sales engineers and sales team. The consumer’s voice and role gives weight to every problem. How effective an issue is and which customers will be affected by it?
  • Tester- make sure that the quality assurance is better via the triage procedure. How can they take this issue out of the door? Whether they should enhance their automation to catch it and other related issues from changing in the future. Along with it, they also render support the developers to avoid reproduction of such issues
  • Developers- there is a full-fledged team of developers which includes front end, agent, back end and more
  • Prime- in the team of developers, one is designated prime. His role is to handle and evaluate the upcoming problems and tag them for the right team. Along with it, he also manages the daily activities as required.

How you can handle tech debt in a week?

A week doesn’t appear like a lot and surely it isn’t. But, it fine! But as a team you have more time. You’ll be surprised to know what a team can do in a week.

Before the commencement of the week, the Tech Support Representative will evaluate the backlog as marked for the team and hold a first pass at the prioritization. As the day commence the Tester and Developer come in. They assess the backlog’s top and evaluate it, drag items which need to be attended in a week.

Then the team unites together to discuss the first thing on the list. Everyone submits their perspective to the meeting. Here all the clarification of the issue is done and request for more details are submitted like steps to manage, logs, severity, impact and more. Developers start fixing the issue, testers enhance automation and keep on the testing the amendments as and when they are accessible.

By the end of the week, pens down! What is finished is submitted to the master and sent ahead for the next release along with new spec work.

Tuning of the Process

The team needs to ensure that the scope of the team is well-balanced so they aren’t spending much time on the issues which are low on priority and neither overload themselves with the work effort that they can manage. Effort should be laid on the business value areas at the right time. These aspects will lower the responsibility and perhaps enhance the efficacy of the teams. Click here to find out how technical debt can be overcome with the right steps of development team.

The Attitude of Companies Towards Technical Debt

Different companies draft their individual philosophies about the pros and cons of technical debt, just as people do with monetary debt. Some companies desire to avoid keeping on any debt at all while others find small debt as somewhat a useful weapon and just wish to know the right means to use it wisely.

Some companies keep a track of team velocity versus debt. Once the velocity of the team commences to fall due to the service if technology debt, the team concentrates on lowering its debt till the velocity recovers. The other methodologies comprise of rework tracking. The dev team makes use of it as a measure to calculate how much debt they are aggregating.

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Service of technology debt

The primary stage in debt servicing is to acknowledge all types of issues and file them—making the debt appear in front of the dev team. They could eventually be made a part of the product backlog or even fall out as a portion of separate tech debt backlog to be used with the objective of tracking. The team can easily access and prioritize and consider the major efforts required for the process and the trouble caused by tech debt frequency.

At this point, the owner of the product makes a rational decision whether the fiscal condition of the company justifies tech debt expenses. One thing to remember is that all technology debt should be paid. However, what’s important is that tech debt shouldn’t be accumulated as will damage the system. Hence look for the best way to pay off credit card debt easily and soon.

Just like the payment of credit card via credit card consolidation loan, it is advisable to clear off the high interest tech debt first. It is suggested that tech debt should be cleared out incrementally somewhat like a monthly mortgage clearing via the means of TDD, peer suggestions, refactoring, constant integration and automated testing.

An exciting take on tech debt talks about strategies of technology debt prioritization. Depending the business value degree which the application presently renders in comparison to the business value degree which the application will fulfill according to the future requirements of the business, there is a suggested tech debt prioritization quadrant. Each of the 4 conditions state how tech debt can be managed:

  • Cash cow- Software which are presently of great value to the business but may not hold similar significance in the future. Solution- Maintain Operationally
  • Stars- Software which are present of great value to the business and will remain valuable in the future of the business. Solution- Clear the debt
  • Dogs- Software which are presently not of great value to the business and neither will be of any great value in the future. Solution- do not do them
  • Problem Child- Software which are in the development stage and hold low value but will be of great value in the future for the business. Solution- Undertake prevention strategies.

It is significant that companies opt for awareness of technical debt and draft out ways and resources to handle it effectively to avoid a major system collapse.

Everything you Should Know about technical Debt

Technical debt is more like a programming concept which showcases the extra developmental work which comes up when the code which is simple to execute in the short period is used rather than implementing the best solution. Technical debt is majorly linked with extreme programming, basically with regards to refactoring. It means that it denotes restructuring the present codes as needed in the development procedure. This simply states the fact, that refactoring isn’t just a conclusion of badly written code, but is also done depending on an innovatively understanding of an issue and finding the best possible solution for it. Tech debt can also be called design debt.

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Technical Debt Explained

Invented by Ward Cunningham, Technical debt is a metaphor which stands equivalent to software development to fiscal debt. Think like this…. You have a project with two major options. One is simple and quick but needs modification in the coming future and the other has an improvised design but will require more time to execute. In software development, releasing code as a simple and fast approach is more like experiencing debt. It is teamed with the compulsion of interest which for technology debt, is performed in the form of extra future modification work.

Consider time to refactor is somewhat same as paying principal. Whilst it handles time in the short span, it also lowers down the future interest payouts. The first time code is more like entering the debt. A small debt speeds up the development procedure and it may be promptly paid back by means of rewriting of code. But the major threat arrives when the debt isn’t repaid quickly. Every hour spent on not so right code works like a debt interest.

The complete engineering company can reach a stand still position and come under the debt loan of unconsolidated execution. However, the statement doesn’t mean that debt shouldn’t ever be incurred. It works like a leverage to help a company function correctly. Technical debt isn’t all about poor coding. It can also occur from good programmers working under impractical project limitations.

XP (Extreme Programming) is an agile, disciplined and intense software development approach relying on coding in each SDLC (software development life cycle) phase. The stages include

  • Constant integration to find and mend issues in the initial stage of the development procedure
  • Costumer involvement and quick feedback

With these XP approach disciplines are extracted from the major key values:

  • Communication- interaction between customers and team mates should happen on a frequent basis and discussions of projects should be carried out without any fear of retaliation.
  • Courage- Execute difficult for needed decisions for the betterment of the product
  • Feedback- Feedback needs to be obtained at distinctive levels and several phases. For instance- code review, unit testing and integration.
  • Simplicity- It includes the usage of easiest and most understandable design, simple technology, techniques and algorithm to meet the needs and requirements of the customers for the present project iteration.

Click here to find out more on how technical debt can be consolidated via banks and lending companies.