Why Do We Have So Much Technical Debt?

The biggest driver of technical debt is invisible – and most people are not aware that this driver even exists

Technical debt is a well-documented endemic problem within software development. However, to understand why high levels of technical debt exist within most organisations, we need to change the way we think about this problem.

We already understand more than enough about our software development processes and the various causes and types of technical debt involved in the trade-off between functionality and technical debt. What we do not understand well, and need to understand better, is how our mind makes that trade-off decision and why technical debt fares so badly in that trade-off.

In this session we will focus not on the causes and consequences of technical debt, but rather we will focus on how we determine a trade-off between different options, such as the benefit of obtaining software earlier at a low initial cost against the benefit of obtaining better code and lower maintenance costs.