Andrew Brown

Company: SQS

Role in Company: Consultant

Country: United Kingdom

Presentation Takeaways

1. The level of technical debt is higher than the optimal level in most organisations
2. Resolutions to reduce technical debt are about as effective as resolutions to reduce weight
3. To reduce technical debt, we need to change the way that we think about the various factors that are considered in the decision process for debt reduction

Speaker Biography

Dr Andrew Brown is a principal consultant at SQS. Recently, he has developed an independent line of research into understanding why we humans make the mistakes that lead to software defects. He has spoken at several conferences on this subject and was winner of the EuroSTAR 2017 best paper award for a tutorial on cognitive biases in testing. He has 25 years’ experience in the software industry. Previous roles include Heading up QA at HMV, Head of QA at a financial software house and a test manager in Japan.

Presentation Description

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.